Rockets close with first-round loss
One of the hardest things to do over the course of a basketball season is to beat the same team three times in one year and Forrest faced that daunting versus Moore County in a District 9A Tournament pay-in on Saturday, just over a week after the Rockets pummeled the Raiders in Chapel Hill by 22 points.
The time old adage proved true as the Rockets (5-23) lost 59-54 in overtime, ending a 20-game losing streak for the Raiders (4-22) and effectively ending the season on a down note for Forrest.
"Moore County has always done a good job, LaVon (King) has always done a good job with them," Forrest coach Randy Toombs said. "Moore County is always going to be ready when tournament time comes around. So this didn't surprise me, never has surprised when they play well in the tournament. I think just a few little cogs in the wheel there at the end didn't help us out."
Moore County jumped out to an early eight-point lead in the opening frame but the Rockets fought back to take a comfortable 23-16 lead into halftime.
Seniors Korbin Brown and Donnie Murray led the Rockets with 20 and 12 points respectively, and David Andrews led the Rockets with nine rebounds and scored two points.
Jacob Rich added three points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
"I think we played together as a team," Rich said. "We weren't going around out there playing selfish or anything, we just fought together as a team. That's the way it should be, we played the right way."
Will Slatten led the Raiders with 18 points.
The Raiders erased the Rocket halftime edge with a 9-1 run to start the third period to tie the game at 24-24.
Brown drilled a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to give the Rockets a 44-41 lead with 3:22 seconds remaining, but a Julius Dixon baseline jumper tied the game at 47 with 32 seconds remaining.
The Rockets had one last shot for the win, but Austin Bailey passed up a 3-pointer and was called for traveling driving into the lane with nine seconds remaining.
The Raiders jumped out to a quick 54-47 lead in overtime after a Dixon 3-pointer with 2:02 left in the game, but the Rockets stormed back on a Brown layup and a subsequent Brown steal and lay-in to cut the lead to 56-54.
The Raiders would make 1-of-2 free throws giving the Rockets one more shot at a tie but a Ryley McClaran 3-point attempt was blocked and the Raiders walked away with the three-point upset win.
"I thought my guys fought well," Toombs said. "We had our normal mistakes, but for the most part I thought they fought very well. I'm very proud of them."
Forrest 8 15 11 13 7-54
Moore Co. 10 6 19 12 12-59
Forrest-Donnie Murray 12, Korbin Brown 20, Ty Hengesbach 9, Austin Bailey 2, Jacob Rich 2, Dylan Jones 6, David Andrews 2.
Moore County-Clay Burnett 5, Montana Driver 11, Jay Laymon 10, Will Slatten 18, Julius Dixon 15.
3-point goals-Moore County (1) - Dixon. Forrest (5) - Murray, Brown, Hengesbach 3.
Halftime score-Forrest 23, Moore County 16.