Lady Bulldogs whip Wayne County
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (11-3) knocked off a potential playoff opponent on Saturday afternoon when they defeated Region 6-A foe Wayne County 59-49 at the Richland Christmas Classic.
Wayne County (5-10) had won the last two meetings against CHS, but the Lady Bulldogs were in control for much of Thursday's contest and built a 25-15 lead in the first half before opening up a 44-30 advantage late in the third quarter.
Cornersville then withstood a late rally attempt by the Lady Wildcats that saw Wayne County slice the deficit to three points midway through the fourth period before eventually claiming the 10-point victory.
"I thought we played a really good first half. We played with really good intensity and energy. I was just worried if we'd be able to maintain it," said CHS coach Micah Landers.. "Wayne County shot the ball well at times in the second half, but we kept our composure and kept doing what we've been doing. I thought everybody pitched in at some key moments."
Bolstered by a 9-of-17 shooting performance in the third quarter, the Lady Bulldogs shot 44 percent (21-of-48) from the field overall, which included a 7-of-17 effort from three-point range.
Cornersville also committed just 11 turnovers, dished out 16 assists as a team, outrebounded the Lady Wildcats 34-23, and held a 12-8 edge on the offensive glass.
Senior forward Kaitlyn Rogers nailed three treys and led the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Ashley Umbles tallied 14 points as well on 7-of-14 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and four assists, while Brittany Umbles, Brooke Holt, and Haley Stacey notched nine, eight, and six points respectively with Brittany Umbles grabbing 10 rebounds. Kaleigh Welch also chipped in two points and five assists for CHS.
Wayne County committed only 14 turnovers, but had trouble getting the ball into the paint against Cornersville's 2-3 zone and hoisted 32 three-pointers, hitting eight, en route to shooting 36 percent from the field (19-of-53) overall.
Cassie Mathis paced the Lady Wildcats with 14 points, while Morgan Mathis and Haley Inman added 11 and eight points respectively. Jessie Ray and Taylor Hatcher tallied six points apiece for Wayne County as well and Sam Skelton and Kristen Crews each had two points.
The Lady Wildcats grabbed an early 2-0 lead on a layup by Hatcher, before Cornersville put together a 10-2 run behind two treys from Rogers and a Holt three to grab a 10-4 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Wayne County notched seven of the next 10 points to narrow the gap to 13-11 early in the second period, but the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Wildcats 12-4 over the last 5:32 of the first half with the help of six points from Ashley Umbles and a Stacey trey to take a 25-15 lead into the break.
After Wayne County trimmed the deficit to 25-17 at the start of the third quarter, Rogers buried a three from the left wing and scored on a layup to give CHS a 30-17 advantage.
The Lady Wildcats used a 13-4 spurt to close the gap to 34-30, but Cornersville ripped off 10 straight points thanks to a pair of baskets from Ashley Umbles and treys from Holt and Stacey to push their lead to 44-30 late in the third period.
Wayne County outscored CHS 17-6 over the next 5:43 to whittle the deficit to 50-47 midway through the fourth quarter, before Brittany Umbles sandwiched a couple of layups around two Skelton free throws to stake the Lady Bulldogs to a 54-49 advantage with 1:49 remaining.
Cornersville then held the Lady Wildcats scoreless on their final five possessions while Welch, Holt, and Rogers combined to hit five-of-six free throws over the last :53 to seal CHS' 59-49 triumph.