Lady Bulldogs edge Santa Fe
On Tuesday night, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs clinched the second seed in the upcoming District 11-A tournament by defeating third place Santa Fe 44-42 at home to complete the season sweep of the Lady Wildcats.
CHS (13-8, 9-2 District) trailed 24-19 at halftime before using a 22-12 run to seize a 41-36 lead with 3:10 left in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Wildcats then rallied to pull ahead 42-41 with :46 remaining, but the Lady Bulldogs tallied the last three points of the game on a layup by Brooke Holt and a Breanne Dunkleman free throw to claim their 13th straight win over Santa Fe (12-11, 7-4 District).
"It's big to win this game because it determines who we play in the first round, but I expect to play Santa Fe again in the tournament," said Cornersville coach Peyton Newton. "Now that we've swept them we should have the confidence to beat them again."
Despite hitting just 2-of-11 three-point attempts, the Lady Bulldogs shot 49 percent (18-of-37) from the field overall. Cornersville did commit 21 turnovers, but offset that by outrebounding the Lady Wildcats 30-22.
The Lady Bulldogs leaned on their front court for most of the evening, as center Morgan Terry finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and two blocked shots, while forward Ashley Umbles notched 12 points and seven rebounds.
Holt and Dunkleman also added seven points apiece for Cornersville, while Madison Hopkins and Carson Coble both chipped in two points with Hopkins recording six assists and four steals.
The Lady Wildcats committed only 13 turnovers, but shot only 32 percent (17-of-53) from the floor, which included a 4-of-20 effort from three-point range.
Ashley Faulkner paced Santa Fe with 12 points, while Emily Thompson and Allison Pack notched nine points apiece.
'Cats on the run'
Terry converted a three-point play and scored on layup to stake CHS to an early 5-2 lead before the Lady Wildcats rattled off eight straight points to pull ahead 10-5 midway through the first quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs then tallied seven consecutive points thanks to a Umbles offensive put back, a layup by Terry, and a Holt trey to grab a 12-10 advantage late in the first period, but Santa Fe responded with a 14-3 spurt to claim a 24-15 lead midway through the second quarter.
After notching the final four points of the half on an offensive put back by Coble and two Umbles free throws to narrow the gap to 24-19, Cornersville outscored the Lady Wildcats 8-2 through the first 3:37 of the third quarter with the help of five points from Umbles and three points from Terry to go up 27-26.
Pack scored on a layup to give Santa Fe a 28-27 advantage, but the Lady Bulldogs put together an 8-2 run behind four points from Dunkleman and a pair of layups from Hopkins and Holt to seize a 35-30 lead early in the fourth period.
The Lady Wildcats tallied the next six points to go back up 37-36 before Cornersville engineered a 6-0 run on the strength of four points from Terry and an offensive put back by Dunkleman to grab a 41-36 advantage.
Santa Fe then ripped off six straight points to claim a 42-41 lead, but Holt came through in the clutch and scored on a driving layup with :32 left to give the Lady Bulldogs a 43-42 advantage.
After Faulkner missed an off balance layup on the Lady Wildcat's ensuing possession, Dunkleman hit one of two free throws with :18 left to push Cornersville's lead to 44-42.
Katie Muston then missed a three-pointer and an off balance layup on the Lady Wildcats' final two possessions to seal Santa Fe's fate.