Rockets let one slip away

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Cameron Curtis (0), who scored a game-high 19 points in the Rockets’ 70-69 loss to Cascade, watches as his rainbow 3-pointer hits nothing but net in the first quarter.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After a tough, one-point loss at Martin Luther King Magnet School Friday night, the Forrest Rockets just missed again at Chapel Hill on Tuesday when they wasted a fourth quarter comeback in a 70-69 setback versus Cascade.

“I have the most undisciplined team I have ever had here,” Forrest coach Randy Toombs said.

Asked what’s wrong, Toombs said, “We didn’t have good backside help, not playing good man-to-man defense, not helping when we needed to help, not being up the line allowing people to do what they want to do, people on the boards staring and watching.”

The Rockets (1-7) have lost seven games in a row after opening the season with a 52-40 win over Hickman County.

“I don’t know how positive I can be, I mean that should have been a 20-point win, it shouldn’t have been a one-point loss,” Toombs added. “There are no more moral victories anymore, there is no more mommy and daddies, ‘you all did a great job’, it’s a loss, it’s a loss and if we can’t get that in our heads and understand the mistakes we are making and not taking care of the basketball and not being in the disciplined spots we are supposed to be in, we are going to continue to have ‘our one-point moral victories’.”

“There are no excuses, we don’t have any, we have four seniors on the floor, four of them and they’re too worried about what the referees are calling instead of what they are supposed to be worried about on the floor, bottom line.”

Forrest had a balanced offensive attack with four players in double figures in the scoring column versus the Champions as Cameron Curtis led all scorers in the game with 19 points.

Spencer McCown, Sam Ford, and Ty Hengesbach all had 13 points, while Mitchell Everett netted eight, and Andrew Timmons had one 3-pointer.

The Champions had five players in double figures as Steele Carter led the way with 16 points, while Brandon Heath, Seth Countess, and Jaden Russell all tallied 11 points apiece, and Noah Maddox scored 10.

Dalton Vaughn had six and Chay Chumley chipped in with five points.

Cascade jumped out to an early 10-3 lead before the Rockets came back to tie the game on one Hengesbach free throw and back-to-back 3-pointers by Curtis.

The Champions put together a 6-2 mini-run capped off by a Maddox rebound and put-back before Curtis nailed two free throws to end the first quarter with the Rockets trailing 18-14.

Forrest hung tough in the second quarter as they trailed by as many as 12 points before cutting the Cascade lead to eight at the half, 32-24.

Sam Ford had a huge second half, scoring nine of his 13 points in the Rockets’ comeback after the intermission.

The two squads traded baskets to begin the second half when Ford got hot, scoring five straight to bring the Rockets to within one point of the lead at 34-33.

Every time the Rockets got close, Cascade managed to stay in front, eventually building a seven-point lead at 49-42 on a Carter rebound and put-back with one minute to go in the third quarter.

Forrest stayed on their heels as McCown knocked in a rebound Everett hit one free throw to make it a four-point game until a Chumley field goal ended the third period to put the Champions in front 51-45, entering the fourth quarter.

Sam Ford had a huge second half, scoring nine of his 13 points in the Rockets’ comeback after the intermission.

Hengesbach drilled a 3-pointer early in the final period and then made two free throws moments later to slice the Cascade lead to one point and with 5:02 remaining in the contest, Forrest took its first lead of the game when Curtis made two free throws after stealing the ball.

Ford came up with another steal and score to give the Rockets a three-point lead at 56-53, but a three-point play the old-fashioned way by Vaughn re-knotted the game at 56.

With the score tied at 58, Heath was fouled and made two free throws before Hengesbach drained a long bomb to put Forrest up by one point at 61-60.

The lead seesawed back to Cascade at 63-61 before the FHS freshman Timmons nailed a 3-pointer from the corner, only to see Vaughn drill a long bomb to put Cascade in front 66-64 with 1:38 left in the contest.

Forrest went cold from the field and Cascade managed to make a couple of foul shots to go up 68-64 and they had the ball with 30 seconds remaining in the game when Hengesbach gave the Rockets some final hope when he stole the rock and scored to make it a two-point game with 24.6 seconds left.

Forrest got another chance to tie or go ahead when they got the ball back and called timeout after two missed Cascade free throws with 13.5 seconds remaining in the game.

It was not to be as the Rockets turned the ball over after the stoppage and two Carter free throws made it a two possession game.

Cascade (2-5) needed the cushion as Hengesbach nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 70-69 final.

The Rockets entertain Summertown (7-1) Friday night and are hoping to avenge a lopsided 80-54 loss at the Forrest Thanksgiving Tournament on November 23.

Asked about how the Rockets can improve enough to avenge the loss, Toombs stated, “I don’t know, I don’t have an answer. That has to come from within. I’ll just start playing people who can shut their mouth and do what I ask them to do, whether we win by 20 or whether we lose by 20.”

Forrest has lost five straight to the Eagles and eight out of the last 10.

Cascade 18 14 19 19-70

Forrest 14 10 21 24-69

Cascade (70): Steele Carter 16, Brandon Heath 11, Seth Countess 11, Jaden Russell 11, Noah Maddox 10, Dalton Vaughn 6, Chay Chumley 5.

Three-point goals (5): Heath 2, Maddox 2, Vaughn 1.

Free-Throws (15-for-27): Heath 5-for-8, Carter 4-for-7, Maddox 4-for-4, Countess 1-for-3, Chumley 1-for-4, Russell 1-for-1.

Forrest (69): Cameron Curtis 19, Spencer McCown 13, Sam Ford 13, Ty Hengesbach 13, Mitchell Everett 8, Andrew Timmons 3.

Three-point goals (8): Curtis 3, Hengesbach 2, McCown 1, Everett 1, Timmons 1.

Free Throws (11-for-16): Curtis 6-for-7, McCown 2-for-2, Hengesbach 1-for-2, Everett 1-for-2, Ford 1-for-3.

Halftime Score: Cascade 32, Forrest 24.