Bridgeforth fends off CMS Lady Bulldogs
The Cornersville Middle School Lady Bulldog turned in a spirited effort in their first game under new coach Peyton Newton, but came up short on the scoreboard, as they dropped a hard fought 30-26 decision to the Bridgeforth Lady Bobcats on Tuesday night in Pulaski.
Having defeated CMS handily twice last season, the Lady Bobcats appeared headed for another easy victory on Tuesday after building a 20-6 lead early in the third quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs, though, made Bridgeforth sweat down the stretch and outscored the Lady Bobcats 20-10 over the next 10:33 before seeing their rally attempt come up short in the end.
"I thought we did well and played hard. We kept battling and finished strong. We got into a groove in the second half. In the first half, we didn't have any shots fall, but in the second half we hit some shots and were able to find our rhythm," said Newton. "I'm very excited about coaching here. They have a great tradition of girls basketball here and I'm happy to be a part of it."
Despite a 6-of-10 shooting performance in the fourth quarter, Cornersville shot only 32 percent (11-of-34) from the field overall. The Lady Bulldogs also left a number of points at the foul line and hit just 4-of-21 free throws in the contest.
CMS did outrebound Bridgeforth 36-33, but offset that by committing 11 more turnovers (27-16) than the Lady Bobcats.
Morgan Terry led the Lady Bulldogs with nine points, eight rebounds and three assists, while Taylor Powers, Sara Beth Prosser, and Hannah Singleton tallied four points apiece with Powers registering five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Callie White chipped in two points and five rebounds for Cornersville as well, and Emma Mitchell added one point, 12 rebounds, and three steals.
Bridgeforth finished with 12 field goals on 25 percent shooting, which included a 3-of-19 effort from three-point range. Grace Gerlach paced the Lady Bobcats with 10 points, while Jenson Harper tallied six points. Tee Hollingsworth and Bianca Malone also scored five points each for Bridgeforth, and Bethany Duke added four points.
Lid stays on
CMS had trouble taking the lid off their basket at the start of the game and failed to score in the first quarter while the Lady Bobcats built a 10-0 lead.
After Powers hit one-of-two free throws with 5:00 left in the second period to finally break the ice for the Lady Bulldogs, Singleton knocked down a jumper to trim the deficit to 10-3.
Bridgeforth outscored Cornersville 8-3 over the final three minutes of the half to push their lead to 18-6 before Gerlach made a layup early in the third quarter to give the Lady Bobcats a 20-6 advantage.
The Lady Bulldogs then began to claw their way back into the contest and closed the third period with a 7-3 run behind four points from Terry and a White offensive put back to narrow the gap to 23-13.
Shots start falling
Bridgeforth extended their lead to 28-15 early in the fourth quarter on a layup by Hollingsworth and a Gerlach three, but Cornersville rattled off seven straight points with the help of two baskets from Terry, a Prosser layup, and a free throw by Powers to slice the deficit to 28-22 with 3:40 left.
After Malone hit a short bank shot to push the Lady Bobcats' lead to 30-22, Cornersville tallied the next four points on layups by Prosser and Powers to close the gap to 30-26 with :16.
Although Bridgeforth turned the ball over on their last two possessions, the Lady Bulldogs were unable to pull any closer, as they missed the front end of two one-and-ones before time expired.