Tigers roar past Cornersville
Coming off a disappointing 72-63 loss to East Literature, the Marshall County Tigers (5-2) bounced back with a strong performance Saturday night when they defeated the Cornersville Bulldogs 67-37 in the Night of Stars at Lewisburg.
Marshall County seized control of the game early and built a 35-15 lead by halftime, before Cornersville (3-4) fought back and cut the deficit to thirteen late in the third. The Tigers then dominated play from that point on and outscored the Bulldogs 25-8 the rest of the way to cap their thirty-point victory.
After seeing his team make steady improvement through the first six games of the season, CHS head coach Adrian Wilson was disappointed that his players didn't come to the gym with a belief that they could knock off Marshall County.
"It's a mentality that these kids have when they play big schools. They come out and act intimidated. That's what it boils down to," said Wilson.
MCHS head coach Jason Tigert, meanwhile, was happy that his team showed no signs of a hangover from their loss to East Literature the previous evening.
"I was very pleased with the way we came out in the first quarter. Adrian's team always plays hard and they played hard throughout the game. But we matched that and played with a lot of energy tonight," said Tigert.
Bolstered by a 9 of 14 shooting performance in the first quarter, the Tigers shot 47 percent from the field overall (27-58) and knocked down 10 of 25 attempts from three-point range while committing only 12 turnovers. Marshall County also out rebounded the Bulldogs 29-19 and held an 11-6 edge on the offensive glass.
Cornersville, conversely, finished with only 15 field goals on 37 percent shooting, which included a 4 of 15 effort from beyond the arc, and committed 20 turnovers.
Shooting guard Blaise Spencer and forward Kedren Johnson each scored 15 points, grabbed four rebounds, and recorded two steals to lead MCHS.
Broderick Tears and Brandon Burns also tallied 10 and seven points for the Tigers respectively, while Dillon Stinnett and Hunter Osborne had six points each. Dominic Matthews (five points) and Brock Spencer (three points) rounded out the scoring for MCHS.
Forward Garrett Stiles scored a game high 16 points to pace Cornersville. Center Joseph Darnell tallied nine points and grabbed a game high 10 rebounds as well, while Dillon Bean added six points. Josh Pope, Brent Pope, and Brandon Kendrick rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs with two points apiece.
CHS found themselves staring at a double digit deficit less than three minutes into the game, as the Tigers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead thanks a couple of three-pointers from Blaise Spencer, an Osborne jumper, and a lay up by Burns.
After Josh Pope scored on a lay up to get the Bulldogs on the board, MCHS hit Cornersville with a 16-2 run, highlighted by three treys from Blaise Spencer and a Tears three-point play, to forge a 26-4 advantage with 7:40 left in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs then out scored Marshall County 11-4 over the next five and half minutes on the strength of nine points from Stiles to narrow the gap to 30-15, before Johnson notched the final five points of the half to give the Tigers a 35-15 lead at the break.
In the third, Cornersville opened the quarter with a 14-7 spurt behind seven points from Darnell, four points from Stiles, and a Bean three-pointer to whittle the deficit to 42-29.
The Tigers, however, quashed CHS' comeback hopes by ripping off 14 straight points, capped by consecutive treys from Tears and Dillon Stinnett, to open up a 56-29 advantage midway through the fourth period.
Following a Brent Pope lay up, Matthews, Brock Spencer, and Stinnett each canned threes to power an 11-3 MCHS run and help stretch Marshall County's lead to 67-34 before the Tigers eventually claimed the 67-37 victory.