Rockets close to being solid

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Austin Bailey drives in for a lay-up after faking out a Summertown defender. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest coach Randy Toombs witnessed his team lose the first two games of the season last week, but the first-year headman is optimistic about his squad's potential after the Rockets had good showings versus Lincoln County and Summertown.

"It's like we are almost there and it is painful to watch, because you say we are over it, then oh we are not over it," Toombs said. "There are a lot little things to tweak and there are things we did do better from last time."


The Rockets opened the season Thursday night at Lincoln County and led by three points with six minutes to go in the third quarter before the Falcons came back to grab the lead and eventually win the game 70-53.

"I mean I'm satisfied, I'm not disappointed," said Toombs. "First real game for some of these boys and we can fix some of this stuff that is wrong."

FHS senior guard Austin Bailey scored on a three-point play to open the contest and both Donovan Murray and Ty Hengesbach would nail long range treys in the first quarter, but the Falcons would still lead 15-11 after the first eight minutes.

Temporary lead

Jesse Pruitt scores in the low post for the Rockets in their season opener at Lincoln County.

Forrest stormed back to take a 22-21 after two Hengesbach free throws midway through the second quarter and would build the lead to four points several times before Lincoln County's Zakyus Tate hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer, making it a 34-32 score at the intermission.

It would be nip and tuck and after a DJ Jones basket in the low post for Forrest with five minutes left in the third quarter, the Falcons seized the lead, going on a 14-2 run, putting the Rockets in a 51-42 hole entering the fourth quarter.

One Lincoln County free throw was tacked on to begin the final period, before Bailey hit both ends of a one-and-one and Murray sank two more foul shots, making it a six-point game.

Falcons pull away

That would as close as the Rockets would get for the rest of the contest as Lincoln County pulled away to claim the Hall of Champions win.

"We had five turnovers in the first half and if you turn the ball over five times as an offensive team, you always have a chance," Toombs said. "With 16 turnovers in the second half, you don't have a chance and that's what we did tonight---we just didn't finish."

Ty Hengesbach takes the rock strong to the hole for two points versus the Falcons Thursday night.

Murray had 14 points to lead the Rockets, while Seth Bertorelli (23 pts.), Zakyus Tate (13) and Holt Richardson (10) all scored in double figures for Lincoln County.


Forrest played its final Hall of Champions game on Saturday at Chapel Hill, taking on a tough Summertown squad.

For the second game in a row, Bailey scored on a three-point play the old fashioned way to open the contest and the Rockets would eventually take a 9-4 lead on a Jacob Rich runner.

Jacob Rich hits runner for the Rockets versus the Eagles at Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon.

Summertown would charge back to cut the Forrest lead to 13-12 late, but a Bailey basket and a Rich buzzer-beater gave the hometown boys an 18-12 lead after the first quarter.

The lead would exchange hands several times in the second quarter with Forrest grabbing a 28-27 lead on a Jesse Pruitt low-post bucket before the Eagles got a pair of free throws apiece by Nick Ridner and Trey Trotter to lead 31-28 at the intermission.

Energetic play

The third period was high energy by both ball clubs and Pruitt tied the game at 39 with 4:25 remaining in the quarter until Summertown went on a 13-8 run to lead by five points, entering the final eight minutes of play.

The Eagles would increase their lead to 11 points, but the pesky Rockets would not go away, clawing back to trail by just five points at 65-60 after a Rich basket with one minute to go.

That would be as close as the Rockets would get as the Eagles finished off the win.

Forrest had a balanced scoring attack in the game with Murray (15), Jones (14) and Rich (12) all scoring in double figures.

Coach pleased

"I am pretty pleased with a lot of stuff," Toombs said. "What make me feel good is we were 0-for13 from the three-point line and you can't win like, but I know we can do better than that and we will."

Summertown matched the feat as well with Bryce Giles (18), Nick Ridner (17) and Trey Trotter reaching double figures.

The Rockets travelled to Cornersville last night and they will get plenty more action this week, playing three games as they host the Forrest Thanksgiving Tournament beginning today where they play Cascade and after the turkey break on Thursday, the Rockets will play one game on Friday (East Hickman) and Saturday (Harpeth).

"I think basketball has three seasons----I think this is pre because we don't play district games, then you got your district games which means a lot and then you have the post-season," Toombs said. "So this is like a lot of time to get some practice and want to try to keep their spirits up because if you shoot bad you lose, that's just basketball."

Forrest 11 23 8 11-53

Lincoln County 15 17 19 19-70

Forrest-Donovan Murray 15, Jesse Pruitt 9, Austin Bailey 9, Ty Hengesbach 9, DJ Jones 4, Jacob Rich 4, Sam Ford 2, Korbin Brown 1.

Lincoln County-Seth Bertorelli 23, Zakyus Tate 13, Holt Richardson 10, Alex Surzcvyuski 9, Kyle Clem 5, Eli Eason 3, Eli Slayton 3, Ryan Hall 2, Austin Grimes 2.

Three-point goals-Forrest; Murray 2, Bailey 1, Rich 2; Lincoln County; Bertorelli 1, Slaton 1.

Summertown 12 19 21 17-69

Forrest 18 10 19 15-62

Forrest-Donovan Murray 15, DJ Jones 14, Jacob Rich 12, Austin Bailey 6, Korbin Brown 6, Jesse Pruitt 5, Ty Hengesbach 2, David Andrews 2.

Summertown-Bryce Giles 18, Nick Ridner 17, Trey Trotter 14, , Adrian Price 8, Hunter Wallace 6, Michal Burdette 4, Hayden Curtis 2.

Three-point goals-Summertown; Ridner 2, Wallace 1.