Mustangs pull away from Bulldogs

Friday, November 14, 2014
Cornersville's (33) Tate Lowery shoots a jumper over a pair of Loretto defenders in the first quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

You can't teach height. Led by a towering group of frontcourt players, the Loretto Mustangs looked impressive in their opening game of the season when they defeated the Cornersville Bulldogs 80-50 on Tuesday night at CHS.

Cornersville hung tough for a good portion of the contest and trailed just 42-33 midway through the third quarter.

Just too tall

Loretto's superior size began to take its toll on the Bulldogs after that, as the Mustangs outscored CHS 38-17 the rest of the way to cruise to the 30-point victory.

Cornersville simply had no answer for Loretto in the paint, as the Mustangs finished with 30 field goals on 45 percent shooting, which included a 7-of-22 effort from three-point range. Loretto also outrebounded CHS 49-23 and held a commanding 20-3 edge on the offensive glass.

The Bulldogs, conversely, shot just 30 percent (15-of-50) from the field overall and a made 6-of-20 attempts from beyond the arc.

"Their height gave us a lot of trouble. We couldn't run our normal game plan which is to work the ball inside-out so that gave us fits. Their big guys were pretty good and could play. We were in the right spot a lot of times, but they still made the plays because of their height," said Gerard Randolph.

Double figures

Lane Myhan led three Loretto players in double figures with 16 points, while 6'10" center Adam Fleming recorded a double-double by tallying 14 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocked shots. Alec Rhodes notched 12 points for the Mustangs as well, and Ben Farrington and Myles Burks both had eight points.

Cornersville's (3) David Looney fires up a three-pointer in the fourth quarter against Loretto.

Bulldog shooting guard Tate Lowery got off to a red hot start in the contest, as he poured in 14 of his game high 25 points in the first quarter to go along with nine rebounds and five steals.

"I was very pleased with Tate. He got to the rim and finished. He hit some big shots early in the game to keep us in it," said Randolph.

Zack Smith followed Lowery with nine points and David Looney tallied eight points. Hunter Swinney and Michael Allen also chipped in four and two points respectively for the Bulldogs, while Justin Black and Kolbe McMahon each had one point.

Early lead

After Loretto jumped out to an early 10-3 lead, the Bulldogs outplayed the Mustangs the rest of the first quarter and closed the stanza with a 13-4 run behind 11 points from Lowery and Swinney free throws to pull ahead 16-14.

Loretto then began to take control of the game in the second and outscored CHS 19-6 in the period to take a 33-22 lead into the break before tallying six of the first eight points of the third quarter to open up a 39-24 advantage.

The Bulldogs sliced the deficit to 42-33 midway through the third period on the strength of two Smith threes and a trey from Looney, but the Mustangs responded with a 13-5 spurt to push their lead to 55-38 with 1:30 left in the stanza.

After Cornersville outscored Loretto 8-3 over the next 1:45 behind four points from Lowery and a Smith trey to narrow the gap to 58-46 early in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs dominated down the stretch and put together a 20-3 run to forge a 80-49 lead prior to taking home the 80-50 victory.