The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (8-2) placed a lump of coal in White House-Heritage's stocking Friday night, as they beat the Lady Patriots 62-51 at home in their final game before Christmas after overcoming a nine-point third quarter deficit.
White House-Heritage (6-3) held a 37-28 advantage early in the third, but the Lady Bulldogs tightened the screws defensively and outscored the Lady Patriots 34-14 over the final thirteen and a half minutes of the contest to record their fourth straight win.
"I thought it was a good comeback and that we showed a lot of character. I was pleased with everyone's contribution," said Cornersville head coach Micah Landers.
After hitting 13 of 28 shots in the first half, White House-Heritage mustered just 6 baskets on 24 percent shooting over the final two quarters to finish 19 of 53 from the field overall, which included a 3 of 16 effort from three-point range.
"I don't want to give away exactly what we did, but we changed up defenses quite a bit in the second half. We tried something tonight that we hadn't done much of this season and had success with it. I think our intensity on defense is getting better," said Landers.
Despite a 8 of 14 shooting performance in the third quarter, the Lady Bulldogs shot just 32 percent from the field overall (18-56), but cashed in at the foul line by making 24 of 33 free throws, compared to a 10 of 15 effort at the charity stripe by the Lady Patriots. Cornersville also grabbed a whopping 23 offensive rebounds and finished with a 43-28 edge on the boards.
CHS center Sarah King posted her first double-double of the year by pouring in a season high 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with two steals and one blocked shot.
"Sarah really played well tonight. She made steals, got rebounds, and hit shots when we needed them," said Landers.
Freshman point guard Makenzie Hopkins came on strong in the second half for the Lady Bulldogs and scored nine of her career high 15 points over the final two quarters.
Sara Nelms tallied 10 points, six assists, and two steals as well, and Haley Fagan added nine points and 12 rebounds. Courtney Cook (four points), Morgan Carroll (four points), and Britny Wheeler (two points) rounded out the scoring for CHS.
Chelsea Hannah stuffed the stat sheet and paced White House-Heritage with 20 points, 12 rebounds, six steals, and four assists. Shelby Ray also had 15 points for the Lady Patriots, while Taylor Traughber and Kimi Dorris scored six and five points respectively.
White House-Heritage jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, before the Lady Bulldogs rattled off eight straight points with the help of two field goals from King and three foul shots by Hopkins to grab an 8-6 advantage midway through the first quarter.
Following a basket by Traughber, Hopkins buried a trey from the right wing to put CHS up 11-8, but White House-Heritage outscored Cornersville 20-9 over the next ten minutes to seize a 28-20 lead late in the second quarter prior to taking a 30-24 advantage into halftime.
After Fagan scored on a lay up to trim the deficit to 30-26 at the start of the third period, the Lady Patriots responded with a 7-2 burst to push their lead to nine.
The Lady Bulldogs though began to clamp down on White House-Heritage's offense and put together a 14-2 run behind five points from Hopkins and a three-point play by Fagan to pull ahead 42-39 with 1:34 left in the third.
The Lady Patriots then tied the game at 42-42, but Nelms converted a three-point play to give Cornersville a 45-42 advantage at the end of the third before Carroll scored on an offensive put back to make it 47-42 early in the fourth.
After White House Heritage closed the gap to 47-46, CHS countered with a 9-1 spurt on the strength of six points from King to stretch their lead to 56-47 with 2:17 left.
Cornersville then iced the game at the foul line and hit six free throws in the final minute and thirty-one seconds to seal their 62-51 victory.