FMS comeback secures title berth

Friday, December 15, 2017
Andrew Timmons ices the game from the free throw line with 24 seconds left, sending the FMS Rockets to the DRVC title game tomorrow at 1:45 p.m. in Unionville.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After a one year drought, the FMS Rockets are back in the Duck River Valley Conference Tournament (DRVC) title game thanks to a gutty performance Thursday night at Unionville in the tournament semifinals versus Fayetteville.

The Rockets trailed at the end of every quarter except the one that mattered when they came back with an inspired fourth quarter to beat the Tigers 28-22.

“That’s what they have been doing all year,” said Forrest alum Jacob Daughrity, who has been coaching the Rockets as head coach Randy Toombs does double duty with the high school.

“We came together with a strong finish and it was a great team effort,” Daughrity added. “They finished the game and that’s what they are great at, they are great at playing as a team and finishing.”

Andrew Timmons scored half of the Rockets’ points in the contest as the eighth-grader took control every time Forrest needed a push in the rear end.

“Sometimes I feel like he (Timmons) thinks he has to do too much of the work and he dishes it off instead of trying to score,” Daughrity said. “It’s just so unselfish and he knows we are all a team and we have great players who care for each other.”

Timmons scored six points in the fourth quarter, including an ice-cold performance from the free throw line with 24 seconds remaining in the contest when he drained both ends of a one-and-one to make it a two-possession game.

Tayton Swift came up huge for the Rockets, grabbing several late offensive rebounds and scoring five points.

Even though Timmons scored most of the points, it was an all-around effort in the victory as Tayton Swift scored five points and had two crucial offensive rebounds in the final moments of the game.

“One of things we discussed was if we won the boards there was a good chance we would win the game,” Daughrity said. “That’s what we did there at the end, we finished well and we did it at the end when we especially needed it.”

Hunter Bennett had just three points in the game, but they were huge when he put the Rockets in front early in the fourth quarter.

Deason Jones knocks down a first quarter 3-pointer for the Rockets.

Deason Jones had big 3-pointer in the first half and Jeremiah Beasley’s physical presence in the low post created problems the entire game for the Fayetteville inside players.

The Tigers won a low scoring first quarter 6-4 and led 15-11 at the half as the Rockets played good defense, but could not get many good looks at the basket except for Jones’ early trey and eight points by Timmons.

“We had some struggles in the first half, but he (Timmons) corrects that,” Daughrity said. “We have great players with great sportsmanship and that’s what you want on a team.”

Hunter Bennett goes up and under for a second quarter bucket. Bennett nailed a crucial 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to put FMS in front for the first time in the contest.

The third quarter was much of the same as both squads played even ball with Fayetteville in front 20-17 entering the fourth period.

Timmons sent a message right off the bat when he stole the ball and scored to open the stanza and two possessions later, Bennett drilled a long bomb to give FMS its first lead of the game at 22-20.

The Tigers tied the game for the last time on a layup by Brayden Hockett, but Timmons responded by putting Forrest up for good on one free throw with 2:10 left in the game.

Both squads could not put the ball in the bucket until the game changed when Timmons was fouled and it was called a flagrant foul, giving Timmons two shots and possession to FMS.

Timmons hit one-of-two from the line and after a Forrest timeout, Timmons was fouled again and he stepped to the free throw line and canned both shots to put the game on ice at 26-22.

Swift and Beasley hit one free throw apiece in the final seconds to secure the win and send the Rockets to the DRVC title game on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. versus Cascade in Unionville.

“We got some things to fix and I’m glad we got a day off,” Daughrity said. “They have all the chance in the world to win the title and if they just do the fundamental things right and continue to play as a team like they have been and play smart than they have every opportunity to win this championship.”

The Rockets also get a boost as they will have John Randle Dippold back for the game as he has passed concussion protocol.

FMS 4 7 6 11-28

Fayetteville 6 9 5 2-22

FMS (28): Andrew Timmons 14, Tayton Swift 5, Hunter Bennett 5, Deason Jones 3, Jeremiah Beasley 1

3-point Goals (2): Bennett, Jones

Free Throws (6-for-11): Timmons 4-for-7, Swift 1-for-2, Beasley 1-for-2

Fayetteville (22): Graham Pace 7, Brayden Hockett 6, Cason Seals 5, Corian Cash 4

3-point Goals (1): Seals

Free Throws (1-for-6): Pace 1-for-4, Hockett 0-for-2

Halftime Score: Fayetteville 15, FMS 11