Lady Dawgs deny New Prospect
Cornersville Middle School girls basketball coach Joy McMasters and the Lady Dawgs fell behind 8-1 early in their Monday night tilt with New Prospect, causing the coaching head wheels in McMasters and her assistant coach Sally Hobbs to turn.
What the two coaches came up with was the difference in the ballgame. Deny the ball in and get in the face of the ball handler. The players on the court executed the change, taking control of the contest and then showing poise to hold onto the lead, winning 40-29 to move to 7-2 on the season.
McMasters said after the game, "When we got down we kept playing hard. We changed our press to deny the ball in and make someone other than that number fourteen, (Kelli Kemp) handle it. New Prospect was well prepared tonight. You have to give them a lot of credit."
McMasters also sang the praises of her young point guard, Kaleigh Welch, who played the entire twenty-four minutes for the first time this season, not committing a turnover in the ballgame.
"Kaleigh did a real nice job tonight leading the team," said McMasters. "We won because of her poise and her ball handling. She has become a leader on this team."
In the beginning of the game, it was more of the Lady Dawgs hurting themselves, missing some open looks at the basket, something they would change later on.
New Prospect had the 8-1 lead about three and a half minutes into the contest when Makayla Campbell broke the field goal drought with a bucket in the paint.
Now the denying was on and it paid immediate dividends when New Prospect hurried a shot and the ball bounded to Campbell, who went over the top, finding a wide open Kaitlin Rogers for an easy lay-up, cutting the lead to 8-5.
Another Lady Tiger turnover led to one of two from the free throw for Cornersville's Brittany Umbles.
Kemp got loose on the next inbounds pass, going coast to coast for a 10-6 New Prospect lead.
Campbell got fouled on the next CMS touch, making one of two from the charity stripe to make it 10-7.
New Prospect got lucky moments later when after three attempts to bring the ball in failed because of the denial defense, the ball bounced off of a Cornersville hand, directly into the hands of Emma Massey, who laid it in at the buzzer for a 12-7 New Prospect lead after one quarter.
With time to mark on the whiteboard during the break, McMasters spun the denial dial a little more and the Lady Dawgs went off, scorching off a twelve-point run to go up 19-12.
The Cornersville defense was the in your face style, denying any path up court to the Lady Tigers.
Even the New Prospect coach felt the pressure, being whistled for a technical foul after a Lady Tiger turnover with 2:45 left.
The technical actually fired up her squad a bit as they came back late in the half, cutting the Cornersville margin to just three points at 21-18.
Umbles started the second half, banging in a rebound and put-back to make it 23-18 before the two teams went into a mini scoring drought.
Massey hit one of two from the line for New Prospect's first point of the half before Campbell scored for Cornersville.
Rogers followed with a bucket off of a New Prospect turnover to build the lead to 27-19, forcing the Giles County team to call timeout with 3:13 left in the third quarter.
The denial Dawg "D" forced another turnover with Rogers scoring once again. New Prospect got their first field goal of the quarter on a Haley Osborne bucket, but Umbles answered for the final points in the period and a 31-21 lead for the Lady Dawgs after three periods.
The Lady Bulldogs controlled the ball and controlled the action for the rest of game; coming away with the hard earned 40-29 victory.
Rogers lead the Lady Dawgs in scoring with 15 points, Campbell had 9, Calahan and Umbles each netted 5, Welch scored 4, and Sydney Brock had two free throws for 2 points.