Lady Bulldogs whip Santa Fe
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (16-11) advanced to the title game of the District 11-A tournament for the sixth straight year by defeating third seeded Santa Fe 57-45 on Thursday night at Columbia Academy to record their 14th straight victory over the Lady Wildcats.
Cornersville built a 33-27 lead in the first half before breaking the game open in the third quarter and forging a 47-27 advantage at the end of the stanza en route to claiming the 12-point victory.
Although they hit only 11-of-24 free throws, the Lady Bulldogs found the range from the field, as they shot 50 percent (20-of-39) from the floor and knocked down 6-of-11 three-point attempts while committing only 14 turnovers.
"I was pleased with the way we played offensive except for our free throws. We hit some shots and did a good job of taking the ball to the basket," said CHS coach Peyton Newton.
Senior guard Brooke Holt spearheaded the Lady Bulldogs' offensive attack by pouring in a game high 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Forward Ashley Umbles followed Holt with 10 points, five steals, and three blocked shots, while Breanne Dunkleman tallied eight points, seven rebounds, seven steals and four assists. Madison Hopkins and Carson Coble notched six points apiece for Cornersville as well, and Morgan Terry and Britton Stewart chipped in five and two points respectively.
"Brooke hit some big shots tonight. She let her emotions get to her early on because they were being real physical with her. Once she calmed down, she hit some threes and started driving the ball to the basket," said Newton. "I think Ashley gave them a lot of trouble with her length and deflected a lot of passes that resulted in steals."
After hitting 5-of-6 shots in the first quarter, Santa Fe cooled down as the game wore on and made just 10-of-34 field goal attempts over the final three periods to finish 15-of-40 from the floor, which included a 7-of-17 effort from three-point range.
The Lady Wildcats (14-14) did outrebound Cornrsville 26-22 and held a 9-7 edge on the offensive glass, but CHS recorded 18 steals and forced 26 Santa Fe turnovers.
Katie Mustin paced the Lady Wildcats with 14 points, while Jenna Pack, Allison Pack, Emily Thomason, and McKenzie Sewell notched eight, seven, six, and five points respectively.
Santa Fe inched out to an early 7-6 lead before the Lady Bulldogs put together a 9-2 run with the help of treys from Dunkleman, Holt, and Coble to seize a 15-9 advantage late in the first quarter.
Ahead to stay
After the Lady Wildcats rattled off seven straight points to pull ahead 16-15 early in the second period, Cornersville outscored Santa Fe 11-2 over the next 1:43 behind six points from Holt and two layups from Hopkins to grab a 26-18 lead.
Thomason and Mustin sandwiched a couple of threes around a short bank shot from Holt to narrow the gap to 28-24, before Holt nailed a trey and Dunkleman scored on a layup to give CHS a 33-24 lead late in the half.
Mustin converted a three-point play to cut the deficit to 33-27 at the half, but the Lady Bulldogs completely dominated the third quarter and outscored Santa Fe 14-0 in the stanza on the strength of eight points from Umbles, four points from Holt, and a Stewart layup to forge a 47-27 advantage.
After the Lady Wildcats tallied seven of the first eight points in the fourth period to close the gap to 48-34, Cornersville stretched their lead to 52-34 with 3:00 left thanks to layups from Terry and Holt before coasting to the 57-45 win.