CMS Lady Bulldogs crush Culleoka
Coming off a 35-31 win over Elkton in the first round two days earlier, the Cornersville Middle School Lady Bulldogs (3-3) advanced to the finals of the Cornersville Athletic Club Booster tournament by hammering the Culleoka Lady Warriors 35-11 in the semifinals on Thursday night.
Having lost 27-26 to Culleoka earlier in the season, the Lady Bulldogs put Thursday's game out of reach early and built a 24-5 lead in the first half before outscoring the Lady Warriors 11-6 over the final two quarters to coast to the 24-point victory.
Bolstered by a 8-of-15 shooting performance in the first half, Cornersville finished with a 12-5 edge in field goals and knocked down their lone three-point attempt, while outscoring Culleoka 10-1 at the foul line.
The Lady Warriors did outrebound the Lady Bulldogs 29-20 and held a 10-7 advantage on the offensive glass, but Cornersville offset that by forcing 42 Culleoka turnovers with the help of their full court press.
"I thought we played harder and were more focused tonight. I think we're improving," said Lady Bulldog coach Joy McMasters. "I'm proud of the girls and they're playing really hard. We're getting better offensively and have more confidence."
Guard Briley Bean led the Lady Bulldogs offensively with seven points and three assists, and forward Carson Coble tallied six points and three steals. Emily Martin, Tori Reavis, and Hope Taylor added four points apiece as well, while Madison Hopkins chipped in three points. Sam Prosser (two points), Brooke Defoe (two points), Chelsey Umbles (two points) and Kennedy Wilson (one point) rounded out the scoring for Cornersville.
Sabrina Anglin and Megan Polk paced the Lady Warriors with six and five points respectively, while point guard Haleigh Shumake was held scoreless after pouring in a game high 14 points in the previous meeting between the two teams.
"Their point guard had 14 points against us the first time, but we decided that we were going to shut her down and I think that frustrated them," said McMasters.
The Lady Bulldogs pounced on Culleoka early and jumped out to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to a trey by Bean and layups from Coble and Martin.
After Anglin scored on a layup to make it 7-2, Cornersville blew the game open by putting together a 17-1 run behind four points apiece from Bean and Taylor and three points from Hopkins to forge a 24-3 advantage late in the second period before taking a 24-5 lead into halftime.
The Lady Warriors trimmed the deficit to 26-9 late in the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs outscored Culleoka 9-2 the rest of the way with the aid of three foul shots and field goals from Reavis, Defoe, and Umbles to cap their 35-11 victory.