Loretto bounces Lady Bulldogs from playoffs
Some teams just have your number. Loretto knocked the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (19-9) out of the Region 6-A tournament for the third straight year, as CHS dropped 41-25 decision to the Lady Mustangs at home on Friday night in the first round of the tourney.
Aided by a dominant defensive performance from center Rachel Burden, Loretto (19-11) built a 23-14 lead in the first half before opening up a 38-18 advantage early in the fourth quarter en route to claiming their fifth straight win over Cornersville.
Despite committing only nine turnovers, the Lady Bulldogs finished with a mere eight field goals on 21 percent shooting, which included a 3-of-17 effort from three-point range.
The Lady Mustangs shot a paltry 28 percent (12-of-43) from the field and made just 4-of-16 attempts from beyond the arc, but committed only eight turnovers and outscored CHS 13-6 at the foul line. Loretto also outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs 35-21 and held a 16-6 edge on the offensive glass.
"I would have liked to have played better, but even had we played our best we might not have beaten them. We just lost to a better team," said Cornersville coach Micah Landers. "Our girls played their tails off though. You would like to see the seniors go out on a better note, but I can't say enough good things about them. They showed a lot of character and heart this season. I wouldn't trade them for anyone."
Brooke Holt led the Lady Bulldogs with seven points, and Kaleigh Welch tallied six points and six rebounds. Brittany Umbles added five points and nine rebounds as well, while Ashley Umbles notched four points and four blocked shots. Kaitlyn Rogers also chipped in three points and three assists for CHS.
Burden finished with a modest five points, but had a big impact on the game by recording 13 rebounds and eight blocked shots. Kayla Santiago paced the Lady Mustangs' offense with 12 points, while Sabrie Sirmones, Becca Brodie, and Ashley Johns added nine, eight, and six points respectively.
Cornersville inched out to an early 3-2 lead thanks to a trey from Welch before Loretto tallied the next five points on two Burden free throws and a three from Johns to pull ahead 7-3 midway through the first quarter.
After Brittany Umbles converted a three-point play to cut the deficit to 7-6, the Lady Mustangs put together a 16-1 run to open up a 23-7 advantage with 4:16 left in the second period.
The Lady Bulldogs scored the last seven points of the first half with the help of a Welch trey and layups from Ashley Umbles and Holt to narrow the gap to 23-14 at the break, but Loretto opened the third quarter with an 8-2 spurt to stretch their lead to 31-16 midway through the stanza.
Rogers hit a runner to trim the deficit to 31-18, before the Lady Mustangs rattled off seven straight points to forge a 38-18 advantage with 6:53 left in the fourth period.
Cornersville then outscored Loretto 7-3 the rest of the way behind five points from Holt and two Brittany Umbles free throws for the 41-25 final.