Bobcats fend off CMS Bulldogs
After winning only two games last season, the Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs showed some promising signs on Tuesday night in defeat, as they dropped a hard fought 35-27 decision at home to a perennially strong Bridgeforth Bobcat team to open the 2012-13 basketball campaign.
Having lost 53-5 on their home court last year to Bridgeforth, the Bulldogs put up a much tougher fight in Tuesday's contest and held a 16-14 lead at halftime.
The Bobcats, however, hit another gear in the second half and put together a 20-5 run to seize a 34-21 advantage early in the fourth quarter before eventually taking home the eight-point victory.
"We ran out of gas in the second half, but I'm very happy with the way we competed," said first-year CMS coach Gerard Randolph. "I've tried to instill in them that we can win every game and we're not going to be intimidated by anyone. This game should help our confidence because this will probably be the best team we play this year. We just need to keep getting better."
Bolstered by a 5-of-7 shooting performance in the second quarter, the Bulldogs shot 55 percent from the field overall (11-of-20), but were hamstrung by 22 turnovers.
Guard Kolbe McMahon led Cornersville with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with four rebounds and three steals, while forward Ty Landers hit 4-of-6 shots and finished with nine points, three rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots. Cade Landers and Austin Ridinger chipped in two points apiece for CMS as well, and Carson Walker had one point.
Bridgeforth, conversely, shot only 30 percent from the floor (13-of-44), but held a 5-1 advantage in three-pointers, committed only 11 turnovers, and outrebounded the Bulldogs 23-17 overall.
Point guard Aspen Bush paced the Bobcats with 13 points, five rebounds, and five steals, while Jordan Gilbert tallied 10 points and five steals. Kobe Bledsoe also added six points for Bridgeforth, and Brandon Rowan and Stephen Wade scored three points apiece.
The Bobcats inched out to a 4-1 lead late in the first quarter before CMS tied the score at 6-6 at the end of the period thanks to a Walker free throw and baskets from Ty Landers and McMahon.
After Bridgeforth tallied the first five points of the second quarter to pull ahead 11-6, McMahon hit three straight layups to give Cornersville a 12-11 advantage midway through the stanza.
Bush drained a three to stake the Bobcats to a brief 14-12 lead, but McMahon hit another layup before Ty Landers scored on an offensive put back to give the Bulldogs a 16-14 advantage at halftime.
Bridgeforth began to heat up offensively at the start of the third period and opened the stanza with an 11-2 run to grab a 25-18 lead.
McMahon buried a trey from the right wing to trim the deficit to 25-21 late in the third quarter, but the Bobcats ripped off nine straight points to forge a 34-21 advantage with 4:20 left in the fourth.
Cornersville then closed the game with a 6-1 spurt behind a Cade Landers jumper and a pair of layups from Ty Landers for the 35-27 final.