Fast start propels Lady Bulldogs

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Cornersville's Brooke Holt scored a team-high 16 points to help lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 56-38 win over Columbia Academy. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Some things never change. Having won all 19 meetings against Columbia Academy since 2004, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs continued their decade of dominance against the Maury County private school on Friday night when they went on the road and defeated CA 56-38.

The Lady Bulldogs (8-6, 4-1 District) blitzed Columbia Academy in the first half and led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter before taking a 35-18 advantage into the break.

Big 4th

CA (0-16, 0-5 District) whittled the deficit to 40-29 at the end of the third period, but Cornersville quickly dashed their comeback hopes by outscoring Columbia Academy 16-9 in the fourth quarter to claim the 18-point win.

Despite a 6-of-12 shooting performance from 6'4"center Leslie Golden, CA shot just 30 percent (14-of-47) from the field overall, which included a 2-of-15 effort from three-point range. Columbia Academy did outrebounded CHS 33-31, but the Lady Bulldogs offset that by forcing 22 CA turnovers.

"We knew we had to get off to a fast start tonight. Our defense was really good in the first half. We had a little different game plan tonight because we were playing against someone that was 6'4"," said Cornersville coach Peyton Newton.

The Lady Bulldogs finished with a modest 16 field goals on 31 percent shooting, but knocked down 7-of-24 attempts from beyond the arc and outscored Columbia Academy 17-8 at the foul line while committing just eight turnovers.

Top shooters

Cornersville's Breanne Dunkleman scores on a layup in the first quarter against Columbia Academy.

Brooke Holt led Cornersville with 16 points, while freshman guard Madison Hopkins tallied a career high 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along with six rebounds and three steals. Breanne Dunkleman also added nine points and four assists, and Kelsey Wortham notched six points. Morgan Terry and Ashley Umbles chipped in three points apiece as well with Terry recording 11 rebounds and four assists, while Carson Coble and Samantha Prosser both had two points.

Golden paced CA with 17 points and Sabrina Gilliam added 11 points. Sutherland Shrader also tallied four points for Columbia Academy, while Claire Graham had three points.

The two teams were locked in a 4-4 tie midway through the first quarter before the Lady Bulldogs closed the stanza with a 15-3 run on the strength of seven points from Hopkins and a pair of treys from Holt and Wortham to seize a 19-7 lead.

Scoring run

Golden hit two free throws early in the second quarter to trim the deficit to 19-9, but Cornersville outscored CA 13-2 over the next 5:39 with the help of threes from Hopkins and Wortham to open up a 32-11 advantage.

Columbia Academy notched the next five points to narrow the gap to 32-16, before Dunkleman drilled a trey from the top of key to push CHS' lead to 35-16.

After Golden hit a short bank shot in the waning seconds of the half to cut the deficit to 35-18, the Lady Bulldogs notched the first three points of the third quarter on a Hopkins jumper and a free throw by Holt to forge a 38-18 advantage.

CA used an 11-2 spurt to close the gap to 40-29 at the end of the third period, before Cornersville outscored Columbia Academy 5-2 over the first four minutes of the fourth quarter thanks to three free throws and a Dunkleman layup to stretch their lead to 45-31.

Graham drained a three to slice the deficit to 45-34, but CHS countered with a 9-0 run behind five points from Holt to make it 54-34 with :28 left before claiming the 56-38 victory.