Columbia Academy clips CMS Lady Bulldogs
The Cornersville Middle School Lady Bulldogs (1-3) failed to advance to the finals of the Cornersville Athletic Booster Club tournament for the first time in four years after losing 28-24 to Columbia Academy in the semifinals on Thursday night.
CA held an 11-9 lead at halftime before opening up a 26-16 advantage midway through the fourth quarter. The Lady Bulldogs engineered a late rally and sliced the deficit to 26-24 with :48 left, but Columbia Academy held Cornersville scoreless on their final three possessions to hold on for the four-point victory.
Due to Thursday's loss, CMS will take on Richland in the consolation finals on Saturday afternoon, while CA faces Huntland in the championship game later in the evening.
Aided by a 5-of-7 shooting performance from guard Cassidy Schrader, Columbia Academy finished with a 12-9 advantage in field goals. The Lady Bulldogs did outrebound CA 29-19 and held a 17-12 edge on the offensive glass, but were hamstrung by 27 turnovers.
"I thought we played hard except for about a four minute stretch in the third quarter when they made their run," said Cornersville coach Joy McMasters. "We are still having trouble handling the ball, but we're improving on it. Turnovers continue to plague us and we missed a bunch of shots underneath the basket."
Power forward Samantha Prosser led CMS with 13 points, eight rebounds, and four steals, while point guard Madison Hopkins added seven points, four steals, and three assists. Kennedy Wilson chipped in four points for the Lady Bulldogs as well.
"I was proud of Samantha and Madison tonight. Samantha had a good overall game and Madison made some shots and picked up her scoring," said McMasters.
Schrader paced Columbia Academy with 10 points, while Corinne Shapiro and Hannah Weller tallied seven and six points respectively. Bethany Young also notched three points and Cassidy Chambley had two points.
Cornersville got off to a solid start and held a 7-5 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a pair of baskets from Wilson and three points from Prosser before CA tied the game at 7-7 early in the second on a basket by Weller.
Prosser hit a jumper to put the Lady Bulldogs up 9-7, but Shapiro and Weller each knocked down short jumpers in the waning moments of the half to stake Columbia Academy to an 11-9 advantage at the break.
CA quickly widened their lead at the start of the third by tallying the first six points of the quarter to open up a 17-9 advantage with 3:40 left in the stanza.
Cornersville then went on a 7-0 run with the help of a Prosser three-point play and two layups from Hopkins to whittle the deficit to 17-16 at the end of the third quarter, but Columbia Academy mounted an immediate response and scored the first nine points of the fourth to stretch their lead to 26-16.
The Lady Bulldogs came storming back again and put together an 8-0 spurt on the strength of five points from Prosser and a Hopkins trey to narrow the gap to 26-24.
Cornersville, however, was unable to complete the comeback and committed turnovers on their final three possessions while Young hit two free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining to clinch CA's 28-24 victory.