Lady Bulldogs crush Columbia Academy

Friday, December 19, 2008

Coming off a closer than expected victory over Huntland seven days earlier, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs worked out some of their kinks Tuesday night, as they went on the road and trounced District foe Columbia Academy 64-34 at The Pit.

Cornersville (7-2, 2-0 District) controlled the contest from start to finish and outscored CA (3-6, 0-2 District) in every quarter to steadily pull away for the thirty-point win. The Lady Bulldogs built a 36-22 lead in the first half, before opening up a thirty-one-point cushion in the fourth quarter en route to their third straight victory.

"I was really proud of our effort. I thought the girls played really hard tonight," said CHS head coach Micah Landers. "The more they play together, the more comfortable they're going to be out on the court."

Cornersville had great success with their full court press and recorded 16 steals in the game, while forcing 23 Columbia Academy turnovers and limiting CA to only 14 field goals on 34 percent shooting.

"After the Huntland game, I was a little disappointed with our performance so we focused a lot on defense over the last week. We did a pretty good job tonight except for the end of the second quarter. I thought overall we turned in a B level performance defensively, but we're capable of turning in an A level performance," said Landers.

Bolstered by a 9 of 13 shooting effort in the second quarter, the Lady Bulldogs finished with 22 field goals on 42 percent shooting despite some very physical defensive play by Columbia Academy.

Cornersville also knocked down 19 of 23 free throws and grabbed 18 offensive boards while out rebounding CA 35-23 overall.

Junior shooting guard Sara Nelms once again led CHS' offensive attack and poured in a game high 20 points to go along with three rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Nelms is currently averaging 18 points per game for the season and is the second leading scorer in District 11-A behind Richland's Jasmine Duke.

Forward Haley Fagan followed Nelms with 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while center Sarah King turned in a strong all around performance and finished with nine points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, and four assists.

Freshman point guard Makenzie Hopkins continued her steady improvement and tallied nine points, three steals, and two rebounds.

Britny Wheeler (four points), Courtney Cook (four points), Kristin Fagan (two points), Abbey Holder (two points), and Ashley Warren (one point) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs.

Hannah Earl paced Columbia Academy with 11 points, while Morgan Thomason and Morgan Jones had nine and eight points respectively.

Cornersville buried CA early, as they forged a 20-4 lead early in the second quarter on the strength of seven points from Nelms and six points from Haley Fagan.

Columbia Academy cut the deficit to 25-12 midway through the period, before the Lady Bulldogs put together an 11-3 run with the help of five points from Haley Fagan to open up a 36-15 advantage late in the first half.

CA narrowed the gap to fourteen by halftime, but Cornersville began the third quarter with a 12-0 spurt behind four points apiece from Hopkins and Nelms to stretch their lead to 48-22.

After Columbia Academy trimmed the deficit to 48-26 late in the third, Holder, King, Nelms, and Hopkins each scored on lay ups to power a 9-0 CHS run and help give the Lady Bulldogs a 57-26 advantage with 4:04 left in the fourth period, before Cornersville coasted to the 64-34 triumph.