Rockets take Vikings to the limit in 1-point loss
The regular season finale was an encouraging performance by the Forrest Rockets, who took Perry County (13-10) to the limit before falling late 48-47 Thursday night at Chapel Hill.
"We just gave them too many second chances, if we could have limited them by three of those we would have been ok, a few less turnovers we would be ok, if we could have taken a few smarter shots, we would be ok," Forrest coach Randy Toombs said. "It was a nice outing. It was encouraging, but it is so encouraging that you just want to win."
The Rockets were led by Donovan Murray, who scored 17 points and Ty Hengesbach continued his late season form, knocking down four 3-pointers in the contest as the freshman finished with 14 points.
Forrest looked sharp at the outset as Austin Bailey and Murray hit 3-pointers that sent the Rockets off to a 6-1 lead.
Perry County put together a huge 11-2 run before Dylan Jones knocked down a low post bucket with less than a minute to go, and after a Vikings' missed shot, Murray scored the final basket of the period, tying the game at 12.
The Vikings went on to take a 22-17 lead, including a slam dunk by Parker Brown, but one Murray free throw, followed by a rebound and follow by Jacob Rich cut the Perry County lead to two points at 22-20.
From there, Linden went on an 8-3 mini-run to end the first half with a 30-23 lead.
The Rockets refueled at the half and came out charged up as Bailey nailed two free throws after a drive to the bucket and Hengesbach followed with a 3-pointer, making it a 30-28 contest.
Alex Broadway hit one free throw for Perry County and Hengesbach countered with a pair for Forrest before the Vikings turned the ball over and Murray scored, giving the Rockets a 32-31 lead with 3:36 remaining in the third quarter and forcing a visitor's timeout.
Drew Irwin scored out of the stoppage to retake the lead for the Vikings and after a Forrest missed shot moments later, Dallas Trull made a 3-pointer, making it 36-32.
The hot-handed Hengesbach rained down a 3-pointer in front of the Forrest bench and Murray came up with one free throw for the final point of the period with 2.8 seconds left.
Hengesbach nailed a 3-pointer to give the Chapel Hill five a 40-36 lead at the outset of the fourth quarter before Perry County took control, going on a back-breaking 10-0 run that put the Vikings up 46-40 with one minute remaining in the game.
Forrest trailed 48-43 with 40 seconds left but would not fold as Murray scored, and after a Rockets' timeout with 20 seconds remaining, Murray swiped the rock and dashed in for layup.
The theft sliced the Perry County lead to a single digit at 48-47 as Toombs called timeout.
Brown was fouled and with just a 0.9 tick left on the clock, he clanked one off the rim and the game ended.
Forrest (5-22) faces Moore County (3-21) tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in a District 9A Tournament play-in game at Forrest.
"They have seen us twice, he knows what they need to do to stop us and we know what we need to do to do better," Toombs said. "I told them, we don't want anyone else using out locker room the rest of the week, we want to keep using it too."
Perry County 12 18 6 12-48
Forrest 12 11 14 10-47
Perry County-Samuel Foust 12, Parker Brown 10, Randall Scott 9, Dallas Trull 7, Drew Irwin 5, Alex Broadway 3, Brock Young 2.
3-point goals-Trull 1, Scott 1.
Free throws-Young 2-2, Brown 0-3, Irwin 1-2, Parker Bates 0-2, Broadway 1-2, Foust 2-4.
Forrest-Donovan Murray 17, Ty Hengesbach 14, Austin Bailey 5, Jacob Rich 4, Dylan Jones 4, Korbin Brown 3.
3-point goals-Hengesbach 4, Murray 1.
Free throws-Murray 4-7, Brown 1-2, Hengesbach 2-2, Bailey 2-2, Jones 2-4.
Halftime score-Perry County 30, Forrest 23.