Santa Fe sneaks past Bulldogs

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Cornersville's Michael Allen hits a short turnaround jumper in the second quarter against Santa Fe. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Bulldogs missed a chance to pick up their second District win of the season on Friday night when they suffered a gut wrenching 60-59 road loss to the Santa Fe Wildcats.

Cornersville (3-9, 1-3 District) trailed 33-27 early in the third quarter but rallied to take a 59-57 lead late in the fourth period.

After Santa Fe (8-7, 2-2 District) tied the game at 59-59 with :49 on a layup by point guard Grant Warf, the Bulldogs came up empty on their final possession before Warf was fouled near midcourt as time expired in regulation. Warf then hit the second of two free throws to give the Wildcats the hard fought one-point victory.

'Got to be smarter'

"We've just got to be smarter because we're high school players now," said Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph. "I'll take the blame because I didn't tell them every single thing to do on the court in that situation during our last timeout."

The Bulldogs shot only 39 percent (18-of-46) from the field, but knocked down 6-of-16 three point attempts and 17-of-22 free throws while committing just 11 turnovers.

Cornersville's Brian Lowe hits a runner over a pair of Santa Fe defenders in the first quarter.

Despite sitting out much of the first half due to foul trouble, Cornersville point guard Tate Lowery poured in a game high 30 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Jamie Crowell and Meadows tallied eight and seven points for the Bulldogs as well, while Tyler Lowery, Brian Lowe, and Michael Allen added four points apiece. David Looney rounded out the scoring for CHS with two points.

Although Santa Fe hit just 14-of-30 free throws and 4-of-20 attempts from beyond the arc, they shot 47 percent (21-of-45) from the field overall. The Wildcats did commit 20 turnovers, but offset that by outrebounding CHS 33-21, which included a 13-6 edge on the offensive glass.

Thomas Hopkins paced Santa Fe with 15 points, while Evan Burcham and Wyatt Long notched nine and eight points respectively. Warf and Austin Winchester also chipped in seven points apiece for the Wildcats, and Trent Maxwell and Tyler Parham both had six points.

Rough start

The Bulldogs stumbled out of the blocks, as Santa Fe built a 13-5 lead midway through the first quarter.

Cornersville closed the first period with an 11-4 run, highlighted by two treys from Meadows and a Crowell three, to narrow the gap to 17-16 before Santa Fe tallied six of the next eight points to open up a 23-18 advantage early in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs outscored the Wildcats 7-2 over the next 4:20 with the help of five points from Tate Lowery and an Allen turnaround jumper to tie the game at 25-25, but Santa Fe closed the half with a 6-2 spurt to take a 31-27 lead into the break.

After the Wildcats stretched their lead to 33-27 early in the third quarter on a layup by Hopkins, Cornersville put together a 13-6 run behind seven points from Tate Lowery to pull ahead 40-39 midway through the stanza.

Late efforts

Santa Fe outscored CHS 12-5 over the final 3:50 of the third period to grab a 51-45 advantage, but the Bulldogs opened the fourth quarter with a 13-6 spurt on the strength of seven points from Tate Lowery to seize a 59-57 lead with 1:08 left.

Warf hit a layup to knot the game at 59-59 before Cornersville held the ball for the last shot. After Tate Lowery missed a short runner with two seconds left, Warf grabbed the rebound and was fouled while dribbling up the court.

Warf clanked the first foul shot off the back of the rim before rattling home the second free throw to hand CHS the one-point loss.