Rockets open district play with road win at Pulaski

Friday, January 11, 2019
Sam Ford drains a free throw in Forrest’s 76-69 win at Giles County Tuesday night.
Tribune photo by Dennis Holley

Like the Lady Rockets, the Forrest boys came to Pulaski looking for a victory to begin District 12-AA play. Forrest (5-12) and Giles County (3-9) on paper look well-matched and as things progressed they both proved this to be a correct assumption. In a game that featured fast and furious action, both teams gave the crowd a game that high school boys basketball is all about with the Rockets coming out on top 76-69.

From the tip-off that Giles County controlled, but could not convert, the Rockets came out blazing. Spencer McCown nailed a basket, Sam Ford drained a three, and after another Forrest 3-pointer, the Rockets were off and running. Up and down the court both teams raced, warming up the motors that went blazing as the game progressed. Despite sloppy play by both teams, a Forrest trey at the buzzer meant that the Rockets’ lead stood at 22-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Forrest continued their fast start as the second quarter began with Ford shooting straight and true. A three combined with two field goals and with McCown heating up as well, Forrest stretched the lead. Playing at such a fast pace both teams made every trip down court an adventure with crisp passes that sometimes glanced off finger tips, fast hands that deflected dribbles down the lane, and steals abounded. The crowd began to get into the game. After a soft jumper in the lane by McCown, Forrest built its lead to 40-26 at the end of the first half.

After the half, Giles County made a comeback.

Ford continued to score for the Rockets, but the Bobcats little by little came crawling back into the game. At the end of the third quarter Forrest was still up 55-49. The action heated up and both teams raced after the ball. Fouls began to mount for both teams and with the crowd jumping, the fourth quarter got faster.

Back and forth they went until Forrest committed its seventh team foul, putting Giles County in a one-and-one situation at the free throw line. At the 4:31 mark, Giles County had closed to 61-54.

A technical foul on a Bobcat helped Forrest stretch the lead to 10. With 3:12 remaining in the contest, Forrest was still up 66-59.

A dunk by Forrest’s Martin Stewart pumped the crowd. Missed free throws by Forrest and a missed dunk by Giles County bounded off the rim and the Bobcats got no closer. Ford iced it with two free throws as Forrest took the 10-point win.

After the game Forrest coach Randy Toombs was asked if this game was good for the players, but bad on the coaches, he replied, “It was hard on everybody except the players.” Asked if this kind of game would help his team, Toombs said, “Absolutely, this type of game will help as the team goes forward.”

Ought to be a great game in Chapel Hill on January 25 when the Bobcats come calling.