Coming off a 41-27 loss to Middle Tennessee Christian two days earlier, the Cornersville Middle School Lady Bulldogs (4-1) rebounded with a strong performance on Saturday night, as they pounded Columbia Academy 47-20 in the consolation finals of the Cornersville Athletic Booster Club Tournament.
Led by center Kaitlyn Rogers and shooting guard Amanda Lynn Calahan, the Lady Bulldogs raced out to a 28-10 lead in the first half before forging a thirty-one-point advantage midway through the fourth quarter en route to a third place finish in the tourney.
"It was important tonight for us to come out and play hard right from the start. We wanted to establish a good tone early," said CMS head coach Joy McMasters.
After committing 27 turnovers in their last outing against MTCS, Cornersville had little trouble breaking Columbia Academy's full court press and scored several easy lay ups thanks to excellent ball movement. Bolstered by an 11 of 21 shooting performance in the first half, CMS shot 43 percent from the field overall (19-44) and registered 13 assists as a team. The Lady Bulldogs also pulled down 19 offensive rebounds and finished with a commanding 32-17 edge on the boards.
"I think the Middle Tennessee Christian game helped us. CA's press never really bothered us," said McMasters. "The thing I was most proud of was our unselfish play. Our starters played with a lot of poise."
CMS, meanwhile, limited Columbia Academy to just 10 field goals on 28 percent shooting and forced 24 CA turnovers.
Rogers poured in a game high 15 points on 7 of 13 shooting and grabbed six rebounds, while Calahan hit all four field goal attempts and finished with a career high nine points to go along with five steals, three rebounds, and two assists.
Reserve guard Devan Hasty and power forward Brittany Umbles also tallied seven and six points respectively for Cornersville. Makayla Campbell (three points), Kaleigh Welch (two points), Brooke Holt (two points), Meredith McMasters (two points), and Haley Stacey (one point) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs.
Merrianne Patterson paced Columbia Academy with six points, while Catherine Wolfe and Sutherland Shrader both had four points.
CA trailed just 7-4 late in the first quarter, but Cornersville broke the game open by going on a 14-2 run behind eight points from Rogers and four points from Calahan to stretch their lead to 21-6 with 3:55 left in the second period.
After Columbia Academy trimmed the deficit to 23-10 on baskets by Patterson and Abby Kinnard, CMS closed the first half with a 5-0 spurt with the help of four points from Hasty to take an eighteen-point advantage into the break.
The Lady Bulldogs then outscored CA 17-4 through the first nine minutes of the second half on the strength of seven points from Rogers to open up a 45-14 cushion with 3:00 left in the fourth quarter before coasting to the 47-20 triumph.
CMS Bulldogs Edge Columbia Academy in CABC Consolation Finals
By Louis G. Scheuchenzuber
After suffering a tough loss to Middle Tennessee Christian in the semifinals, the Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs (4-1) salvaged a third place finish in the Cornersville Athletic Booster Club Tournament by defeating Columbia Academy 43-39 Saturday night thanks to four points from center Logan Davis in the final twenty-two seconds of the contest.
With the two teams locked in a 39-39 tie late in the fourth quarter, Davis hit a short bank shot to give Cornersville a 41-39 lead before making two free throws with twelve seconds left to seal CMS' four-point victory.
Davis carried the Bulldog offense in the second half and scored 13 of his game high 19 points over the final two quarters while also finishing with three rebounds and three steals.
"We called some plays to single him up and get him the ball. He really made some clutch plays for us in the end," said Cornersville head coach Adrian Wilson.
Shooting guard Tyler Lowery followed Davis with 11 points and four steals, while Hayden McMahon and Jody Sullivan had four and three points respectively. Alex Walker (two points), Brandon Lowe (one point), and Brian Lowe (one point) rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs with Brandon Lowe registering five assists and five rebounds as well.
Although Cornersville committed a season high 17 turnovers and hit only 3 of 11 three-point attempts, the Bulldogs dished out 14 assists as a team and shot 43 percent from the field overall (16-37), highlighted by a 7 of 12 shooting performance by Davis.
"I'm really proud of the guys. To know that they can play poorly and still win the game is a big confidence boost," said Wilson. "In the first quarter (Columbia Academy) packed their zone in and we got comfortable shooting threes. In the second half we made a more determined effort to get the ball inside and I thought we played very unselfishly."
Cornersville, meanwhile, limited CA to just 33 percent shooting (16-48) and forced 18 Columbia Academy turnovers.
Jeremy Shires led CA with 14 points, while Jeff Logsdon and Zach Savankham tallied 11 and 10 points respectively.
Columbia Academy inched out to a 7-5 lead midway through the first quarter, but Davis scored on a lay up before Lowery sandwiched a pair of treys around a three-pointer from Sullivan to help give CMS a 16-7 advantage at the end of the stanza.
In the second period, the Bulldogs went cold from the outside and missed all six three-point attempts, while CA went on a 17-6 run to take a 24-22 lead into the break.
Cornersville then outscored Columbia Academy 13-7 through the first eight minutes of the second half behind nine points from Davis to claim a 35-31 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
CA responded with an 8-4 spurt to knot the game at 39-39 with :51 left, but Davis banked in a short jumper after driving around a Columbia Academy defender to put CMS up by two.
After CA missed two front ends of one and ones, Davis calmly sank a pair of free throws to stretch the Bulldogs' lead to 43-39, before Columbia Academy misfired on a couple of jumpers in the closing seconds.