Bulldogs knock off Collinwood
The Cornersville Bulldogs (2-9) provided their fans with some holiday cheer last Thursday when they defeated the Collinwood Trojans 59-48 at the Community Christmas Classic.
Collinwood entered Thursday's contest with an impressive 7-2 record and had won the last seven meetings against the Bulldogs, but Cornersville stayed within striking distance of the Trojans through the first three quarters of play and trailed just 31-30 entering the fourth period.
The Bulldogs then came on strong down the stretch and outscored Collinwood 29-17 over the final eight minutes with the help of some clutch foul shooting to claim the 11-point victory.
'Four good quarters'
"We played four good quarters of basketball and when you do that you usually have a chance to win. I'm very happy for the guys because they beat a quality opponent today," said Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph. "We've gotten better because we've played more basketball together and aren't making silly mistakes."
The Bulldogs shot just 29 percent (11-of-38) through the first three quarters before hitting 7-of-9 field goal attempts in the pivotal fourth period to finish 18-of-47 from the floor overall, which included a 2-of-7 effort from three-point range.
"We did a good job against their press in the fourth quarter. We had a few turnovers, but when we took our time and broke it, we scored layups," said Randolph.
Cornersville also cashed in at the foul line and made 21-of-28 free throws, highlighted by a 14-of-19 performance in the fourth quarter.
Still the leader
Despite being forced to sit out much of the first three periods due to foul trouble, point guard Tate Lowery led three Bulldog players in double figures with 14 points and four assists. Hayden McMahon and Zack Smith each tallied 12 points as well with McMahon grabbing a game high 12 rebounds, while Tyler Lowery and Jacob Griffis added eight and six points respectively. Jamie Crowell also chipped in three points for Cornersville, and Jacob Reeves and David Looney both had two points.
Although the Trojans outrebounded the Bulldogs 37-33 and held a 16-10 edge on the offensive glass, Collinwood shot a woeful 28 percent (17-of-60) from the field, knocked down only 5-of-21 attempts from beyond the arc, and made just 9-of-19 free throws.
Kelby Ray paced the Trojans with 13 points, while Logan Montgomery, Tucker Robertson, and Hunter Andrews added 11, eight, and seven points respectively.
The Bulldogs raced out to a 10-4 lead midway through the first quarter with the help of four points from McMahon and a Smith trey, before Collinwood went on a 17-4 run to pull ahead 21-14 late in the second period.
After outscoring the Trojans 8-3 over the final two minutes of the first half thanks to a pair of baskets from Tyler Lowery and two free throws apiece from Looney and Crowell to narrow the gap to 24-22, Cornersville tied the game at 24-24 early in the third quarter on a McMahon offensive put back.
Collinwood outscored the Bulldogs 7-6 over the last 5:30 of the third period to inch out to a 31-30 lead, but Cornersville tallied the first six points of the fourth, highlighted by a Tate Lowery three, to seize a 36-31 advantage.
The Trojans sliced the deficit to 36-35 on layups by Montgomery and Ray, before Tate Lowery made four consecutive free throws and Smith hit a layup to stake the Bulldogs to a 42-35 lead with 4:40 left.
Montgomery scored two straight baskets to narrow the gap to 42-39, but Cornersville went on a 14-5 run behind five points from Smith and four points from Tate Lowery to open up a 56-44 lead with :48 remaining.
The Trojans then trimmed the deficit to 56-48 thanks to a Andrews trey and a free throw by Kyle Pope, before the Bulldogs notched the last three points of the game on a Tate Lowery free throw and a layup by Jacob Griffis to cap their 59-48 triumph.