As the rain from a fall storm pounded the roof of the gym in Bulldog Country, the Cornersville Middle School Lady Dawgs pounded the Moore County Raiderettes 40-8 on the floor in a game everyone in Cornersville would have liked to have seen take place last February.
The Lady Bulldogs, 18-1 overall last year and undefeated until a semi-final loss in the James C. Haile Tournament, had Moore County scheduled for a season ending showdown between the two schools that never happened because of a snowstorm.
In an interview earlier Monday afternoon, head coach Joy McMasters described last season "as a season that never really ended."
They got their closure in the first round of the Cornersville Athletic Booster Club Tournament Monday night, shutting down the Raiderettes the entire night en-route to the big victory.
Defense stymies Raiderettes in first
Coach McMasters and the Lady Bulldogs, already out of the gate at 2-0, came out and threw a defensive whirlwind at Moore County, forcing turnover after turnover with a pressure defense that held the Raiderettes to just four points in the first quarter as they led 15-4.
Makenzie Hopkins led the way for Cornersville in the first quarter, scoring seven points and picking the pocket of the Raiderettes guards twice in the period, the last with just seconds left for a lay-up at the buzzer.
Hopkins started the second quarter the same way, stealing the ball and feeding Brittney Crowell for an easy lay-in. Crowell returned the favor seconds later, feeding Hopkins after a pick, and Hopkins went for the three-peat, stealing and dishing to Crowell again to make the score 20-4. Baskets by Hopkins and Jessica Carlton, and two free throws by Katherine Crick ended the scoring for the Lady Dawgs for the half.
The game was basically over at halftime as the Lady Bulldogs went 11-0 for a 26-4 lead after 12 minutes.
No let up in second half as Lady Dawgs move on
With the game out of reach, McMasters began to substitute players in and out and Cornersville built a 37-6 lead by the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw mass substitutions and Cornersville would cruise home, 40-8.
The Lady Bulldogs were led in scoring by Hopkins with 9; Ashley Warren scored 8, Crowell ended up with 7, and Martha Jane McMasters and Jessica Carlton each pitched in with 4.
With the unfinished business now complete, the Lady Dawgs will look to defend their Booster Club crown from last year as they returned for second round action last night.
Moore County will return to Cornersville with revenge on their mind in a late season tilt on January 17.
CMS Boys win
turn-over plagued game 27-22
It was a game that saw the Bulldogs blanked 6-0 in the first quarter. It was also a game that had more turnovers than a bakery. The game was played with great intensity on both sides, and in the end it was a game that the Bulldogs won with clutch plays down the stretch, 27-22.
"I don't see how we turned the ball over that many times and still won. The turnovers drove me crazy, but it just shows the guts these kids have," a worn out Cornersville Middle School head Coach Adrian Wilson said after the game.
Bulldogs shut-out in first quarter, tie the game by halftime
Moore County was not exactly sharp to begin the game, but the Dawgs were even duller as the Raiders led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Tullahoma transfer Blake Poteat got the first basket of the game for Cornersville early in the second on a lay-up in the lane to make the score 6-2. Dalton Barrier scored for the Raiders to make it 8-2 and then Logan Davis and Dillon Bean scored for the home team to make 8-6.
Barrier hit another shot to make 10-6 late in the half, but Brandon Lowe and Spencer Gault scored to bring the Dawgs all the way back for a 10-10 tie at the halftime intermission.
Dawgs 'D up' after the half to advance
Jacob Gentry put the Bulldogs in front for the first time in the game when he hit one of two free throws just after the second half began. Gault built the lead to three with a bucket, but Moore County scored to make it 13-12. A basket by Gentry and one by Moore County's Cole Garner set the score at 15-14 after three periods.
Gentry opened up the scoring in the last quarter with a bucket to make it 17-14. The Bulldogs began to push ahead, leading by as much as nine at 25-16 with just over two minutes to play before the Raiders mounted a serious charge.
The Raiders scored six straight points to cut the lead to three and had a chance to cut it even closer, but Brandon Lowe made the hustle play of the night for the Bulldogs when he raced down the floor after a Cornersville miss to block a shot in the paint.
The Raiders did cut it to three, but Bean sealed the game moments later, hitting both ends of a one and one with just 10 seconds left to secure the win at 27-22.
"This is a big win for us and the program," Wilson said. "It is the first time I have coached a victory over a Moore County team at any level since I have been here."
The Bulldogs had a balanced scoring attack with Gault leading the way with six points, the newcomer Poteat had 5, and Brandon Lowe, Nick Lowe, Gentry, and Bean all tallied 4.