Bulldogs rip Hampshire for season sweep
Coming off a gut wrenching 58-57 double overtime loss to Santa Fe three days earlier, the Cornersville Bulldogs healed their wounds on Friday night by defeating Hampshire 53-47 on Homecoming to complete the season sweep of the Hawks.
Having defeated Hampshire 54-45 on Jan. 8, CHS (5-18, 4-8 District) held a slim 22-20 lead at halftime of Friday's contest before the Hawks (4-18, 1-11 District) grabbed a 38-37 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
Similar to their previous encounter, the Bulldogs came on strong down the stretch and outscored Hampshire 16-9 in the fourth period to pull out the six point victory.
"It was nice to get a win after how we lost to Santa Fe," said Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph. "I think we needed this one bad. Hopefully, it will give us some momentum going into the District tournament. It was important to end our District schedule with a win."
After shooting just 31 percent (9-of-29) in the first half, the Bulldogs hit 9-of-19 field goal attempts over the final two quarters to finish 18-of-48 from the floor overall, which included a 5-of-19 effort from three point range, while outscoring the Hawks 12-6 at the foul line. Cornersville also outrebounded Hampshire 30-28 and held a 11-9 edge on the offensive glass.
The Bulldogs got significant contributions from their bench, as reserve forward Alex Walker scored a career high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and four steals, while backup guard Zack Smith drilled four treys and finished with 12 points.
Tate Lowery tallied seven points and five assists as well, and Jamie Crowell added five points and four assists. Hayden McMahon and Tyler Lowery also notched four points apiece for CHS with McMahon recording nine rebounds, four steals, and three blocked shots, while Jacob Griffis chipped in two points.
Despite hitting 7-of-13 field goal attempts in the third quarter, Hampshire shot just 37 percent (19-of-51) from the floor overall, which included a 3-of-16 effort from three-point range.
Fabian Bojorquez paced the Hawks with 18 points, while Hayden Lightfoot and Andrew Prince both had nine points.
Hampshire jumped out to a 10-2 lead late in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs closed the stanza with an 8-2 spurt, highlighted by a Smith three, to narrow the gap to 12-10.
The Hawks opened up a 16-10 advantage early in the second period on baskets by Lightfoot and Bojorquez, before Cornersville rattled off seven straight points thanks to a Smith trey, a runner by Tate Lowery, and a Walker layup to seize a 17-16 advantage with 3:31 left in the half.
After Bojorquez scored two straight baskets to put Hampshire up 20-17, Walker tallied the final five points of the half on a layup and a three-point play to give CHS a 22-20 lead at the break.
The Hawks outscored the Bulldogs 13-8 through the first five minutes of the third quarter to claim a 33-30 advantage, before Cornersville responded with a 7-2 run behind four points from Walker and a Smith three to grab a 37-35 lead late in the stanza.
Bojorquez then converted a three-point play to stake Hampshire to a 38-37 lead at the end of the third period, but the Bulldogs outscored the Hawks 11-2 through the first 6:26 of the fourth on the strength of four free throws from McMahon and baskets from Crowell, Walker, and Tyler Lowery to forge a 48-40 advantage.
The Hawks used a 7-2 run to slice the deficit to 50-47 with :33 left, before CHS held Hampshire scoreless on their final three possessions while Tate Lowery and Walker combined to hit three-of-four foul shots to seal Cornersville's 53-47 win.