Lady Bulldogs hold off Collinwood

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Cornersville's Makenzie Hopkins goes in for a layup against Collinwood after making a steal in the third quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (2-1) fattened their win total Tuesday night by defeating Collinwood 56-48 on the road in their final game before Thanksgiving after fending off a frantic rally by the Trojanettes in the second half.

Although the Lady Bulldogs had lost seven of the last 10 meetings between the two teams, Cornersville seemed unfazed by the hostile environment of Collinwood's gym in the first half and held a 30-19 lead at the break before opening up a 12-point advantage early in the third quarter.

The Trojanettes (2-1) then came charging back and tied the game at 48-48 with 2:31 left in the fourth period, but the Lady Bulldogs regained their poise and ended the game with an 8-0 run to hand Collinwood their first defeat of the season.

"This is a tough place to win. Anytime you can get a win at Collinwood, Wayne County, Summertown, or Perry County, you'll take it any way you can get it," said Cornersville coach Micah Landers. "In the second half, we gave them a crack so they opened the door and decided to hang around. During one of the last timeouts, I was thinking that we needed to get this win and we gutted it out. I was proud of the way we closed out the game."

The Lady Bulldogs shot a pedestrian 40 percent from the field (22-of-55), which included a 2-of-8 effort from three-point range, and hit only 10-of-24 free throws, but pulled down 17 offensive boards and out rebounded the Trojanettes 40-30 overall.

"Our rebounding really helped us tonight and helped offset all the free throws we missed. Lindsey Dalton and Kaitlyn Rogers both rebounded well and Haley Fagan always comes up with a couple of big rebounds when we need it," said Landers.

Cornersville's Nina Endsley scores on a layup in the third quarter against Collinwood.

Fagan helped the Lady Bulldogs stave off Collinwood's second half comeback by scoring seven of her team high 15 points in the fourth quarter to go along with nine rebounds, five assists, and five steals. Power forward Nina Endsley followed Fagan with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Rogers and Makenzie Hopkins each added nine points with Rogers corralling eight rebounds and Hopkins registering five assists and four steals. Dalton tallied eight points and a game high 10 rebounds as well, and Ashley Warren and Brittany Umbles chipped in three and two points respectively.

Having held their two previous opponents to a combined 27 percent shooting, Cornersville continued their strong play on the defensive end. The Trojanettes shot just 33 percent from the field (17-of-51), which included a 3-of-10 effort from beyond the arc, and committed 22 turnovers while the Lady Bulldogs recorded 14 steals. Collinwood also had their share of struggles at the foul line and hit only 11-of-20 attempts from the charity stripe.

Forward Alexis Haddock paced the Trojanettes with 16 points and center Hannah Littrell had eight points. Abby Hill, Jessie Parker, and Gretchen Greer notched six points apiece for Collinwood as well.

The Trojanettes jumped out to an 8-4 lead midway through the first quarter, but Cornersville got things rolling shortly after that point and went on an 18-3 run behind six points from Rogers and four points apiece from Endsley and Fagan to seize a 22-11 advantage with 3:17 left in the second.

After Collinwood narrowed the gap to 26-19 late in the second period, Fagan made free throws before Hopkins scored on a driving layup in the closing seconds of the half to give the Lady Bulldogs a 30-19 lead at the break.

Following a three-pointer by Parker, which trimmed the deficit to 30-22 at the start of the third, Cornersville stretched their lead to 36-24 thanks to an offensive put back by Dalton and a pair of baskets from Endsley.

The Trojanettes then took advantage of a stretch of sloppy play by the Lady Bulldogs and outscored Cornersville 19-7 over the next nine minutes to tie the game at 43-43 with 4:41 left in the second.

Fagan drilled a trey from the left wing and scored on a layup to stake the Lady Bulldogs to a 48-44 lead, but Collinwood tallied the next four points to knot the contest at 48-48.

Cornersville, however, settled back down and pulled ahead 50-48 on an offensive put back by Dalton, before Hopkins made a breakaway layup to make it 52-48 with 1:38 remaining.

The Lady Bulldogs then held the Lady Trojans scoreless on their final five possessions while Hopkins and Fagan each converted two free throws to ice Cornersville's 56-48 victory.