Ethridge edges Lady Bulldogs
The Cornersville Middle School Lady Bulldogs (3-2) had their three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night when they dropped a 22-21 decision on the road to Ethridge Elementary School.
With Cornersville's leading scorer Gabby King relegated to the bench for much of the game due to foul trouble, Ethridge held a 10-9 lead at halftime prior to opening up an 18-10 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs made a late charge with King back in the lineup and sliced the deficit to 20-19 with :07 left, but EES stretched their lead to 22-19 on two free throws by guard Caroline Counce before hanging on for the one-point win.
"I knew when Gabby came back in we had a chance to make a comeback. I was hoping we didn't dig ourselves too big a hole. Unfortunately, we just ran out of time," said Cornersville coach Peyton Newton.
Although the Lady Bulldogs outscored Ethridge 9-6 at the foul line and held a commanding 30-16 rebounding advantage, EES finished with a 8-6 edge in field goals and committed 10 fewer turnovers (34-24) than Cornersville.
Forward Sarah Beth Prosser tried to pick up the scoring slack during King's absence and led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. King and Sydney Wilson also tallied four points and five rebounds apiece for Cornersville with Wilson recording five steals.
"Having Gabby out absolutely killed us. I need someone to step up and handle the basketball so she and Sarah Beth don't have to do everything," said Newton. "I thought we played ok defensively, but we had no clue offensively. At some point we have to realize some teams are going to pressure us and need to handle it better."
Counce, Harper Brewer, Ali Cobb, and Madison Wheeley each notched four points for Ethridge, while Jessica McCormick, Maleah Foster, and Hannah Calvert both had two points.
The Lady Bulldogs actually got off to a good start and raced out to an 8-2 lead late in the first quarter behind four points from Prosser, a King layup, and two free throws from Wilson.
Cornersville's offensive came to a screeching halt after that point, as they failed to register a field goal over the last 7:53 of the first half while Ethridge outscored them 8-1 during that span to take a 10-9 lead into the break.
After the Lady Bulldogs tied the game at 10-10 early in the third quarter, EES rattled off eight straight points to forge a 18-10 advantage with 5:28 left in the fourth period.
Prosser then got Cornersville back in the game by tallying five straight points on a layup and three foul shots to narrow the gap to 18-15.
Foster hit a layup to extend Ethridge's lead to 20-15 before Prosser scored on an offensive put back and hit two free throws to whittle the deficit to 20-19.
Counce then missed the front end of a one-and-one with :05 left, but the Lady Bulldogs were called for a lane violation, which gave Counce a second chance at the foul line. That miscue came back to haunt Cornersville, as Counce made both free throws to give Ethridge a 22-19 advantage.
King then hit a running back shot as time expired, but was inside the three-point line to close out the Lady Bulldogs' frustrating 22-21 defeat.