Moore County defeats Lady Bulldogs
Despite the return of senior point guard Makenzie Hopkins, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs were dealt their first loss of the season on Friday night when they were beaten 41-31 by the Moore County Raiderettes (3-1) at the Cornersville Thanksgiving Classic.
The Lady Bulldogs (2-1) held a 22-18 lead early in the third quarter, but saw their offense come to a standstill after that point while Moore County outscored CHS 23-9 the rest of the way to claim the 10-point victory.
Cornersville committed only 14 turnovers and hit 16-of-23 free throws, but had trouble finding the range against the Raiderettes' physical man-to-man defense and finished with only seven field goals on 21 percent shooting, which included a 1-of-7 effort from three-point range.
Center Kaitlyn Rogers led CHS with nine points and five rebounds, while Ashley Warren and Brittany Umbles tallied six and five points respectively. Martha Jane McMasters (three points), Ashley Umbles (three points), Hopkins (two points), Haley Stacey (two points), and Brooke Holt (one point) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs.
"We had some turnovers at critical times. We were ahead and it seemed like we had three turnovers in a row that hurt us," said CHS coach Micah Landers. "I think Makenzie gave us an emotional boost when she came into the game in the second quarter, but I don't think we played really hard the entire game. She helped us some when she was out there. She's done a lot for us the last three years."
Although she came off the bench and played only a little over nine minutes, Hopkins was glad to get back out on the court after being sidelined for the first two games of the season by a serious knee injury that she suffered in June.
"It felt great to be back out on the floor," said Hopkins. "I missed playing a lot and I just wanted to get back out there, but I was nervous and scared to do things that I was used to doing last year."
Moore County, meanwhile, shot only 33 percent (14-of-42) from the field, hit just 1-of-8 attempts from beyond the arc, and missed 17-of-29 free throws, but outrebounded Cornersville 37-22 and held a 14-5 edge on the offensive glass.
Senior guard Rachel Garland almost singlehandedly carried the Raiderette offense in the second half and scored 17 of her game high 20 points over the final two quarters to go along with 12 rebounds and three steals. Sarah Raby followed Garland with 13 points, while Erin Thomas and Kelsey Camp had five and three points respectively.
After Cornersville inched out to a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter on three foul shots by Rogers, Moore County outscored CHS 14-7 over the next 7:27 to pull ahead 14-10.
Following a free throw by Ashley Umbles, Hopkins and Rogers each made two foul shots to give the Lady Bulldogs a 15-14 advantage late in the half before Raby scored on a layup as time expired in the stanza to stake the Raiderettes to a 16-15 lead at the break.
Cornersville then opened the second half with a 7-2 spurt, highlighted by a McMasters trey, to grab a 22-18 advantage, but Moore County countered with a 16-4 run to forge a 34-26 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Rogers then hit two free throws to trim the deficit to 34-28, before Moore County outscored CHS 7-3 over the final 6:11 to seal their 41-31 win.