Rockets gain some post-season confidence
A superior defensive effort can go a long way to sparking a struggling offense and that is what happened Friday night in Chapel Hill as the Forrest Rockets picked up a relatively easy 61-44 win over Community.
"We just wanted to play our game, stay on them defensively and don't let them get any free baskets and that was a big part of this win," said Forrest's Korbin Brown, who came off the bench to score 11 points in the contest.
The Rockets (8-15, 3-7) used 11 players in the game with 10 players scoring at least two points in the victory over the Vikings (2-20, 0-11), who remained winless in District 9-A play this season.
Brown came off the pine early in the first quarter with the score tied at 2-2 and provided a big boost on his first touch, drilling a 3-pointer from the corner.
Community's Darian Pride, who led all scorers in the contest with 23 points, got two points back on a short jumper, but on the ensuing inbounds play, Donovan Murray took off running and found Brown for a fast break bucket.
"I've been working in practice being more aggressive going to the basket and I have definitely been in the gym outside of practice, working on my three-point shot," said Brown.
"The corner shot came natural and once we got that, we also got some cuts in the lane for some free baskets."
Forrest took the momentum and built on it with several defensive stops that led to a Jacob Jones 3-pointer, another Brown basket on the run, and a driving layup by Caleb Hogan that ended the first quarter with Forrest in the lead 14-5.
The Rockets would surge again early in the second quarter, going on a 9-1 run, beginning with a rebound and put-back by Jones, a 3-pointer from Will Edmonson, two free throws by Brown, and an Austin Bailey drive to the dish that extended Forrest's lead to 15 points at 23-8.
The Rockets held a 12-point halftime lead and kept the pressure on the Vikings in the third period, extending the margin to 17 on a Jones 3-pointer, and an Edmonson bucket to end the quarter made it a 41-22 contest.
Brown and Donovan fired up the Forrest faithful and put the Vikings away on the first possession of the fourth quarter when Brown hauled in a rebound and found Donovan on the run, who left a Community defender helpless with a pretty ball fake and flying lay-up, ballooning the Rockets' lead to 21 points.
"We got out in transition and tried to turn up the tempo up tonight," said Donovan, who has started the last two games for Forrest.
"We need every district game, we can take this one and build on it in our next district game,"
The Vikings had no answer as Forrest cruised to the 17-point victory.
Forrest 14 11 16 20--61
Community 5 7 10 22----44
Community: Darian Pride 23, Jackson Wisener 3, Tyler Broiles 2, Austin Cagle 1, Austin Seibers, Tyler Bushnell 10, Dillon Whitaker 3, Graham Cates 2, Tavis Eady.
Forrest: Will Edmonson 13, Jesse Pruitt 7, Colton Cook 3, Donovan Murray 2, Blake Leonard 2, Jacob Jones 12, Korbin Brown 11, Austin Bailey 4, Tanner Roberson 4, Caleb Hogan 3, Tim Elliott.
3-Point Goals: Community (3): Bushnell 2, Whitaker; Forrest (5): Jones 2, Edmonson, Cook, Brown.
Halftime score: Forrest 25, Community 12.