1A: Forrest Leads Chipley Past Hamilton County
Chipley star Trent Forrest may have scored 18 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, but it was Justin Campbell who scored the biggest basket of the game.
While Forrest, a Florida State signee, willed the top-ranked Tigers back against Hamilton County in the FHSAA Class 1A state basketball semifinal, it was his assist to Campbell — who hit a short jumper with 43 seconds to go — that won it at The Lakeland Center.
With the 56-53 win, Chipley will go for its third title in five years against Paxton in the Class 1A finals at 5:05 p.m. today.
“I just know, if I attack, I know where Justin is going to be at,” Forrest said. “We’ve kind of got chemistry since we’ve been playing together. When I attack, he’s going to be locating to the open spot.”
While Forrest had a hand in the Tigers’ final 16 points, Hamilton County looked ready to end Chipley’s title run. The Trojans took their biggest lead, 46-38, on a Javiel Jones 3-pointer with 5:45 to go.
“We didn’t talk about going home early, we talked about playing with heart,” Chipley head coach Mike Gates said. “I told them at halftime, being down one, this is what we needed. We needed somebody to push us, make us play harder.”
After thriving off turnovers early, Hamilton County got careless late with six turnovers in the fourth quarter. That was all it took to get Forrest and Chipley rolling again.
“(Forrest) was able to get into the paint and create, draw fouls, he’s so patient with the ball,” Hamilton County coach Patrick Murphy said. “We had a couple turnovers, but it’s all a blur right now. I know it was right there. We had it. It was in arm’s reach.”
Hamilton County had four shots to tie or take the lead in final minute. Amaad Gandy was blocked at the rim by Forrest once and missed a layup on the next possession before James Gandy missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.