CMS Bulldogs waylay Warriors
The Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs (3-3) turned in their best all-around performance of the season on Thursday night when they went on the road and hammered the Culleoka Warriors 57-24.
Cornersville took control of the game early and built a 26-13 lead in the first half before outscoring the Warriors 31-11 over the final two quarters to pull away for the 33-point victory.
The Bulldogs did a much better job of taking care of the ball than in previous games, as they committed a season low 10 turnovers and dished out 11 assists as a team en route to finishing with a 25-8 advantage in field goals and a 2-1 edge in three-pointers. Cornersville also held a commanding 31-4 advantage on the offensive glass and outrebounded Culleoka 44-18 overall.
Starting to 'jell'
"We shared the ball and finished well in transition. I think we're starting to get a better feel for where people are on the court and are beginning to jell some," said Bulldog coach Gerard Randolph.
Point guard Eli Woodard led a balanced Cornersville offensive attack that saw 13 different players score in the contest by tallying nine points, five assists, and three steals. Caleb Crowell and Devin Baus followed Woodard with seven points apiece, while Cameron Whitaker added five points. Henlee Mitchell, Trenton Warren, Tyler Wolaver, and Alexander Stewart all notched four points as well, and Jackson Mitchell chipped in three points. C.J. Coble, Marques Martin, and Shelby Luna rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs with two points apiece.
The Warriors (1-6), conversely, struggled to break Cornersville's full court press and committed 33 turnovers while the Bulldogs recorded 18 steals.
"Defensively we set the tone early. Our press was working and we were able to do some different things on defense," said Randolph.
Jacob Taylor paced Culleoka with nine points and Jaden Hamm tallied five points. Angel Montoya and Ethan Hardison also notched four points each for the Warriors, while Cooper Parks had two points.
Culleoka inched out to a 5-2 lead midway through the first quarter before Baus converted a three-point play to tie the game at 5-5.
After Woodard and Whitaker scored consecutive layups to give Cornersville a 9-5 advantage, Woodard drained a 25-foot three pointer from the top of the key as time expired in the first period to make it 12-5.
That momentum carried into the second quarter, as the Bulldogs outscored the Warriors 12-3 through the first 5:06 of the stanza behind four points apiece from Henlee Mitchell and Woodard to stretch their lead to 24-8.
Culleoka tallied five of the last seven points of the first half to trim the deficit to 26-13, but Cornersville blew the game wide open in the third quarter by putting together a 22-3 run on the strength of seven points from Crowell and four points apiece from Warren, Baus, and Stewart to forge a 48-16 advantage late in the stanza.
The Warriors rattled off eight straight points to narrow the gap to 48-24 early in the fourth quarter before the Bulldogs outscored Culleoka 9-0 the rest of the way with the help of four points from Vanhooser, a Jackson Mitchell trey, and a layup by Luna to cap their 57-24 triumph.