Knights win at Chapel Hill, Rockets fall to cellar
The Nolensville Knights (14-9, 6-1) held on to first place in the District 12-AA standings with a 69-57 win at Forrest Monday night, while the Rockets (5-18, 1-6) fell to the cellar.
The Knights got some help in taking over the top spot from Murfreesboro Central Magnet as they beat Marshall County 60-50 at Lewisburg Monday night.
The Rockets lost by 32 points when the two teams met at Nolensville earlier in the season and Forrest played good enough Monday night to get the win, but just couldn’t get a few breaks late in the third quarter and early in the fourth period to pull off the upset.
“They played hard, the ball bounces certain ways and when it doesn’t bounce your way it makes it really hard,” Forrest coach Randy Toombs. “It was a good effort.”
Sam Ford had 19 points to lead all scorers in the game, while Ty Hengesbach (12) and Cameron Curtis (11) were also in double figures.
Martin Stewart added seven points, Spencer McCown had five, and Mitchell Everett netted three for the Rockets.
Nolensville also had three players in doubles figures with Reese Gilbert leading the way with 17 points, while Nate Bloedorn had 15, and Nathan Foutch added 14.
“We really worked hard on taking as many hits as we possibly could, but sometimes those guys in the stripes don’t let you do what you need to do, but it is what it is,” Toombs said. “Nate is a good player, a good kid too, I think he is number one in their class at Nolensville.”
“He’s tough, he’s not as tough on the original catch and finish, but he is really tough on the second chance looks, it’s hard to stop him.”
Zach Campbell had seven points, Jayden Watkins six, Davin Watkins five, Riley Byron and Chris Rooney netted a deuce, and Hudson Stromen had one marker.
Things didn’t look good early for the Rockets as Nolensville jumped out to a 10-point lead late in the first quarter before Forrest cut the lead in half at the end of the period behind a Hengesbach 3-pointer and a Ford pull-up jumper in the lane.
The Knights attacked again with a 7-2 run to start the second period, building their lead back to 10 points at 25-15.
The Rockets dug in, putting together a 7-1 run on a 3-pointer by Hengesbach and field goals by Stewart and Ford to make it 26-22 contest.
Nolensville took the same four-point lead to the third quarter as they held a 31-27 edge.
The Rockets meant business to start the second half as Everett and Curtis nailed 3-pointers, sandwiched around a Bloedorn bucket in the paint to tie the game at 33.
The Knights came back, dealing a serious blow to the Rockets via a 10-2 run capped off by a Bloedorn dunk that forced a Forrest timeout with 2:33 remaining in the third period.
The Rockets did not let Nolensville score for the remainder of the third quarter and cut the Knights’ lead to 45-38 on two free throws by Curtis and one charity shot by Ford.
Nolensville scored the first four points in the fourth quarter and it became harder and harder for the Rockets to make up some ground.
The closest Forrest got to the lead for the remainder of the game was eight points at 56-48 on a Ford basket midway through the fourth period as the Knights maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
Forrest plays its final regular season home game of the year when they entertain intra-county rival Marshall County at Chapel Hill tonight with tipoff scheduled in the girls game for 6 p.m.
“I’m excited about that one, I’m ready for that one,” Toombs said. “I’m glad this one is over and now I’m excited about that one.”
“I’ll go home and watch a little bit and fix some of our defensive miscues in the second half, but I’m excited about the one Friday.”
The Rockets travel to Community (Tuesday) and Murfreesboro Central Magnet (Friday) next week to wrap up the regular season before the District 12-AA Tournament begins at Forrest beginning on February 11 and the Region 6-AA Tournament is at East Hickman.
“I’m hoping they start believing in themselves a little bit better and taking the things they do well and piling it on,” Toombs said.
Nolensville 18 13 14 24-69
Forrest 13 14 11 19-57
Nolensville (69): Reese Gilbert 17, Nate Bloedorn 15, Nathan Foutch 14, Zach Campbell 7, Jayden Watkins 6, Davin Watkins 5, Riley Byron 2, Chris Rooney 2, Hudson Stromen 1.
3-Point Goals (5): Jayden Watkins 2, Gilbert 2, Davin Watkins.
Free Throws (14-for-23): Foutch 6-for-6, Campbell 3-for-4, Bloedorn 1-for-6, Davin Watkins 2-for-4, Stromen 1-for-2, Gilbert 1-for-1.
Forrest (57): Sam Ford 19, Ty Hengesbach 12, Cameron Curtis 11, Martin Stewart 7, Spencer McCown 5, Mitchell Everett 3.
3-Point Goals (7): Curtis 2, Hengesbach 2, Ford 2, Everett.
Free Throws (6-for-9): Ford 3-for-3, Curtis 1-for-2, McCown 1-for-2, Stewart 1-for-2.
Halftime Score: Nolensville 31, Forrest 27.
District 12-AA Standings
Nolensville (14-9, 6-1)
Marshall County (11-12, 5-2)
Murfreesboro Central Magnet (15-8, 4-3)
Community (14-10, 3-4)
Giles County (5-13, 2-5)
Forrest (5-18, 1-6)