EAST BEND - In their first game since knocking off Parkland in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic, the Rams were unable to duplicate that same magic Friday night.
A poor defensive performance in the second half doomed Starmount as Yadkin County rival Forbush pulled away after halftime to win the basketball edition of the Unifi Bowl, 79-68.
“We were doing a good job at attacking the basket in the first half and we kind of got away from that at times. If we do a good job of attacking the basket, we just have to hit our free throws,” head coach Rocky Horton explained.
The Rams attacked the basket early and often in the first quarter, grabbing a 20-17 lead after one. But from that point on, Forbush turned up its defensive pressure.
The Falcons battled back and took a 29-26 lead on a three by Hunter Gooden midway through the second. A Gooden jumper with time expiring gave Forbush a 37-32 advantage heading into the locker room.
Starmount played from behind in the second half, keeping the game close. After only scoring 13 points in the third, the Rams poured in 23 points in the final frame to make a burst.
But Forbush matched each score, dropping 42 points in the second half - including 27 in the fourth - to win the back-and-forth rivalry game, 79-68.
“They did a good job of hitting free throws and rebounding. We have to do a better job at those things. If we do better with that, it’s a different ballgame,” Horton said.
In a balanced scoring effort that matched their highest offensive output of the season, James Ashley powered Starmount with 13 points, while Gunner Cass and Kyler Gregory added 10 points apiece. Nathan Williams and Luke Shore recorded nine points each as 10 Rams scored on the night.
Starmount (1-9, 0-5) returns to the court with two road games this week. The Rams head up the mountain to take on Alleghany Tuesday before travelling to North Wakes Friday night.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.