Rockets crush Eagleville in World Tournament consolation game

Friday, January 27, 2017
Joseph Whittaker, who led all scorers with 15, battled in the low post all game for the Rockets, who prevailed 46-12 over Eagleville in Saturday's World Tournament consolation game. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After fighting tournament favorite Page in a close loss in Thursday's opening round, the FMS Rockets came out on fire in Saturday's consolation game of the 55th Annual World Tournament, dismantling Eagleville in a 46-12 coast-to-coast win.

"I felt the team improved as the season progressed and I'm proud of our eighth graders work ethic and leadership," FMS coach Robby Reasonover said.

The Rockets (10-12) turned in their best defensive effort of the season, smothering the Eagles, who did not score more than five points in any of the four quarters.

Forrest went to the press early and stayed with the strategy the entire game as Eagleville had no answer to the Rockets' pressure that forced 10 first half turnovers and 19 total in the contest.

"We had put so much emphasis on pressing that past few games, it was hard to get out of that mindset," Reasonover said. "Our goal was to emphasize early pressure and get some turnovers and easy scores."

Joseph Whittaker, who led all scorers in the game with 15 points set the tone with his low post dominance early in the contest, scoring the first seven points in the game.

The Forrest defensive pressure was stifling on the Eagles as Max Kirby came up with a steal and score to make it 9-0 and moments later, seventh-grader Blake Burnham swiped the rock and went the distance for a layup as the Rockets went up 11-0.

Eagleville finally got on the board at the 1:23 mark of the first period when Zach Carter drained a 3-pointer.

Max Kirby comes up with a steal and score in the Rockets' big win over the Eagles.

Kirby scored again to finish off the first quarter as the Rockets took a 10-point lead to the second period and had a chance to really pull away early, but could not convert some easy layups off of Eagleville turnovers.

"We were somewhat successful getting turnovers but not as successful finishing plays and scoring," Reasonover said.

Carter scored for the Eagles and Whittaker came up with a bucket on a rebound and put-back before Reasonover called timeout with 2:05 remaining in the first half.

The Rockets settled in and went to work in the low post and scored the final eight points in the first half with CJ Sanchez tallying the first four-in-a-row, while Whittaker had another put-back and John Reasonover scored the last field goal, giving the Rockets a big 23-5 lead at the break.

Kaden Snitzer scored four points for Eagleville to begin the second half before the Rockets took off again and this time it was for good.

"The third quarter I felt like we firmly took hold of the game by executing our offense and rebounding," Reasonover said. "Joseph Whitaker established himself as a force in the paint with his post moves and put-backs."

Snitzer's second basket made it a 30-9 ballgame before the Rockets scored 10 straight to end the period, including a big contribution from seventh-graders John Randall Dippold, who came up with a steal and score and Burnham nailed a 3-pointer to end the third quarter with Forrest in front 40-9.

"I'm also excited for the seventh graders because they got quite a bit of quality playing time to prepare them for next year," Reasonover said. "Overall I feel the future is bright for Forrest men's basketball."

Another seventh-grader Hunter Bennett tallied a basket in the final period.

Sanchez and Andrew Timmons, who both scored two points in the fourth quarter were named to the All-Tournament team.

Page beat Cannon County 47-29 in the title game.

FMS 13 10 17 6-46

Eagleville 3 2 4 3-12

FMS (46): Joseph Whittaker 15, Andrew Timmons 7, Max Kirby 6, CJ Sanchez 6, Blake Burnham 5, John Randall Dippold 3, John Reasonover 2, Hunter Bennett 2

3-point goals (1): Burnham

Free throws (9-for-20): Whittaker 5-for-8, Sanchez 2-for-2, Timmons 1-for-3, Dippold 1-for-2, Burnham 0-for-1, Kirby 0-for-2, Bennett 0-for-2

Eagleville (12): Zach Carter 5, Kaden Snitzer 5, Isaac Petit 2

3-point goals (1): Carter

Free throws (1-for-8): Snitzer 1-for-5, Carter 0-for-1, Austin Spann 0-for-2

Halftime score: FMS 23, Eagleville 5