Rockets drop seventh straight
The Forrest Rockets (1-10, 0-3) are in the basement of the District 9A standings after suffering their seventh consecutive loss Friday night via a 49-37 defeat at the hands of the Community Vikings (3-6, 2-0) at Chapel Hill.
The Rockets actually held a 4-3 first quarter lead after a Jacob Rich bucket before things went downhill fast as Unionville went on a 10-4 run to end the period with a 14-8 lead.
Community's Alex Mitchell and Rich traded baskets at the outset of the second quarter, but a 3-pointer by Thomas Buchanon and four points in the low post by Nathan Smith gave the Vikings a 21-10 lead, forcing a Forrest timeout with 3:04 remaining in the first half.
"They hurt us bad in the post, but we got open shots to try and match what they were doing in the post and couldn't knock them down," Forrest coach Randy Toombs said. "It seems to be a broken record with post play being the dominant issue. I've stated before....if we aren't hitting shots, we are in trouble."
"Combined that with the fact that we are only getting one look at the basket, doesn't help our effort."
Ryley McClaran, who led Forrest with 11 points nailed a 3-pointer only to see Community score the final three points in the second period, doubling up the score at 26-13 at the half.
"We need to work harder on getting Ryley free to get more looks or start knocking down shots," Toombs added.
The beginning of the third quarter signaled the end for Forrest as Community scored six straight to take a 34-13 lead with 5:30 remaining in the period.
Mitchell Everett, Austin Bailey and McClaran scored one basket each in the quarter for Forrest, but the Unionville squad led 38-19, entering the final eight minutes.
Both squads went to the bench in the fourth quarter and the Rockets outscored the Vikings 18-11 in the stanza behind a pair of 3-pointers by McClaran, five points by Cole Villazon (one trey), two points apiece by Rich and Joel Burton and one free throw by Evan Hampton.
"As far as production from the guys in the fourth...they were playing against community's subs as well, so I need more consistent production out of those guys during JV games," Toombs said. "Villazon, (Spencer) McCown, Burton and the rest are still getting their basketball legs under them."
Smith led all scorers in the contest with 21 points and Dustin Whittaker was also in double figures with 12.
After a home games versus Summertown and Eagleville this week, the Rockets have a bunch of non-district games over the holiday season to try to get things going before the meat of the District 9A season commences in January.
"We will see what they can do against non-district opponents," Toombs said. "The boys will bounce back fine, they always do. They know we have peaks and valleys to get through, so this one is in the books and now onto Summertown on Tuesday."
Community 14 12 15 11-49
Forrest 8 5 6 18-37
Community (49): Nathan Smith 21, Dillon Whittaker 12, Corde Lane 6, Jackson Wisener 4, Thomas Buchanon 3, Jarrett Collier 2, Alex Mitchell 2
3-point goals (1): Buchanon
Free throws (9-for-13): Smith 5-for-6, Whittaker 4-for-5, Wisener 0-for-2, Zac Monroe 0-for-2
Forrest (37): Ryley McClaran 11, Jacob Rich 10, Cole Villazon 5, Ty Hengesbach 2, Joel Burton 2, Austin Bailey 2, Mitchell Everett 2, Sam Ford 2, Evan Hampton 1
3-point goals (4): McClaran 3, Villazon
Free throws (5-for-10): McClaran 2-for-2, Rich 2-for-4, Hampton 1-for-2, Burton 0-for-2