Fayetteville nips Bulldogs
The Cornersville Bulldogs gave it their all on Friday night, but saw victory elude them once again, as they suffered a gut wrenching 48-47 loss to the Fayetteville Tigers in their home opener.
Fayetteville (4-3) had defeated CHS 61-41 in their previous encounter on Nov. 13, but the Bulldogs (0-5) put up a much tougher fight this time around and held a 47-45 lead in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers, however, snatched the win from Cornersville's grasp, as Aaron Parks hit a three with 5.5 seconds left to give Fayetteville a one-point advantage before the Bulldogs came up empty on their final possession.
"I was very proud of the kids with the way they came out and fought. They left it all out on the floor tonight. I've been preaching to them that if we keep playing hard good things will eventually happen," said CHS coach Gerard Randolph
The Bulldogs finished with 19 field goals on 40 percent shooting and hit 4-of-12 three-point attempts, but struggled at the foul line and made only 5-of-12 free throws in the contest.
Fayetteville made 10-of-16 attempts from the charity stripe, while shooting 41 percent (17-of-41) from the floor, which included a 4-of-15 effort from beyond the arc.
Cornersville did outrebound the Tigers 28-24 and held a 15-13 edge on the offensive boards, but Fayetteville committed two fewer turnovers (15-13) than CHS.
Point guard Tate Lowery knocked down 5-of-9 shots and led the Bulldogs with 14 points, while Hayden McMahon tallied 13 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Jamie Crowell, Jacob Griffis, and Zack Smith also notched six points apiece for Cornersville and Tyler Lowery chipped in two points.
"Tate guided our offense well tonight. He was good off the dribble and made some big buckets when he got to the rim," said Randolph. "Hayden got some big rebounds and finished well when he got the ball on the block."
Aaron Parks paced Fayetteville with 18 points, while Nick Hopkins added 11 points. Michael Parks and James Keith registered seven and six points respectively for the Tigers as well.
The Bulldogs got off to a much needed fast start and raced out to an 8-1 lead midway through the first quarter with the help of a Crowell trey and baskets from Griffis and Tate Lowery.
Fayetteville outscored CHS 16-6 over the next seven minutes to pull ahead 17-14 with 4:48 left in the second quarter, but Cornersville closed the first half with a 10-4 run behind four points form McMahon and a pair of threes from Tate Lowery and Smith to take a 24-21 advantage into the break.
The Tigers then opened the third quarter with a 9-5 spurt to grab a 30-29 lead before Griffis scored on a layup to put the Bulldogs up 31-30 late in the stanza.
Fayetteville tallied six of the next eight points to seize a 36-33 lead at the end of the third period, but CHS responded with a 12-6 run, highlighted by a Tate Lowery three-point play and a trey from Smith, to claim a 45-42 advantage with 2:08 left.
The Tigers knotted the game at 45-45 with the aid of three foul shots, before Lowery drove into the lane and hit a short bank shot with :24 remaining to put Cornersville up 47-45.
After Aaron Parks drilled a three from the right wing to stake Fayetteville to a 48-47 lead, the Tigers knocked the ball out of bounds underneath their own goal with .7 seconds remaining.
The Bulldogs still managed to get a shot off on the inbounds play, but McMahon was unable to hit an off balance layup attempt as time expired.