FMS Rockets beat Cougars in coast-to-coast win

Friday, December 12, 2014
The Rockets get instructions from head coach Randy Toombs and assistant David Junkins during a second half timeout. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

After a 46-36 win in Manchester on Monday, the FMS Rockets travelled to Middle Tennessee Christian School (MTCS) on Thursday and handily beat the Cougars 46-34 in a coast-to-coast win, marking the 16th consecutive Duck River Valley Conference win in a row for Forrest this season.

FMS can clinch the outright conference title with a win at Liberty (13-2) on Jan. 5, 2015 or in Lynchburg (3-12) on Jan. 8.

The Rockets were firing on all cylinders in Murfreesboro, especially seventh-grader Ryley McClaran, who scorched the nets for 15 first-quarter points, beginning with a 3-pointer to start the game.

Evan Alford got two points for the Cougars before Daniil Yatskov muscled home a low post bucket and that was followed by a McClaran steal and score, making it 7-2.

The Rockets were in a full press mode and the defensive effort paid off when Ty Hengesbach stole the rock and fed McClaran for another 3-pointer, forcing an MTCS timeout with 4:08 remaining in the first period.

A Ben Phillips bucket for MTCS made it 10-4 until Hengesbach got in to the long ball act with a deep corner trey and after another Cougar timeout and turnover, Dylan Jones scored in the low post for Forrest.

Ryley McClaran (10) drives the baseline knocks down a soft runner for two of game-high 17 points in the Rockets' 46-34 win at MTCS Thursday night.

Jaylan Wetzel scored for MTCS before McClaran went on a rampage, scoring seven straight points to make it 22-6 and Yatskov ended the first period with two successful free throws.

Midway through the second period, Hengesbach came up with a theft and deuce, opening up a 23-point lead at 31-8 for the Rockets, who would cruise to the halftime break in charge of the contest.

A pair of Jones buckets in the paint at the outset of the second half gave the Rockets a big 37-13 lead before the Cougars mounted a serious comeback attempt, cutting the FMS lead to 12 points with a 15-3 run to end the third period.

Two Phillips free throws to begin the final eight minutes made it a 10-point game until both squads went in to a cold spell from the field.

Ty Hengesbach (5) eyes up a corner 3-pointer that went through the cords in the Rockets 16th consecutive DRVC win.

Hengesbach would be the next player to score, midway through the stanza, making it 42-30 and the Cougars ran out of time from there, falling to 11-5 on the season.

McClaran would end up with 17 points, leading all scorers in the contest, while Jones and Hengesbach were both in double digits with 10 points apiece, and Yatskov finished with nine points for the Rockets.

Phillips was high scorer for the Cougars with 13 points, Wetzel finished with 11, Alford added eight, and Dylan Bowman rounded out the scoring with two points.