BOONVILLE — Wednesday night’s game between the Forbush Falcons and the Starmount Rams was an interesting one. After leading for three quarters, the Forbush Falcons took a two-point loss to the Rams in the cross-county rivalry. Starmount pulled itself out of the hole and took a 50-48 win over the Falcons.
“I think we played tired,” said Starmount head coach Rocky Horton. “We shot so well last night and we didn’t shoot nearly as well tonight. It was open looks and the shooters kept shooting. We tried drives to the basket and we got to the free-throw line. That’s where we made a living a lot of the second half. I think we shot 75 percent from the free-throw line, so the guy’s did a good job stepping up from the line.”
Forbush came out of the gate firing as the Falcons put up 15 points and held Starmount to just six points. Sinjun Southard put up the first points of the game as he drained a three-point basket in the third minute of the quarter. James Allred and Samuel Crews put up their own shots for a 7-0 lead over the Rams. Southard drained another three-point shot to give Forbush a 10-0 lead. Starmount was able to get on the board as Ethan Barnes put up a lay-up for a 10-2 game.
“We played really hard tonight. Lance Kennedy missed the last couple games with an ankle injury and I thought he came back and played real hard. I thought James played great on the inside for us. It’s a rivalry game, but I think we played real hard,” said Forbush head coach Jody Christopherson. “Last time we played Starmount it was them who were winning 19-2 the end of the first, so I thought we played real hard tonight.”
Lance Kennedy put up his own three-point shot and Southard made another shot as the Falcons kept driving to the basket. In the final minute and a half of the first quarter, Starmount was able to put up four points as Trey Dezern made two free-throws, and Charlie Smythers made a lay-up. At the end of the first, Forbush had a 15-6 lead over the Rams.
Going into the second quarter, Starmount started to drag itself back into the game as the Rams were determined to take the lead. Starmount cut Forbush’s lead to just two points as Tavis Bridges put up a shot in the paint. Griffin Cass played a vital part in putting Starmount back into the game, as he hit a shot from the side that tied the game 20-20. As the second quarter came to a close, Kennedy was fouled and made both of his free throws to give the Falcons a 22-20 lead.
“We were down double digits and cut it to two points at halftime,” said Horton. “I told the guys we had weathered the storm. Forbush came out and shot the ball really well and we shot the ball awful, to be honest.”
In the third and fourth quarters, things started to get interesting on both sides of the court. Both teams put up a fight as the game went back and forth. Forbush outscored Starmount 16-15 in the third quarter to maintain a 38-35 lead over the Rams.
In the final quarter, the see-saw battle began. Starmount tied the game 42-42 as Bridges put up a two-point shot. Starmount then took a 45-42 lead as Brendon Eads knocked in a three-pointer from well beyond the arch. The Rams extended its lead to 47-42 before Forbush was able to score a basket.
Kennedy made both of his free throws from the charity stripe for a 47-44 game. The Falcons tried to put up shot after shot to tie the game, but the Rams held steady on defense. Offensively, the Rams were able to drive to the basket and make vital shots that ultimately played a part in the victory. As time was winding down, the Rams completed a successful comeback to take the 50-48 win over its cross-county rivals.
“Our guys have a lot of grit and they fought,” said Horton. “They’ve been fighting all year, and in the second half we were hunting sevens — hunting better shots, and just attacking the basket better. Our defense stepped up too, we knew we had to find number three and 11. We just knew we had to D up and rebound.”
The last time Forbush and Starmount met, the Rams took a 57-55 win. The previous game was similar to this one, as Forbush led this game and Starmount led the game back in December.
“Honestly I think our confidence was better (this time around),” said Christopherson. “We play in a conference that has a whole lot of speed, pressure, and size, so once you see Starmount the second time around it’s a little different. Confidence and a little bit of the revenge factor also played into the game.”
With the win, Starmount moves to 19-2 overall. The Rams hosted Wilkes Central on Tuesday night in a vital Mountain Valley Athletic Conference match-up. Results were not available by press deadline.
Forbush moves to 6-15 overall, as the Falcons travel to West Stokes on Tuesday night. Results were not available by press deadline.
“I absolutely think this game could help the rest of the season,” said Christopherson. “We won a conference game against Surry Central which is a team that beat us the last time we played them. I think here at the end of the year we are playing our best basketball.”
T. Dezern – 12 points and 3 rebounds
G. Cass – 11 points and 6 rebounds
E. Wiles – 7 points and 3 rebounds
T. Bridges – 7 points and 4 rebounds
C. Smythers – 6 points and 2 rebounds
B. Eads – 5 points
E. Barnes – 2 points
S. Southard – 16 points and 3 rebounds
L. Kennedy – 12 points and 3 rebounds
J. Allred – 9 points and 8 rebounds
S. Crews – 7 points and 2 rebounds
J. Hall – 4 points and 3 rebounds
L. Rockett – 7 rebounds
J. Gentry – 1 rebound