Rockets drop opener

Friday, November 14, 2014
Will Edmondson (24) had 10 points to lead the Rockets in scoring versus Ravenwood in Monday night's Hall of Fame game in Chapel Hill. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets never got off the ground in their season opener Tuesday night versus Ravenwood as the Raptors started quick and flew out of Chapel Hill with 62-36 coast-to-coast-win.

"I think it was a typical first game of the season versus a difficult opponent that forced us to make a lot of mistakes," said Forrest head coach Wes Hobbs. "We were very limited in our playbook since our football players only had one practice under their belt and I think that caused our offense to be inefficient for most of the night."

Raptors speed ahead

Case Boulder opened the scoring in the contest for Ravenwood and Zach Tudeen made it 4-0 before Austin Bailey hit a jumper for Forrest, making it 4-2.

The Raptors would go on to lead 13-5 until a steal and score by Forrest's Donovan Murray made it a 13-7 contest after the first eight minutes.

The Rockets would scratch and claw their way back into the game and with just over three minutes to play in the second quarter, Bailey cut the Ravenwood lead to just five points 19-14.

"Defensively, I thought the guys battled hard and in the first half we did a nice job on the boards," said Hobbs.

Free throw woes

Five consecutive points by the Raptors at the end of the period put the hometown boys down by 10 at the half.

"We were down only 10 points at the half and had gone five out of 18 from the free-throw line," said Hobbs. "If we can do a better job at the line, we possibly lead going into the second half."

Perry Cooper and Forrest senior Will Edmondson traded 3-pointers to begin the second half, but once again Ravenwood pulled away, reeling off six straight puts to build a big 36-20 lead.

The Ravenwood lead would be 15 points by the end of the stanza, but at the outset of the fourth quarter, Edmondson gave Forrest some life with a steal and score and moments later, Blake Leonard hit one of two from the free-throw line, cutting the Ravenwood lead to 14 points at 43-29.

That would be as close as the Rockets would get again as the Williamson County school went on a 19-7 run to end the game, winning by the 26-point margin.

'Out of steam'

"We ran out of steam a little in the second half," said Hobbs. "Our conditioning from our returning players will continue to get better, but overall we can learn from it and move on to the next game."

Blake Leonard (32) had six points in a limited role Monday night as the senior had just one day of practice with the basketball squad after he returned from football.

Edmondson led the Rockets in the scoring column with 10 points, while Bailey and Leonard pitched in with six points apiece, Murray ended up with four points, Korbin Brown netted three points in his Forrest debut, Colton Cook also had three points on one trey, and Noah Rumley and Jesse Pruitt dropped in a deuce apiece.

"Moving into our game Friday, we will look to work on our defensive close-outs and guarding the dribble, and we will work on our post entry passes as we made some mistakes trying to get our big guys the ball," said Hobbs. "And we will dive into our playbook and make sure that our offense is more fluid moving forward."

Elon Smallwood led all scorers in the contest with a dozen markers, Alex Bucks had 10, Cooper, Tudeen, and Boulder had nine points each, Nick Gleason added a half dozen, Dalton Cain came up with four points, Alec Andrews scored three, and Matthew Trainer rounded out the scoring for the Raptors with two points.