The Cornersville Bulldogs (3-3) moved back to the .500 mark Friday night when they thumped the Lighthouse Christian Lions 49-33 at home on the strength of a dominant first half performance.
CHS had their way with the Lions during the first two quarters of play and forged a 31-10 lead by halftime before opening up a twenty-two-point advantage early in the fourth quarter en route to collecting their second straight win.
After holding Middle Tennessee Christian to just 31 percent shooting in their last outing, the Bulldogs turned in another stellar defensive performance Friday, as the Lions hit only 15 of 51 shots in the contest, which included a 5 of 28 performance in the first half.
"We came out with the mindset that the key to our jumpstarts is our defense. My guys have to love to play defense and make it a passion because that is the key to our success. Our offense got rolling because of that," said Cornersville head coach Adrian Wilson.
Bolstered by a 13 of 22 shooting performance in the first half, CHS shot 50 percent from the field overall (21-42) and knocked down four three-pointers. The Bulldogs also dished out 17 assists as a team and grabbed nine offensive boards while out rebounding Lighthouse Christian 28-25.
Small forward Garrett Stiles led CHS' offensive attack with a game high 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Center Joseph Darnell delivered another strong effort in the paint for the Bulldogs and scored in double digits for the third straight game, tallying 13 points, a game high seven rebounds, two assists, and a blocked shot.
"Early on we expected a lot of (Joseph) and he put a lot of pressure on himself. I think he's relaxed and started to let the flow of the game come to him" said Wilson.
Brent Pope and P.J. Allen also added six points apiece, while Dillon Bean notched five points. Josh Pope and Brandon Kendrick each had two points to round out the scoring for the Bulldogs with Pope registering six assists and four rebounds as well.
Point guard Justin Woods paced Lighthouse Christian with 10 points, but hit only 4 of 16 shots. Reserve forward Ismail Beene followed Woods with eight points, while Jeff Shaw and Tony Strode had five and four points respectively.
CHS completely smothered the Lions' offensive attack early on, as they held Lighthouse Christian to just one field goal through the first nine minutes of play while bolting out to a 17-2 lead early in the second quarter behind seven points from Stiles, five points from Darnell, and an Allen trey.
After the Lions trimmed the deficit to 17-4 on an offensive put back by Beene, Cornersville went on an 8-0 run with the help of a three-pointer by Allen, a jumper by Brent Pope, and a Stiles three-point play to open up a 25-4 advantage midway through the period before taking a twenty-one-point lead into the break.
Lighthouse Christian finally showed signs of life in the third and outscored CHS 15-10 in the quarter to close the gap to 41-25.
The Bulldogs though stemmed the Lions' momentum at the start of the fourth by rattling off six straight points on lay ups by Darnell, Brent Pope, and Stiles to stretch their lead to 47-25 with 6:05 left in game before coasting to the sixteen-point victory.