Lady Bulldogs fall in title game
For the first time in four years, another team besides the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (19-8) hoisted the first place plaque at the end of the District 11-A tournament, as CHS lost 40-29 to tourney host Richland in the title game on Monday night in Lynnville.
After splitting the regular season series against Cornersville, the second seeded Lady Raiders (19-8) kept the Lady Bulldogs' offense under wraps the entire game and built a 19-12 lead in the first half before outscoring CHS 21-17 over the final two quarters to claim the 11-point win.
Despite Monday's loss, Cornersville will host Loretto in the first round of the Region 6-A tournament on Friday night.
Hindered by a zero-of-8 effort from three-point range, the Lady Bulldogs mustered just 11 field goals on 33 percent shooting and committed 23 turnovers.
CHS also struggled at the foul line and made just seven of 14 free throws.
"I thought they applied good pressure on our guards all night. If you neutralize our guards, you can stop our post play," said Cornersville coach Micah Landers. "I don't think we responded very well when we fell behind. We're just going to have to toughen up. We're going to have to put our chin out and fight if we want to win our next game."
Brittany Umbles led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points on five-of-eight shooting to go along with six rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots. Kaitlyn Rogers tallied eight points as well, while Ashley Umbles added five points. Kaleigh Welch and Brooke Holt rounded out the scoring for CHS with three and two points respectively.
Raiders' advantage Richland finished with only 12 field goals on 29 percent shooting and turned the ball over 16 times, but knocked down 5-of-15 attempts from beyond the arc and hit 11-of-16 foul shots.
The Lady Raiders also out-rebounded CHS 23-22 and held an 11-6 edge on the offensive glass.
Merrianne Patterson paced Richland with 12 points, while Shelby Allen hit three treys and finished with 11 points.
Kaylin Stacey chipped in seven points for the Lady Raiders as well, and Ashton Edwards had six points.
Cornersville grabbed an early 2-0 lead on a layup by Brittany Umbles, before Richland outscored the Lady Bulldogs 10-2 over the next four minutes to pull ahead 10-4 late in the first quarter.
Rogers made two free throws to trim the deficit to 10-6 at the end of the first period, but the Lady Raiders opened the second quarter with a 9-3 spurt to open up a 19-9 advantage with 2:31 left in the stanza.
After tallying the final three points of the first half thanks to a Ashley Umbles free throw and an offensive put back by Brittany Umbles to narrow the gap to 19-12, Cornersville sliced the deficit to 19-16 early in the third period on the strength of another offensive put back from Brittany Umbles and an Ashley Umbles jumper.
Richland, however, reclaimed the momentum shortly after that point and put together a 12-3 run to push their lead to 31-19 with 6:12 left in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs closed the gap to 31-25 midway through the fourth period behind four points from Rogers and a Brittany Umbles layup, but the Lady Raiders outscored CHS 9-2 over the next 3:33 to forge a 40-27 advantage before Welch hit a runner in the waning moments of the contest for the 40-29 final.