Rockets rule the Duck!

Saturday, January 10, 2015
Ty Hengesbach (5), seen here throwing a cross-court pass, led the Rockets with 12 points as they finished off an 18-0 DRVC regular season schedule with a 44-25 win at Moore County Thursday night. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The FMS Rockets completed a remarkable regular season Thursday night in Lynchburg, beating Moore County 44-25 to cap off an undefeated Duck River Valley Conference regular season schedule at 18-0.

"I am very proud of the regular season and what the boys have been able to accomplish, but that is just one of our many goals that we set at the start of the year," said FMS head coach Randy Toombs. "Basketball has so many different seasons, pre, regular, Christmas break, post-break regular, and then tournament. We have taken them one at a time."

On top

"The boys have been able to stay focused with each part of the season and now we are entering the time that we have worked for, so we have decided that no matter what the win or time that the win comes, we are not celebrating until we have finished," said Toombs. "That is what we say when we break the huddles in the second halves, we say "1, 2, 3, Finish". These boys are ready for the challenges of a tourney and I'm looking forward to watching them."

Although the final score marked an 19-point win at Moore County, the Raiders put up an incredible fight for the entire contest.

Raining 3s

Ryley McClaran (10) knocks down a runner in the lane for the Rockets, who will open up World Tournament play Monday night.

A 3-pointer by Ty Hengesbach on the last possession of the first quarter put Forrest up 10-4 and early in the second period, Ryley McClaran rained down another three-bomb to open up a 15-4 lead.

The Raiders would come back to cut the lead to single digits on a steal and score by Jackson Farrar, but another McClaran three-ball set the stage for a 10-point FMS lead at the half.

"Moore Co put up a very good fight, we were not very focused on defense and that was basically the discussion at the half," said Toombs. "We wanted to get back to the basics of defense and crashing the boards."

Brett Burnham (4) finishes off a steal and score in the second half.

The Raiders would slice the FMS lead to seven points on a Julius Dixon basket with four minutes to go in the third quarter, but once again it was a long ball by Hengesbach that sparked another Rockets' rally.

Two free throws by Moore County's Cayden Smith made it 25-17 before a steal and score by Brett Burnham, followed by a short jumper in the lane by McClaran gave the Rockets a 29-17 lead, entering the final six minutes of play.

Ahead to stay

Forrest put the game away early in the fourth quarter as Daniil Yatskov outscored Moore County 5-2 to open the period, opening up a 15-point lead.

Daniil Yatskov (30) scores in the low post for the Rockets to open up the fourth quarter.

Toombs would rotate players off the bench and the Rockets got some nice production from Mitchell Everette, Burnham, Ethan Mealer, and a game-ending 3-pointer by Charlie Edmonson.

"We had to go to the bench for help and those guys came through, we got very good minutes from Mitchell Everette and also got a nice defensive boost from Brett Burnham off the bench, who was able to knock down a couple of shots," said Toombs. "Brett has been a very patient team player just waiting for his moments and taking advantage when he got a chance to play to contribute in a very positive way."

Hengesbach led all scorers in the game with 12 points, while Yatskov and McClaran netted nine points apiece, Josh Meglis added five points, Burnham finished with four points, Edmonson had the one trey, and Everette rounded out the FMS scoring with a deuce.

Dixon had nine points to lead Moore County, while Farrar had seven, Smith six, Stone Frost had two points, and Marcus Eady had single marker.