Rockets falling down district standings

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Martin Stewart leaps over one of teammates as he is introduced prior to the Rockets taking on Community in Friday night’s Homecoming game at Chapel Hill.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets gave it all they had in Friday night’s Homecoming game versus Community, but just couldn’t get some shots to fall at the crucial moments or receive a fortunate bounce when they needed it as they suffered a tough 52-42 loss.

“It was another tough loss,” Forrest coach Randy Toombs said. “We can't seem to get our offense on the move. Our defense is keeping the score where we want it, but we can't seem to get our shots to go down.”

Alex Mitchell nailed a 3-pointer for Community to kick off the contest and the Vikings ran out to lead by as many as nine points in the first quarter before Forrest began to find some rhythm on offense.

Forrest’s Spencer McCown (10) splits three Community defenders on his way for a layup.

A Ty Hengesbach bucket began an 8-2 run for the Rockets that cut the lead to three points at 15-12 on a Spencer McCown basket on the next to the last possession of the first quarter.

Unfortunately, the final tally of the period was put up by Community’s Kobe Pride and the Rockets trailed 17-12.

After two made free throws by the Vikings to start the second quarter, the Rockets really began to dig into the Community lead.

Mitchell Everett got things going with a 2-for-2 trip to the free throw line and Hengesbach followed with one more charity shot moments later to make it a 19-15 contest.

The Vikings were forced into a turnover by a toughening Forrest defense, but the Rockets could not convert on the front end of a one-and-one bonus opportunity from the free throw line.

Forrest kept digging on defense and a missed shot by the Vikings led to a Martin Stewart rebound and put-back at the other end, slicing the Unionville lead to two points.

Community could not convert on offense once again and the Rockets had a chance to tie the game on another one-and-one try as Stewart made the first, but the second shot slipped off the rim.

Pride made one free throw and the Vikings called timeout with 4:55 remaining in the second period.

After the stoppage, Community went on an 8-1 run to end the first half with a 28-19 lead.

Cameron Curtis drains one of his three 3-pointers on the night for the Rockets.

Jackson Bailey opened up the second half with a basket for Community before Cameron Curtis drilled a 3-pointer for the Rockets to make it an eight-point game.

That was as close as Forrest got to the lead in the third period and they trailed by 11, entering the fourth quarter.

Community began to pull away in the final stanza as they led by 14 points at 46-32, but the Rockets did not give up as Hengesbach converted on a swipe and score.

Forrest’s final push came via another Curtis 3-pointer to cut the lead to 10 and a late Sam Ford trey that made it a nine-point game, but the Rockets ran out of time.

Curtis and Ford led the Rockets in the scoring column with 11 points apiece.

Stewart finished with six, Hengesbach and McCown netted five, while Everett and Andrew Timmons both tallied a deuce.

Corde Lane led all scorers in the game with 21 points for the Vikings.

Forrest (5-15, 1-3) fell to fifth place in the District 12-AA standings, but the good news is Friday night’s game was the first of five consecutive league games at Chapel Hill.

The Rockets took on Murfreesboro Central Magnet last night and host Giles County Friday night.

“We need these next two and we are still in a great spot for the district run,” Tombs said. “There is still a bunch of basketball left to play and our shooting can only get better, so that's a positive in our court.”

Next week, Forrest hosts its final two regular season district games of the season when first place Nolensville comes to Chapel Hill on Tuesday and the Rockets will be out for revenge on Friday night when they entertain intra-county rival Marshall County, who took a nine-point 77-68 win at Lewisburg last week.

“The biggest positive is everything is at our gym, so we really need to get shooting and scoring,” Toombs said.

Community 17 11 13 11-52

Forrest 12 7 11 12-42

Community (52): Corde Lane 21, Alex Mitchell 14, Jackson Bailey 6, Kobe Pride 6, Will Reid 2, Evan Petrie 2, Tyrese Eady 1.

3-Point Goals (2): Mitchell 2.

Free Throws (16-for-32): Lane 7-for-12, Pride 4-for-8, Mitchell 2-for-3, Reid 2-for-2, Eady 1-for-2, Petrie 0-for-3, Bailey 0-for-2.

Forrest (42): Cameron Curtis 11, Sam Ford 11, Martin Stewart 6, Ty Hengesbach 5, Spencer McCown 5, Mitchell Everett 2, Andrew Timmons 2.

3-Point Goals (3): Curtis 3.

Free Throws (5-for-14): Stewart 1-for-4, Everett 2-for-2, Hengesbach 1-for-2, McCown 1-for-2, Curtis 0-for-2, Lofton Yeager 0-for-2.

Halftime Score: Community 28, Forrest 19.