Lady Bulldogs fall to Huntland

Friday, February 8, 2013
Cornersville High School honored their senior basketball players, cheerleaders, and managers after the girls game against Huntland on Tuesday night. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Mary Taylor, Brittany Umbles, Mackenzie Spivey, Kaleigh Welch, Tristan Jones, Sydney Brock, Kelsey Hunter, (back row, left to right) Jacob Griffis, Hayden McMahon, Chance Dalton, Kaitlyn Rogers, and Alex Walker. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

On Tuesday, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (18-7) ended the regular season with a thud, as they suffered a 59-48 loss at home to the Huntland Lady Hornets (12-14) on Senior Night.

After pulling out a hard fought 61-59 overtime victory over CHS in their previous encounter on Jan. 10, Huntland used a barrage of three-pointers to build a 33-26 lead in the first half before opening up a 49-28 advantage early in the fourth quarter en route to sweeping the season series against the Lady Bulldogs.

Although Cornersville shot a respectable 41 percent from the field overall (19-of-46), outrebounded the Lady Hornets 30-20, and held a 15-8 edge on the offensive glass, the Lady Bulldogs hit just 2-of-10 three-point attempts, committed 17 turnovers, and made only 8-of-19 free throws.

Kaitlyn Rogers paced Cornersville with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting to go along with five rebounds and two blocked shots. Brittany Umbles followed Rogers with nine points, 11 rebounds, and two blocked shots, while Ashley Umbles tallied eight points. Kaleigh Welch, Brooke Holt, and Breanne Dunkleman rounded out the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs with six, five, and two points respectively.

Bolstered by an 8-of-12 shooting performance in the first quarter, Huntland shot 48 percent (23-of-48) from the floor and knocked down 8-of-20 attempts from beyond the arc, while committing just 14 turnovers.

"We've played two good teams this week and we haven't stepped up. I thought we played the last six minutes of the game with some passion and intensity, but it was too little too late," said CHS coach Micah Landers. "I didn't think our defense was terrible because Huntland hit several threes with a hand in their face. If they shoot like that in the postseason with the post player that they have, they're going to beat some people."

Center Alexis Smith paced three Lady Hornet players in double figures with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocked shots, while Courtnee Mayes drilled four treys and finished with 16 points. Ali Golden added 11 points as well, and Faith Elrod notched eight points. Kellie Gamble also chipped in six points for Huntland.

Cornersville's Kaleigh Welch scores on a layup in the first quarter against Huntland.

Cornersville inched out to a 10-8 lead midway through the first quarter with the help of four points from Brittany Umbles and baskets from Ashley Umbles, Rogers, and Welch, but the Lady Hornets closed the stanza with a 12-2 run to seize a 20-12 advantage.

The Lady Bulldogs narrowed the gap to 20-16 early in the second period thanks to layups from Brittany Umbles and Holt, before Huntland tallied the next five points on a Elrod layup and a three from Mayes to open up a 25-16 advantage.

CHS then outscored the Lady Hornets 10-5 over the next 4:15 on the strength of five points from Rogers and a Welch trey to cut the deficit to 30-26 late in the second quarter, but Golden buried a three in the waning seconds of the half to give Huntland a 33-26 lead at the break.

Cornersville's Kaitlyn Rogers hits a jumper over Huntland's Alexis Smith in the first quarter.

After Rogers hit a short bank shot at the start of the third quarter to close the gap to 33-28, things quickly went downhill for Cornersville, as the Lady Hornets rattled off 16 straight points to forge a 49-38 advantage with 7:42 left in the fourth period.

CHS put together a 7-2 run behind four points from Rogers and an Ashley Umbles layup to trim the deficit to 51-35, before Mayes nailed a three to make it 54-35 with 4:38 left.

The Lady Bulldogs then outscored Huntland 13-5 the rest of the way with the aid of five points from Rogers and a Holt three-point play for the 59-48 final.