Rockets hustle, but drop 4th straight game

Friday, December 12, 2014
Donovan Murray (00) nails a 3-pointer for the Rockets in a fourth quarter comeback that fell short in a 61-57 loss at Summertown. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest lost their fourth straight game Tuesday night, falling at Summertown 61-57, but it wasn't with a lack of effort as the Rockets battled and battled through adversity before finally succumbing in the final moments of the game.

"The guys battled tonight in a very tough place to play and I was very proud of the effort," said Forrest head coach Wes Hobbs. "We are still working to play a solid four quarters in the same game, tonight we played a great first and fourth quarters, but needed to do better in the second and third."

The officials wore their whistles out as the Rockets committed a bevy of uncharacteristic fouls in the contest, coming out on the short end of 32-5 disparity from the free throw line.

'Silly fouls'

"We had some silly fouls tonight where we reached too much instead of moving our feet, we have to be smarter and cut down on those in the future," said Hobbs. "We can't get outscored 32-5 from the free throw line, because we are not going to win many games like that."

Senior Will Edmonson started the game with a 3-pointer and never cooled off, scoring a game-high 26 points in the contest, including three treys.

Forrest would build a 10-point first quarter lead when Blake Leonard scored with two minutes remaining in the stanza and the Rockets would take the double digit lead to the second period.

The turnover bug began to hit the Rockets as the fouls piled up too for Forrest as the Eagles only made three field goals the entire the second period, while converting 11 out of 12 free throws.

It also didn't help that the Rockets went cold from the field, scoring only had four points in the second quarter on a basket each by Edmonson and Donovan Murray, leading to a 30-27 Summertown lead at the half.

The Eagles continued to hold the Rockets at bay in the third quarter and led 44-33, entering the fourth period.

Murray sent a message to the Eagles that the Rockets would not quit, scoring five straight points to begin the fourth quarter on a high flying drive to the hoop and deep 3-pointer from the corner, cutting the Summertown lead to 44-38.

Summertown proceeded to cough the ball up, leading to a Colton Cook breakaway bucket, forcing a home team timeout with 6:26 remaining in the third quarter.

Forrest fell behind again as Nick Ridner scored to finish off a 5-0 run out of the stoppage.

Will Edmonson (24), who scored a game-high 26 points versus Summerton, throws the ball in under the basket.

The Eagles would build the their lead back to double digits and led 55-45 with less than three minutes to play when Forrest mounted a final comeback attempt with Edmonson leading the charge with a 3-pointer, followed by a theft and score, making it a five-point game at 55-50.

Close miss

Summertown would creep ahead from the foul line to lead by six points, but Edmonson drilled another 3-bomb, and after an Eagles' turnover, Edmonson had a chance to tie the game with 25 seconds left, but his 3-point attempt just missed and Summertown held on for the three-point win.

Murray would end up with 14 points for the Rockets, while Cook added 7, Leonard and Jacob Jones scored four points apiece, and Jesse Pruitt finished with one field goal.

"I feel the identity of the team is starting to take shape and we seem to be at our best this year when we trap, press, and attempt to cause turnovers," said Hobbs. "We are lucky enough to have about 10 players that are playing consistent minutes and that will help us give maximum effort and not have to worry about getting tired."

Luke Scott led the Eagles in the scoring column with 21 points, including an outstanding 15-16 performance from the free throw line.

The Rockets have back-to-back home games with Moore County visiting Chapel Hill Friday night and Community on Monday.

"These two games against the quality opponents of Collinwood and Summertown should get us ready for our next two district games on Friday and Monday," said Hobbs. "We have to keep looking forward and I believe this team is just scratching the surface of the potential that we have."