Raiders knock out Rockets

Friday, February 13, 2015
Will Edmonson (24) hits a pull-up jumper in the lane for the Rockets, who were eliminated from the post-season by Moore County on Tuesday night. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Cold shooting, turnovers, missed free throws, and a porous defense have been Forrest's downfall all season and it cost the Rockets an early exit from the post-season Tuesday night, losing 51-33 to Moore County in the first-round of the District 9-A Tournament in Eagleville.

"We missed some easy ones, missed some free throws, and left some points out there," said Forrest coach Wes Hobbs. "They just outplayed us tonight."

The Rockets finished 10-18 from the free throw line in the contest.

Few points

Forrest (9-19, 3-9) only accumulated 17 points midway through the third quarter versus the Raiders, who did not exactly light the cords for much of the contest.

There was basically no offense the first period as the two squads combined for 11 points in the first eight minutes with Moore County leading 7-4.

Blake Leonard (32) muscles his way in for a low post bucket for Forrest.

With Moore County in front 11-8 midway through the second quarter, Blake Leonard scored in the low post for the Rockets, and after two missed free throws by Lee Huffer, Colton Cook gave Forrest the lead on a pull-up jumper.

Forrest would not make another field goal the remainder of the first half, while Moore County added eight points to take a 19-13 halftime lead.

Will Edmonson netted nine points in the third quarter for Forrest, including the Rockets' only 3-pointer in the ballgame.

The Forrest senior's effort was still not enough as the Raiders scored 14 points in the period to extend its lead to 10 points, entering the fourth quarter.

Raider run

Leonard scored to open the final stanza, making it an eight-point game before Moore County went on a 7-0 run, taking the ball right through the heart of the Forrest defense to increase its lead to 15 points.

"We couldn't seem to slide over and take a charge, that's what I was hoping we would do and we just didn't get it done," said Hobbs.

"We played with a big lineup tonight and they stretched us out and made us have to guard the dribble and they hurt us in that aspect."

The Rockets would not recover as its season ended in the 18-point loss.

"We were so up and down this year, we beat some great teams and then lose some games we should have won," said Hobbs.

Looking ahead

"I think going forward we have to focus on our consistency, focus on bringing it every night, and just having more guys step up and score for us."

With the win, Moore County (16-13, 7-5) advanced to the tournament semifinals where they will play seventh-seeded Community (3-22, 0-12), who pulled off a 51-42 upset win over number-two seeded Middle Tennessee Christian School Tuesday night.

"Moore County is a good team," said Hobbs. "They don't make mistakes, you have to go beat them."

Top-seeded Fayetteville (22-3, 11-1) had a first-round bye and will take on Huntland (17-9, 7-5) in the other semifinal tonight in Eagleville.

The Hornets beat the host Eagles 64-44 in round one.

Donovan Murray (00) flies through the air for two of his seven points in the Rockets' first-round loss in the District 9-A Tournament.

Moore County 7 12 14 18-- 51

Forrest 4 9 10 10--33

Forrest: Will Edmonson 10, Blake Leonard 10, Donovan Murray 7, Jacob Jones 4, Colton Cook 2.

Moore County: Ryan Northcutt 17, Doran Noble 8, Will Slatton 7, Jordan Barrier 6, Blydge Farran 6, James Dougherty 5, Jay Layman 2.

3-Point goals: Forrest (1): Edmonson; Moore County (1): Northcutt.

Halftime score: Moore County19, Forrest 13.