Rockets fizzle against Cougars in another loss

Friday, January 16, 2015
Corbin Brown (10) led the Rockets with 10 points in Tuesday night's 53-37 loss to MTCS. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets just can't get anything sustainable going with their latest setback coming Tuesday night in Chapel Hill where they lost 53-37 to the Middle Tennessee Christian School Cougars.

"Middle Tennessee Christian is a very good defensive team and they do a really good job of exposing your weaknesses and making you take low percentage shots," said Forrest head coach Wes Hobbs. "Early in the game we missed some easy shots and some free throws and got off to a very slow start. This definitely made it hard to come back."

Stuck in 7th

It was the third consecutive District 9A loss for the Rockets (7-14, 2-6), who are now mired in seventh place in the league standings.

MTCS (9-11, 5-2) moved to second place, holding the tiebreaker via a 54-48 win over Eagleville (12-7, 4-2) earlier in the season.

The Cougars came flying off the bus Tuesday night versus the Rockets, sparked by 3-pointers by Tyler Lamb and Barr Ellenburg and a steal and score by Joseph Peeks that led to a 16-5 lead.

Forrest's Will Edmonson nailed a 3-pointer, cutting the lead in half, but the first period ended on a lay-up by MTCS' Perry Patton.

The Rockets tried to stay close to the Cougars before a 6-0 run by MTCS with three minutes to go in the first half extended the lead to 17-points at 29-12.

Cougars blast off

The game got away from the Rockets early in the third quarter as the Cougars marched to a 20-point lead they would take to the fourth period.

The Cougars began to sub their starters as did the Rockets, who won the fourth quarter battle 13-9, but lost the contest by 18 points.

"One of the biggest issues that I have discussed with the guys is trying our best to play with consistency. We have switched line-ups and altered playing time a lot this season because we are often not sure what we will get from our players," said Hobbs. "All of us can say that we have played some great games, but then all of us could also say that we haven't played very well in certain games. Building consistency as we head toward the district tournament is going to be crucial. You can't have a bad game when you get to the post season."

Austin Bailey (14) looks for an opening in the MTCS defense.

Leading Rocket

Corbin Brown led the Rockets in the scoring column with 10 points, while Tim Elliot came up with eight points, Colton Cook and Edmonson had four points apiece, Jacob Jones, Donovan Murray, and Blake Leonard finished with three points each, and Jesse Pruitt added two points.

The Cougars had 10 players etch points in the scorebook with Ellenburg and Kavan Hill sharing top scoring honors with 11 points apiece.

The Rockets will be back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Moore County to take on the Raiders, who lost to Forrest 56-52 on Dec. 12.

"Having Friday off came at the perfect time for us, so we will have some individual and team meetings as well as some tough practices heading into our ballgame Tuesday night," said Hobbs. "We will set some small goals for improvement and will do everything we can to prepare ourselves for the post season."