Huntland stops Forrest twice at Chapel Hill

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Chapel Hill hoops teams had a chance to make some noise in the District 9A standings Friday night at home versus Huntland, but the visitors swept both contests as the Lady Rockets fell 41-35 before the high-flying Hornets finished sweep via a 76-53 win.

Austin Bailey battles three Huntland defenders on a drive to the hoop for the Rockets, who lost to Huntland 76-53 Friday night at Chapel Hill.

Hornets back up high ranking

The Rockets ran into a buzz saw, facing a third-ranked Hornets squad that was in first place in league play.

"That was a very good Huntland team from one through about eight players and there is a reason they are ranked in the top 10 of the state," Forrest coach Randy Toombs said. "We couldn't really stop them on the defensive end but I felt we could score on them. Just couldn't win the boards and that was a huge advantage for them."

Tight start

The first quarter was tight early and the Rockets held a 5-4 lead after a Korbin Brown bucket before Huntland went on an 11-0 run to basically take control of the contest.

Huntland took a 22-10 into the second quarter and increased its lead as the rebounding deficit began to hurt the Rockets.

"We would get one look to their two or three and that makes it difficult," Toombs said "We have to learn that playing at that competitive level, we need to hit 99 percent of our free throws and fight harder on the boards."

The 12-point deficit would be as close as Forrest would get in the second period and they trailed 46-31 at the intermission.

Jacob Rich puts up a runner in the lane for two of his eight points in the contest.

Hornets pull away

Huntland ballooned its lead to 20 points at the end of third quarter and both coached essentially went to their respective benches in the fourth quarter.

Forrest traveled to Moore County last night and another road trip to Fayetteville looms for Friday night.

The Rockets (2-16, 0-5) are mired in last place in the district standings and are trying to make up some ground before hosting the District 9A tournament.

"We are about to make one pass with the district foes, so hopefully we will continue with some confidence against the rest of our schedule and build with each game left," Toombs said.

Top Rocket

Brown led the Rockets in the scoring column with 14 points and Donovan Murray added 11.

"I still feel we have a few good basketball games left in us if we can cut down on the turnovers," Toombs stated. "That will allow us to be in the rest of the games and with a few big shots, pull a few of these last ones into the win column."

Huntland had four players in double figures in the scoring column with Kobe Foster leading all scorers with 26 points.

Huntland 22 24 16 14-76

Forrest 10 21 11 11-53

Huntland-Kobe Foster 26, Tyler Smith 14, Rahul Patel 10, DJ Taylor 10, Trey Kelley 6, Hunter Bradley 4, Zack Stovall 2, Will Rector 2, Alex Simmons 1, Blake McDonald 1.

Three-point goals-Patel 3, Foster 2.

Free throws-McDonald 1-2, Patel 1-4, Kelley 4-4, Taylor 4-4, Smith 0-4, Simmons 1-2.

Forrest-Korbin Brown 14, Donovan Murray 11, Jacob Rich 8, Austin Bailey 7, Ty Hengesbach 4, Dylan Jones 3, Ryley McClaran 3, Sam Ford 2, Spencer McCown 1.

Three-point goals-Murray, Hengesbach.

Free throws-Murray 0-3, McClaran 1-1, Brown 4-9, Hengesbach 1-2, Bailey 3-4, Rich 4-4, Jones 1-2, McCown 1-2.

Halftime score-Huntland 46, Forrest 31.

Tamia Northcutt looks for a teammate to pass to versus Huntland. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Lady Rockets have a chance before falling to Huntland

The Forrest Lady Rockets suffered their second tough loss in a row Friday night when they succumbed to the Lady Hornets in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 41-35 setback.

The contest was sprightly played by both squads, especially on the defensive end.

Defensive stand

Huntland was very stingy in the first quarter, holding Forrest to a lone Caitlyn Yost basket with 2:57 left in the period, but the Lady Rockets stayed in the game as they allowed just nine points in the period.

"I thought that both teams played really good defense and I am pleased with the energy and focus that the girls had," said Forrest coach Jeremy Jean. "We have to start putting together a complete game. We played good on the offensive end against Summertown and struggled to get stops. Against Huntland, we got stops, but struggled to get going on the offensive end."

The Lady Hornets held the same seven-point lead at 15-8 midway through the second quarter when Forrest made a big run.

Lady Rockets soar

Sydney Hill started the run, scoring in the low post to make it 15-10 and Yost followed moments later with a basket.

An offensive foul on Huntland led to one free throw made by Madison Curtis as the Lady Hornets lead was sliced to 15-13 as time ran out in the first half.

Katey Harmon tied the game with a basket to open up the second half before a 7-0 Huntland run, including a 3-pointer by Caylee McClennan gave the visitors a 22-17 lead.

Harmon nailed a long bomb to cut the margin to two points as Forrest fought back again, eventually taking a 26-24 lead on a Madison Curtis steal and score with two minutes remaining in the third period.

Hailey Collins takes the rock strong to the hole in the first half.

Tied up

Hill added one free throw moments later, but McClennan scored three points before the period ended with the game tied at 27.

Ali Golden scored for Huntland to begin the final eight minutes of play, but a Krista Chapman basket and a subsequent Yost bucket via a Huntland turnover gave the Lady Rockets a 31-29 lead.

The Lady Hornets scored nine out of the next 10 points in the game as the turnover bug hit the Rockets at an inopportune time.

Kyleah Hengesbach gave Forrest some life, nailing a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in the contest to make it 38-35, but Huntland survived for the victory.

"In the fourth quarter we had to many empty possessions, turnovers and forced shots, but like I told the girls after the game, every possession maters," Jean said. "It's just the ones in the fourth quarter are the ones that sticks in everyone's mind. We had some unforced turnovers and took some contested shots in the first half. If we don't have those, the fourth quarter is a different story."

Looking ahead

Forrest faced a Moore squad last night, trying to break a four-game losing streak against the Raiderettes and Jean talked about how Forrest could steal one in Lynchburg.

"We have to get some easy buckets early at Moore County to get in a rhythm," the coach said. "If we defend like we did on Friday, we will have a chance in the rest of the games that we play."

Forrest (10-9, 1-4) is now in a deep hole in the District 9A standings, holding the sixth place position as the meat of the league schedule is still ahead.

"Moving forward, we just have to keep improving and getting closer to putting a complete game together," Jean said.

Huntland 9 6 12 14-41

Forrest 2 13 14 8-35

Huntland-Caylee McClennan 13, Ali Golden 11, Morgan Sims 9, Becca Lewter 3, Alyssa Owens 3, Kara Smith 2.

Three-point goals-Sims 3, McClennan 2, Lewter.

Free throws-Golden 5-8, Smith 2-2, Owens 1-1, McClennan 1-2.

Forrest-Caitlyn Yost 15, Kyleah Hengesbach 7, Katey Harmon 5, Grace Thrasher 3, Madison Curtis 2, Krista Chapman 2, Hailey Collins 1.

Three-point goals-Hengesbach, Harmon.

Free throws-Hengesbach 2-4, Yost 1-3, Collins 1-2, Thrasher 1-2.

Halftime score-Huntland 15, Forrest 15.