Hawks hold off Bulldogs
For the second time in three games, the Cornersville Bulldogs (2-14, 0-6 District) turned in a gritty effort, but were unable to take home a win, as they lost 56-50 on the road to the Hampshire Hawks on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs only trailed 30-27 late in the third quarter, but the Hawks used a 21-9 run to open up a 51-36 advantage with 1:54 left in the fourth period.
Hampshire (9-7, 2-4 District) then had to fend off a last ditch rally attempt by CHS that saw Cornersville slice the deficit to 53-50 before claiming the six-point victory.
"We went back to playing man-to-man defense. When Mike (Lovett) got injured, I made the mistake of thinking we had to play zone defense in order to compete," said Cornersville coach Adrian Wilson. "Physically we're outmatched by other teams because of our youth, but it's not my nature and it's not the nature of these boys to play zone. We became passive playing zone."
Although the Bulldogs shot a mere 31 percent (14-of-44) from the field overall and hit just 1-of-13 three-point attempts, Cornersville kept within striking distance of the Hawks by knocking down 21-of-28 free throws and committed only 14 turnovers.
Hampshire, conversely, hit only 12-of-23 free throws and committed 16 turnovers, but finished with 21 field goals on 43 percent shooting, which included a 2-of-9 effort from beyond the arc. The Hawks also outrebounded the Bulldogs 36-27 and held a 12-9 edge on the offensive glass.
Forward Hayden McMahon posted a double-double and led Cornersville with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Tate Lowery followed McMahon with 16 points and three steals, while Danny Gordon tallied nine points, nine rebounds, and six steals. Zack Smith and Stone Riner chipped in five and three points respectively for CHS as well.
Will Boshers paced four Hawks players in double figures with 12 points, while Fabian Bojorquez added 11 points. Trynton Simmons and Hayden Lightfoot also notched 10 points apiece for Hampshire and Blake Rochelle had seven points.
CHS held an 8-7 lead late in the first quarter thanks to a Lowery layup, a pair of baskets from McMahon, and two free throws before the Hawks notched two straight field goals to pull ahead 11-8 early in the second period.
The Bulldogs outscored Hampshire 8-5 over the next 5:39 with the help of baskets from Riner, Smith, McMahon, and Lowery to tie the game at 16-16, but the Hawks tallied the next four points to grab a 20-16 lead in the waning seconds of the half.
After Lowery hit two free throws with 1.2 seconds left in the first half to trim the deficit to 20-18 at the break, Gordon made a layup and McMahon hit a runner to put Cornersville up 22-20 early in the third quarter.
Hampshire put together a 10-3 run to seize a 30-25 lead before Gordon made a steal near midcourt and scored on a layup to make it 30-27 with :06 left in the third quarter.
The Hawks then opened up some breathing room by outscoring 15-6 over the next five minutes to forge a 45-33 advantage.
Following a Smith trey, which trimmed the deficit to 45-36, Hampshire tallied six straight points to push their lead to 51-36 late in the fourth period.
CHS engineered a 14-2 run behind five points apiece from Lowery and McMahon and four points from Gordon to slice the deficit to 53-50 with :15 left.
The Hawks, however, sealed their 56-50 victory by hitting 3-of-4 free throws in the final 14 seconds while the Bulldogs missed three-pointers on their last two possessions