Hornets sting Cornersville
The Huntland Hornets evened the season series with Cornersville on Thursday night when they defeated the Bulldogs 66-43 at CHS.
Cornersville (3-10) had beaten the Hornets 72-65 in their previous meeting on Dec. 27, but Huntland (5-10) turned the tables on the Bulldogs in Thursday's contest and built a 29-18 lead in the first half before outscoring CHS 37-25 over the final two quarters to pull away for the 23-point victory.
Bolstered by a 9-of-20 effort from three-point range, the Hornets finished with 23 field goals on 43 percent shooting, while committing 15 turnovers.
Kevin Jernigan and Kobe Foster paced Huntland with 15 points apiece with Jernigan canning four treys. Justin Sells also tallied 11 points and Tyler Smith added 10 points and 13 rebounds. Rahul Patel and Will Rector chipped in six and five points for the Hornets as well.
Not enough 'effort'
"We didn't play with the same effort and didn't do anything defensively. Maybe we were a little overconfident and we can't afford to do that, but I think Huntland just came out to play and wanted it more than we did," said Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph.
Although the Bulldogs committed only 11 turnovers, they had trouble finding the bottom of the basket and shot just 29 percent (17-of-59) from the field, which included a 3-of-17 effort from beyond the arc. Cornersville did hold a 16-11 edge on the offensive glass, but Huntland outrebounded CHS 37-31 overall.
Wes Meadows led the Bulldogs with 11 points, while Tate Lowery was limited to 10 points after torching the Hornets for a career high 33 points in their previous encounter. Brian Lowe and Jacob Reeves also added five points apiece, while Jamie Crowell and Tyler Lowery both had four points. David Looney and Hunter Swinney rounded out the scoring for Cornersville with two points each.
The Bulldogs dug themselves a deep hole early in the contest, as Huntland built an 18-5 lead in the first quarter behind two Foster threes and a pair of treys from Jernigan and Patel.
Cornersville opened the second period with a 7-1 run, highlighted by a Reeves three, to narrow the gap to 19-12, but Jernigan buried consecutive treys to give the Hornets a 25-12 advantage with 2:42 left in the half.
In the chase
CHS notched six of the next eight points thanks to a couple of baskets from Crowell and a layup by Looney to cut the deficit to 27-18, before Foster hit a runner as time expired in the half to push Huntland's lead to 29-18.
The Hornets continued to distance themselves from the Bulldogs at the start of the second half and outscored Cornersville 8-2 over the first three minutes of the third quarter to open up a 37-21 advantage.
CHS tried to mount a rally and put together an 11-3 run behind seven points from Tate Lowery to close the gap to 40-32 late in the third period, but Huntland quickly counterpunched and rattled off 11 straight points to stretch their lead to 51-32 early in the fourth.
After Meadows hit a three and a short bank shot to whittle the deficit to 51-37 with 4:25 left, the Hornets outscored the Bulldogs 15-6 the rest of the way to cap their 66-43 win.