The Moore County Raiders missed a good chance to stay above .500 on the year and stay within a game of Fayetteville City in the District 9-A race as they dropped a 56-52 decision on the road at Forrest on Friday night.
Just a game removed from snapping a two-game losing streak with a 62-53 district victory over Huntland, the Raiders couldn’t sustain that newfound momentum in Chapel Hill.
Moore County (6-6 overall, 2-2 District 9-A) started the game strong, shared the ball, had four players score in the opening period and led 14-7. The hosts settled down in the second period, however, and began to take control of the contest.
The Rockets outscored Moore County 15-8 in the second period to force a 22-22 tie at intermission. It stayed close after that with Forrest edging ahead in the third period behind the play of Will Edmonson and Blake Leonard.
A three-pointer by Ryan Northcutt helped cut into the Rockets’ lead, but Moore County never managed to get over the hump. And the Raiders couldn’t find a way to slow down Edmonson, who finished with a game-high 25 points.
Northcutt led Moore County with 14, while Blydge Farrar netted a dozen points. James Dougherty and Doran Noble added seven apiece.
The loss was the third in four games for Moore County after a 6-3 start to the season.
Moore County lost a close game, 60-57, at Richland on Dec. 6, but bounced back to knock off Huntland 62-53 at home on Tuesday, Dec. 9 in a key district contest.
The Raiders jumped on Huntland early and sprinted out to a 20-12 lead thanks in part to a nine-point effort from Farrar in the first period. Farrar scored 13 in the half en route to a 23-point game. Northcutt chipped in 11, including seven in the third quarter when the Raiders poured in 22 points.
Dougherty finished with eight and Noble had seven.
Huntland’s Kobe Foster scored 25, but was limited to just three points in the final frame.
Moore County attempted to get back on track Tuesday night as the Raiders hosted Franklin County. The game was still in progress at press time Tuesday night. The Raiders will jump back into District 9-A play this Friday night (Dec. 19) with a trip to Murfreesboro to face Middle Tennessee Christian.
That will be the final game before the Christmas holiday break. Moore County then plays in Panama City, Fla., after Christmas in the Marlin Christmas Classic.