Bulldogs falter late against Huntland
After splitting the first two games of the season against Huntland, the Cornersville Bulldogs lost the rubber match on Tuesday night when they dropped a 48-40 decision to the Hornets on the road.
Despite being without the services of senior guard Tyler Lowery, who was unable to play due to illness, the Bulldogs (8-17) led for much of the game and held a 35-33 lead with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter.
Cornersville, though, appeared to hit the wall shortly after that point, as Huntland (10-16) outscored CHS 15-5 the rest of the way to claim the eight-point victory.
"We played well for three and a half quarters and I was pleased with our effort, but we just got tired at the end. I told the guys that we're not always going to be up 10 or 12 points in the fourth quarter so we just have to gut these games out," said Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph. "Anytime you don't have Tyler Lowery out there on the floor it's going to hurt you because he always plays hard and helps you a lot defensively."
Although they committed only six turnovers, Cornersville shot just 33 percent (17-of-51) from the field, which included a 6-of-20 effort from three-point range.
Tate Lowery led the Bulldogs with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Brian Lowe also tallied 10 points, while Zack Smith chipped in six points. David Looney and Jamie Crowell rounded out the scoring for Cornersville with four and three points respectively with Crowell recording three steals and three blocked shots.
The Hornets also shot only 33 percent (18-of-54) from the floor and knocked down just 4-of-21 three-point attempts, but outscored the Bulldogs 8-0 at the foul line. Huntland also held a 16-8 edge on the offensive glass and outrebounded CHS 40-26 overall.
Kobe Foster and Tyler Smith paced the Hornets with 14 points apiece with Smith grabbing 17 rebounds. Kevin Jernigan and Rahul Patel notched six points apiece for Huntland as well.
The Hornets jumped out to an early 6-0 lead before Cornersville outscored Huntland 12-8 over the final 5:45 of the first quarter behind five points from Tate Lowery, four points from Looney, and a Crowell trey to slice the deficit to 14-12.
Will Rector hit a jumper at the start of the second period to give the Hornets a 16-12 advantage, but the Bulldogs closed the half with 9-2 run behind five points from Tate Lowery and four points from Smith to take a 21-18 lead into the break
After Lowe hit a runner early in the third quarter to stake CHS to a 23-18 advantage, Jernigan drained a three to narrow the gap to 23-21 before Lowe sandwiched two treys around an Aaron Williams layup to stretch the Bulldogs' lead to 29-23 with 2:25 left in the stanza.
Huntland then tallied six straight points to tie the game at 29-29 early in the fourth period, but Cornersville outscored the Hornets 6-4 over the next 2:10 thanks to a Smith jumper, a layup by Lowe, and a Tate Lowery runner to seize a 35-33 advantage.
The Bulldogs, however, were unable to hold off Huntland down the stretch, as the Hornets put together an 11-2 run to pull ahead 44-37 with :33 left.
Tate Lowery buried a three to cut the deficit to 44-40, but Cornersville came up empty on their final two possessions while Foster made four free throws to seal Huntland's 48-40 win.