Patriots pull away, Rockets drop 10th straight

Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Forrest's Korbin Brown fires up a 3-pointer in the third quarter against Page. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Page (6-5) handed the Forrest Rockets their 10th straight loss on Monday afternoon when the Patriots defeated FHS 77-58 at the Eagleville Christmas Classic.

Forrest (1-12) hung tough for much of the first half and trailed by only three points midway through the second quarter, but Page used a run late in the stanza to open up a 45-35 lead at the break before outscoring the Rockets 32-23 over the final two periods to take home the 19-point victory.


Although they hit only 4-of-19 three-point attempts, the Patriots had their way in the paint and racked up 29 field goals on 43 percent shooting, highlighted by an 11-of-21 effort in the second quarter. Page also outrebounded the Rockets 40-26 and held an 18-7 edge on the offensive glass.

Shooting guard Darrien James led a balanced Patriot offensive attack and paced four Page players in double figures with 19 points. Will Pierce and Brock Nason also tallied 15 points apiece for the Patriots as well, while Stewart Ringstaff added 11.

The Rocket shot 44 percent (22-of-50) from the field, but made just 2-of-16 attempts from beyond the arc and committed 19 turnovers.

"We just can't seem to get past our turnovers and our poor shot selection. I don't think we did much right defensively either. It was a tough night overall and it's hard to find positives," FHS coach Randy Toombs said.

Within range

Donnie Murray drives around Page's Garrett Sharp in the first quarter.

Shooting guard Donnie Murray kept the Rockets within striking distance early on and poured in 18 of his game high 23 points in the first half. David Andrews followed Murray with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Jacob Rich and Ty Hengesbach chipped in seven and six points respectively.

Page jumped out to an early 5-0 lead before the Rockets went on a 7-0 run behind five points from Murray to seize a 7-5 advantage.

The Patriots then rattled off seven straight points to pull ahead 12-7, but Forrest outscored Page 9-3 over the next 2:36 with the help of seven points from Murray to grab a 16-15 lead late in the first quarter.

After the Patriots tallied the last four points of the first quarter to claim a 19-16 advantage, Murray and Andrews sandwiched a pair of layups around a basket by Pierce to narrow the gap to 21-20 early in the second period.

Within range

Page used an 8-4 spurt to stretch its lead to 29-24 before Murray scored on a layup to trim the deficit to 29-26 with 4:20 left in the half.

The Patriots began to open up some breathing room after that point and put together a 16-6 run to forge a 45-32 advantage late in the second quarter.

Rich buried a three in the waning seconds of the half to close the gap to 45-35 at the break, but Page tallied five of the first seven points of the third quarter to push its lead to 50-37.

Murray converted a three-point play to whittle the deficit to 50-40 midway through the third period, but the Patriots responded with a 12-6 burst to open up a 62-46 cushion early in the fourth quarter.

Last gasp

The Rockets made one final push and reeled off seven straight points thanks to a Graham Anglin three-point play and a pair of baskets by Rich and Andrews to make it 62-53 with 5:31 left.

Page, though, kept Forrest at arm's length down the stretch and outscored the Rockets 15-5 the rest of the way to wrap up their 77-58 triumph.

Forrest: 16 19 11 12- 58

Page: 19 26 16 16- 77

Forrest: Donnie Murray 23, David Andrews 12, Jacob Rich 7, Ty Hengesbach 6, Graham Anglin 4, Korbin Brown 2, Austin Bailey 2, Mitchell Everett 2.

Page: Darrien James 19, Will Pierce 15, Brock Nason 15, Stewart Ringstaff 11, Garrett Sharp 5, Nick Burns 3, Trey Haney 2, Danyale 2, Peyton Wigginton 2, Luke Johnson 2, Isaiah Forrest 1.

Three point field goals: Forrest (2): Murray, Jacob Rich; Page (4): James 2, Sharp, Ringstaff.

Halftime score: Page 45, Forrest 35.