Lady Bulldogs fall
After struggling in the second half the last three games, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs' late game struggles finally bit them on Friday night when they dropped a 42-36 decision to District 11-A leader Richland on Homecoming.
The Lady Bulldogs (10-7, 6-2 District) looked good early and built a 22-16 lead in the first half. Cornersville, however, was unable to carry that momentum into the second half, as the Lady Raiders (12-6, 8-0 District) outscored CHS 26-14 over the final two quarters to snap the Lady Bulldogs three-game winning streak.
Thanks to Friday's triumph, Richland completed the season sweep of Cornersville and opened up a two-game lead over the second place Lady Bulldogs in the District standings.
Hindered by a 4-of-16 shooting performance in the second half, Cornersville shot just 36 percent (14-of-39) from the field overall and made only 2-of-18 attempts from three-point range. The Lady Bulldogs also hurt their own cause by committing 18 turnovers, including eight in the third quarter alone.
"We can't take care of the basketball. We just had too many turnovers and most of them weren't even forced," said CHS coach Peyton Newton. "We didn't score in the second half because we stopped trying to get the ball inside. Our offensive execution was just poor in the second half."
Ashley Umbles recorded a double-double and led three Lady Bulldog players in double figures by tallying 12 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocked shots.
"Ashley did well tonight. I feel like she rebounded the ball well and played hard. She's getting her confidence back and is starting to enjoy playing again," said Newton.
Holt followed Umbles with 11 points, while Morgan Terry added 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Madison Hopkins and Breanne Dunkleman chipped in two and one point for Cornersville as well with Hopkins dishing out four assists.
Richland mustered just 13 field goals on 31 percent shooting, but knocked down 5-of-13 attempts from beyond the arc and outscored the Lady Bulldogs 11-6 at the foul line. The Lady Raiders also committed only 13 turnovers, outrebounded CHS 25-24, and held a 12-8 edge on the offensive glass.
Ashton Edwards paced Richland with 14 points, while Chelsea Payne and Shelby Allen notched eight points apiece. Hannah Helton and Shannon Higgins rounded out the scoring for the Raiders with seven and five points respectively.
The Lady Bulldogs inched out to a 6-5 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to a pair of baskets from Terry and a Holt jump hook.
Richland outscored Cornersville 8-5 over the next 8:33 to pull ahead 13-11 before CHS tallied four straight points on layups by Umbles and Terry to seize a 15-13 advantage late in the second period.
After Higgins canned a trey to put the Lady Raiders up 16-15, the Lady Bulldogs rattled off seven straight points with the help of a Hopkins jumper, a layup by Terry, and a Holt three-point play to take a 22-16 lead into halftime.
CHS' lead quickly evaporated in the second half , as Richland opened the third quarter with a 14-3 run to grab a 30-25 advantage.
Cornersville outscored the Lady Raiders 7-3 over the next 3:49 behind five points from Umbles and a Terry layup to slice the deficit to 33-32, but Richland responded with an 8-2 spurt to forge a 41-34 lead with :19 left.
Holt then hit a running bank shot with :09 left to close the gap to 41-36, before Helton made one-of-two free throws to cap the Lady Raiders' 42-36 win.