Fayetteville outlasts Bulldogs in overtime

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Cornersville's Tate Lowery hits a runner over Fayetteville's Michael Parks in the second quarter. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

On Saturday night, the Cornersville Bulldogs missed a chance to pick up their second victory of the season, as the Fayetteville Tigers defeated CHS 71-63 in overtime behind a barrage of three-pointers at the Cornersville Thanksgiving Classic.

After overcoming a three-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation, the Bulldogs (1-3) held a 56-53 lead in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, but Fayetteville reserve guard Nick Hopkins buried a three with five seconds left to send the game into overtime tied at 56-56.

The Tigers then seized the momentum after that point and outscored Cornersville 15-7 in the extra session to escape with the eight-point win.

Despite hitting only 3-of-16 three-point attempts and being without the services of senior center Mike Lovett, who was sidelined by a knee injury, the Bulldogs shot a respectable 48 percent (22-of-46) from the field overall and outscored Fayetteville 16-7 at the foul line.

Forward Haydon McMahon picked up the offensive slack for Cornersville and led three CHS players in double figures by pouring in a game high 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. Point guard Tate Lowery also tallied 17 points, six assists, five rebounds, and three steals, while Zack Smith buried three treys and finished with 11 points. Danny Gordon, Stone Riner, and Jamie Crowell chipped in five, three, and one point respectively as well.

The Tigers, meanwhile, shot 44 percent (25-of-57) from the floor, but knocked down 14-of-27 attempts from beyond the arc. Fayetteville also held a 13-8 edge on the offensive glass despite being outrebounded 33-29 by Cornersville overall.

Hopkins spearheaded Fayetteville's long range assault by drilling six threes en route to finishing with a team high 20 points. Michael Parks and James Keith also notched 16 and 12 points respectively for the Tigers.

Cornersville got off to a fast start and hit their first six shots to forge a 14-4 lead midway through the first quarter on the strength of six points from Lowery, a Smith trey, and a three-point play by Riner.

After Fayetteville outscored CHS 18-9 over the next 8:09 to slice the deficit to 23-22, the Bulldogs rattled off seven straight points thanks to a McMahon offensive put back, a layup by Smith, and three free throws to open up a 30-22 advantage late in the second period prior to taking a 32-25 lead into halftime.

McMahon then scored the first two baskets of the third quarter to give Cornersville a 36-25 advantage, but the Tigers put together a 19-5 run to pull ahead 44-41 early in the fourth.

The Bulldogs outscored Fayetteville 9-5 over the next three minutes with the help of a Gordon three-point play and a trey from Smith to claim a 50-49 lead, before the Tigers tallied the next four points to seize a 53-50 advantage with 2:04 left.

After McMahon converted a three-point play to tie the score at 53-53, Gordon hit one-of-two free throws and McMahon scored on a layup to stake CHS to a 56-53 advantage with :18 remaining.

Hopkins, though, came through in the clutch for Fayetteville and drilled a three from the right corner to knot the game at 56-56.

The Tigers continued their hot outside shooting in overtime and knocked down three more treys to grab a 65-58 lead with 1:25 left.

McMahon hit a jumper and a layup to trim the deficit to 67-62, but Fayetteville sealed the game by making four free throws in the final 26 seconds to cap their 71-63 victory.