Santa Fe ends Bulldogs' run in playoffs
Santa Fe ended the Cornersville Bulldogs' season for a third straight year, as CHS lost 63-51 to the fourth seeded Wildcats on the road in the first round of the District 11-A tournament on Tuesday night.
Having spilt the season series with Santa Fe, the fifth seeded Bulldogs (8-18) trailed just 22-21 at the end of the break, but the Wildcats (13-14) took control of the game in the second half and outscored Cornersville 41-30 over the final two quarters to pull away for the 12-point victory.
Year of progress
Despite seeing his team's season end earlier than he had hoped, CHS coach Gerard Randolph believes the Bulldogs' made progress during the 2013-14 campaign.
"I think we made some strides this season. That was the goal. I didn't want to take a step backwards," said Randolph. "We won a few more games this year and made teams in the District play hard to beat us. I think the other teams in the District respect us now."
Although Cornersville held a 5-3 edge in three-pointers, Santa Fe finished with a 20-16 edge in field goals and outrebounded CHS 35-31 overall. The Bulldogs also struggled at the foul line and hit just 14-of-29 free throws, compared to a 20-of-33 effort at the charity stripe by the Wildcats.
"They went to a 1-3-1 zone and we had trouble adjusting to it and getting people in the right spots. We also missed a bunch of free throws and that was the difference in the game," said Randolph. "We picked a bad time to play like this, but Santa Fe probably played one of their best games of the year too."
Cornersville guard Tate Lowery capped a strong junior season by pouring in a game high 27 points. Jamie Crowell and Brian Lowe followed Tate Lowery with seven points apiece, while Tyler Lowery added four points. Jacob Reeves and Michael Allen rounded out the scoring for CHS with three points apiece.
Grant Warf paced the Wildcats with 26 points, while Wyatt Long notched 17 points. Austin Winchester chipped in eight points for Santa Fe as well.
The Bulldogs inched out to a 10-8 in the first quarter on the strength of eight points from Tate Lowery before the Wildcats put together a 14-8 run to pull ahead 22-18 late in the second period.
Close for awhile
After Reeves hit a three-pointer from beyond half court to narrow the gap to 22-21 at the half, the Bulldogs tied the game at 29-29 early in the third quarter with the help of four points from Tyler Lowery and a pair of baskets from Tate Lowery and Jamie Crowell.
Santa Fe, though, seized the momentum after that point and closed the third period with an 11-0 run to grab a 40-29 lead.
The Bulldogs whittled the deficit to 51-45 late in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats salted the game away at the foul line and outscored Cornersville 12-6 the rest of the way with the help of 10 free throws to seal their 63-51 win.