Lady Bulldogs cruise by CA
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs had a relatively easy time advancing to the semifinals of the District 11-A tournament, as they defeated seventh seeded Columbia Academy 59-38 at home on Thursday night in the first round.
Facing potential elimination from the playoffs, the Lady Bulldogs (15-11) made sure coach Peyton Newton had a stress free night and built a 34-15 lead in the first half before opening up a 50-24 advantage early in the fourth quarter en route to claiming the 21-point victory.
Thanks to Monday's triumph, Cornersville also earned a spot in the Region 6-A tournament and have now won all 22 meetings against CA since 2004.
"Columbia Academy actually came in with some confidence. They won their last game and almost beat Richland late in the regular season, but I was also confident in what we could do," said Newton. "It was good to get off to a quick start and build an early lead. We never let them get any momentum."
Aided by a 4-of-9 effort from three-point range, the Lady Bulldogs finished with 22 field goals on 39 percent shooting while committing only 13 turnovers. Cornersville also held a 14-10 edge on the offensive glass and outrebounded CA 34-32 overall.
Ashley Umbles led CHS with 13 points and seven rebounds. Brooke Holt followed Umbles with 12 points and Morgan Terry added nine points. Madison Hopkins notched seven points as well, while Breanne Dunkleman tallied six points, 10 assists, and eight steals. Carson Coble, Samantha Prosser, Carly Salsman, and Britton Stewart rounded out the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs with five, four, two, and one point respectively.
"Breanne had a great game. She did a little bit of everything and played with a lot of intensity. I think the other girls fed off it," said Newton.
Columbia Academy, conversely, committed 23 turnovers and mustered just 12 field goals on 27 percent shooting, which included a 1-of-3 effort from beyond the arc.
Leslie Golden paced CA (1-26) with 10 points, while Sutherland Shrader, Cassidy Shrader, and Corinne Shapiro added six points apiece.
The Lady Bulldogs set the tone early and raced out to a 15-3 lead late in the first quarter with the help of five points from Hopkins, four points from Umbles, and a pair of treys from Holt and Dunkleman.
Golden hit a short bank shot to trim the deficit to 15-5, but CHS put together a 10-2 run on the strength of five points from Holt and a Coble three point play to open up a 25-7 advantage early in the second period.
CA closed the gap to 25-9 on a layup by Golden, before the Lady Bulldogs outscored Columbia Academy 8-2 over the next 4:13 thanks to four points from Terry and baskets from Umbles and Holt to stretch their lead to 33-11 late in the second period.
After CA tallied four of the last five points of the first half to cut the deficit to 34-15, Hopkins and Terry sandwiched a layup and a three-point play around two Sutherland Shrader free throws to give Cornersville a 39-17 advantage early in the third quarter.
Columbia Academy narrowed the gap to 41-21 midway through the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs engineered a 9-3 spurt behind five free throws and a couple of baskets from Terry and Coble to forge a 50-24 lead with 7:45 left in the fourth quarter.
CA then outscored Cornersville 14-9 the rest of the way for the 59-38 final.
CHS returns to action on Thursday night when they face Santa Fe in the semifinals at Columbia Academy. Tipoff is at 6:00 p.m.