Rockets give away OT thriller

Friday, December 11, 2015
David Andrews looks to pass to one of his Rocket teammates underneath the basket Tuesday night at Chapel Hill. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest desperately wanted a win and it was in their hands all night versus MTCS Tuesday at Chapel Hill, but it did not come to fruition for the Rockets, who fell 56-54 in overtime.

Forrest led at the end of each of the first three quarters and increased its lead to the largest of the night in the fourth quarter until collapsing to let the Cougars tie the game and send it into overtime where they prevailed.

Needing a score

"We decided to "Not Score"....We pulled it out when they jumped into a zone....then once they came out on us, we didn't look to score," FHS coach Randy Toombs said. "I even called timeout to just let them know I wanted them to look to score. No one wanted to step up and take it to the hole."

Donovan Murray flies to the hoop for two of his team-leading 18 points versus the Cougars.

A Donovan Murray 3-pointer tipped off the contest as the Rockets jumped out to an early 9-6 lead before a Kevin Hill basket with one minute left in the first quarter made it a one-point contest.

On the Rockets' next touch, freshman Ty Hengesbach drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing, giving the home team a 12-8 lead at the end of the period.

Shots fly

A low scoring first quarter was replaced by a shootout in the second period as both squads got the hot hand.

MTCS came up with a 16-10 run that gave them the lead on a Trey Hickey basket before Korbin Brown and Hill traded buckets near the one minute mark.

Murray would hit one-of-two from the foul line seconds later and after a Cougar turnover, Murray scored on a driving layup, giving the Rockets a 28-26 lead at the half.

Once again, MTCS fought back, taking a 31-30 lead, forcing Toombs to call timeout with 6:21 remaining in the third quarter.

Forrest pulls ahead

Graham Anglin nailed a 3-pointer to seesaw the lead back to Forrest, who would outscore the Cougars 5-1 the rest of the period to take a 37-32 into the fourth quarter.

Another Anglin long bomb opened the period for the Rockets and Brown followed with another 3-pointer to push the Forrest lead to 43-32.

Barr Ellenburg and Brown swapped buckets, but from there the Rockets went cold and the Cougars took advantage, outscoring Forrest 14-3 and tying the game on an Ellenburg basket with 53 seconds left in regulation.

Both squads turned the ball over on the next two possessions and the game went to overtime where Ellenburg scored the first three points in the extra period, giving MTCS a 49-46 lead.

Tied up

The Rockets would claw their way back in, tying the game twice from the free throw with the second occurrence at the hand of Hengesbach, making it a 51-51 contest.

Forrest would not be able to find a way to score a field goal as the Cougars pulled away at 56-52 before a Hengesbach uncontested trey ended the game with FHS falling to 1-7 on the season and 0-2 in District 9A play.

"The pressure didn't hurt us as much as us trying to hurry up and get rid of it. No one wanted it," Toombs said. "I'm optimistic but at the same time, I've got to find some know what I mean."

Coming next

A matchup at Community tonight looms for the Rockets as the Vikings are struggling as well with a 2-5 overall record, while its only league contest ended in a 60-58 loss versus Cascade Tuesday night at Unionville.

"Community is going to be tough.....Cascade beat them with a buzzer-beater, so it's going to be a tough challenge," Toombs said.

MTCS 8 18 6 14 10-56

FHS 12 16 9 9 8-54

MTCS-Barr Ellenburg 22, Kevin Hill 10, Nate Howell 9, Trey Hickey 7, Joseph Peck 5.

Three-point goals-Howell 1, Ellenburg 1.

Free throws-Peck 3-4, Hickey 1-2, Ellenburg 4-8, Luke Howell 0-2.

FHS-Donovan Murray 18, Korbin Brown 13, Ty Hengesbach 9, Graham Anglin 8, DJ Jones 4, Austin Bailey 2.

Three-point goals-Hengesbach 2, Anglin 2, Brown 1, Murray 1.

Free throws-Murray 3-4, Brown 2-2, Bailey 2-6, Jones 0-1, Hengesbach 1-2.