The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (3-0) put their fans through a roller coaster ride Tuesday night, but managed to remain unscathed, as they defeated defending District 12-A champ Collinwood 58-52 at home to snap a five-game losing streak to the Trojanettes.
After taking a 34-23 lead into halftime, Cornersville opened up a fourteen-point cushion early in the third quarter and appeared to have the game well in hand. Collinwood (1-2) then came roaring back and erupted for 25 points over the next seven and a half minutes to seize a 48-46 advantage with 7:00 left in the fourth quarter. The Lady Bulldogs though regained their composure and outscored the Trojanettes 12-4 down the stretch to pull out the six-point victory.
"Collinwood had dominated us the last two years, so this is big for us. It's another quality win. They're well coached and are an offensive minded team that runs their half court sets really well," said Cornersville head coach Micah Landers.
Although they committed 20 turnovers in the contest, the Lady Bulldogs scored several lay ups against the Trojanettes full court press and shot a blistering 54 percent from the field overall (20-37), highlighted by a 5 of 9 effort from three-point range. Cornersville also knocked down 13 of 18 foul shots, which included a 4 of 5 performance in the fourth quarter.
Collinwood, conversely, committed only 14 turnovers and finished with 20 more field goal attempts thanks to a 13-2 edge on the offensive glass, but shot just 32 percent from the field (18-57) and missed 14 of 20 attempts from beyond the arc. The Trojanettes also struggled at the charity stripe and made just 10 of 19 free throws overall.
Junior shooting guard Sara Nelms continued her strong early season play for the Lady Bulldogs, as she poured in a game high 23 points on 7 of 10 shooting to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
"In the first half she carried us when we got into some foul trouble. She was the glue that held us together early," said Landers.
Freshman point guard Makenzie Hopkins also knocked down three treys for Cornersville and finished with 12 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and a steal. Center Sarah King tallied eight points and four rebounds, and two steals as well, while guard Abbey Holder had five points, five rebounds, and two steals.
Haley Fagan (four points), Courtney Cook (four points), and Morgan Carroll (two points) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs.
Shooting guard Blakely Robertson paced Collinwood with 15 points on 4 of 6 shooting, while center Summer Thompson notched 10 points and 11 rebounds. Kara Jones and Trista Rich also had nine and eight points for the Trojanettes.
Collinwood jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, but Cornersville went on a 14-5 run, capped by a Hopkins three-pointer in the closing seconds of the first quarter, to pull ahead 16-11.
After the Trojanettes closed the gap to 19-16 early in the second period, the Lady Bulldogs outscored Collinwood 15-4 over the next five and a half minutes with the help of eight points from Nelms, a trey from Hopkins, and a three-point play by Holder to open up a 34-20 advantage before taking an eleven-point lead into the break.
Hopkins then buried a three-pointer from the left corner to give Cornersville a 37-23 advantage early in the third, but the Trojanettes clawed their way back into the game by putting together a 17-7 run to whittle the deficit to 44-40 with :38 left in the stanza.
Nelms then converted a pair of free throws to make it 46-40 and briefly stop the bleeding for the Lady Bulldogs, before Collinwood rattled off eight straight points to go up by two early in the fourth.
Cornersville, however, withstood the Trojanette onslaught and showed their mettle by engineering a 10-2 run behind six points from King and couple of lay ups from Nelms and Hopkins to grab a 56-50 lead with 1:43 remaining.
"That said a lot about our team because Collinwood was rolling at that point and had all of the momentum," said Landers.
The Trojanettes managed to narrow the gap to 56-52 on an Alisa Littlejohn lay up with :33 left, but Collinwood failed to score again while Nelms made a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining to ice the Lady Bulldogs' 58-52 win.
BOYS: Trojans top Bulldogs
You can't win a game in the first quarter, but you can certainly lose it. The Cornersville Bulldogs (1-2) found that out Tuesday night, as they were unable to climb out of a large hole in the opening period despite making a couple of comeback attempts en route to a 75-60 home loss at the hands of defending District 12-A champ Collinwood (3-0).
Cornersville split the season series with the Trojans last year, but Collinwood took control of the game early and raced out to a fifteen-point lead late in the first quarter. After the Bulldogs cut the deficit to single digits in the second period, the Trojans took a 38-27 advantage into the break prior to opening up a twenty-four-point advantage in the third quarter. Collinwood then parried a fourth period rally by Cornersville to claim the fifteen-point victory.
"There's no way you can start out like that against a good team. Collinwood returned most of their key players from a team that won their District championship last year," said the Bulldogs head coach Adrian Wilson. "It seemed like it steamrolled on us. Every time we got close, they made a run and that's what good teams do."
The Trojans turned in an extremely efficient offensive performance against Cornersville, as they committed just nine turnovers and shot 52 percent from the field (28-54), which included an impressive 12-23 effort from three-point range. Collinwood also held a commanding 13-5 edge on the offensive glass and out rebounded the Bulldogs 34-23.
Cornersville, meanwhile, turned in some impressive offensive stats in defeat and showed progress after averaging just 38 points per game in their first two outings. The Bulldogs committed a season low 12 turnovers, shot 48 percent from the floor overall (23-48), and knocked down 10 of 19 attempts from beyond the arc.
Senior forward Garrett Stiles single handedly kept Cornersville in the game in the first half and finished with a season high 26 points on 11 of 19 shooting to go along with two assists, two steals, and two rebounds.
"Garrett can go off any given night. He's a great athlete and a do it all type of guy," said Wilson.
Junior guard P.J. Allen provided the Bulldogs with some firepower off the bench and tallied 16 points on five three-pointers.
"P.J. has really worked hard on his shooting and he knocked down some shots for us tonight. That's especially impressive since he hasn't played organized basketball since middle school," said Wilson.
Josh Pope, Joseph Darnell, Brent Pope also tallied five points apiece with Josh Pope dishing out nine assists. Flint Davis had three points to round out the scoring for Cornersville.
Point guard Joe West drilled six three-pointers and paced five Collinwood players in double figures with 20 points, while Jacob Gobble and Tyler Thompson added 14 and 13 points respectively.
Tanner West also tallied 12 points for the Trojans and Tanner Andrews had 10 points.
Collinwood pounced on the Bulldogs immediately, as they knocked down five three-pointers in the first seven minutes of the game to claim a 22-7 lead.
Cornersville eventually found their bearings and put together a 20-12 run on the strength of 12 points from Stiles and a pair of Allen treys to cut the deficit to 34-27 late in the second period, but Andrews notched the final four points of the half on a couple of offensive put backs to give the Trojans a eleven-point advantage at the break.
Collinwood then came out with guns blazing in the third, as Joe West and Tanner West combined to hit six three-pointers in the quarter to fuel a 22-9 spurt and help the Trojans open up a 60-36 cushion late in the stanza.
After Davis buried a trey in the closing moments of the third quarter, Stiles scored on a breakaway dunk to trim the deficit to 60-41early in the fourth, before Chase Roberson canned a three-pointer to stretch Collinwood's lead to 63-41.
The Bulldogs then put together a 14-4 run with the help of two treys from Allen and a three-pointer from Stiles to close the gap to 67-54 midway through the final period, but the Trojans snuffed out the rally by outscoring Cornersville 8-6 the rest of the way to cement their 75-60 win.