Cornersville Middle, Richland split
On Monday night, the Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs (4-4) recorded their fourth straight win over Richland by whipping the Raiders 49-25 in Lynnville.
The Lady Bulldogs (5-3), meanwhile, had their modest two-game winning streak snapped when they dropped a 30-26 decision to the Lady Raiders in the opening game of the evening.
After defeating Richland handily three times last season, the Bulldogs once again had their way with the Raiders on Monday and raced out to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter behind 13 points from point guard Eli Woodard.
Cornersville continued to rapidly expand their lead in the second period and outscored Richland 12-5 in the stanza on the strength of two Cameron Whitaker three-pointers and a pair of treys from Woodard and Henlee Mitchell.
The Raiders trimmed the deficit to 38-20 at the end of the third quarter, but the Bulldogs put together a 11-5 run in the fourth period with the help of baskets from Woodard, Trenton Warren, Caleb Crowell, and Wesley Calahan to close out their 24-point victory.
Bolstered by their strong first half performance, Cornersville finished with a 19-6 edge in field goals and a 6-4 advantage in three-pointers while committing only 14 turnovers. The Bulldogs had success with their full court press as well against Richland and forced 26 Raider turnovers.
"I was very happy with our performance. Defensively, we set the tone early and pressed them. We did a good job of getting into the passing lanes and creating turnovers. Great defense leads to easy baskets on offense. We also shot the ball well from the outside," said CMS coach Gerard Randolph.
Woodard spearheaded Cornersville's offensive attack by pouring in a career high 20 points. Whitaker and Crowell tallied eight points apiece for the Bulldogs as well, while Mitchell and Warren each added five points. Calahan rounded out the scoring for Cornersville with two points.
"Eli shot the ball well from the three-point line, but he also got to the rim and finished in traffic," said Randolph.
Trey Stacey paced the Raiders with 15 points, while Hunter Inman chipped in four points.
In the girls game, the Lady Bulldogs got off to a slow start offensively, as Richland jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the first quarter.
Cornersville narrowed the gap to 16-12 in the second quarter with the aid of four points from Gabby King, but the Lady Raiders stretched their lead to 23-18 in the third period behind four points from Riley Neely and a Caylee Parker three.
Richland then hung on for the four-point win despite being outscored 8-7 in the fourth quarter by the Lady Bulldogs.
Neely paced the Lady Raiders with a game high 13 points, while Parker and Lilli Greene notched eight and seven points respectively.
Gabby King led Cornersville with 12 points and Sarah Beth Prosser tallied six points. Demi Peters also chipped in four points for the Lady Bulldogs, while Sydney Wilson and Bethany Fitzgerald both had two points.