Lady Bulldogs bog down late

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Cornersville's (10) Breanne Dunkleman scores on a layup in the second quarter against Cascade. ribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Cascade dealt the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs their fourth loss of the season on Wednesday night, as the Lady Champions rallied to defeat coach Peyton Newton's shorthanded squad 54-40 at the Forrest Thanksgiving Tournament.

Despite only having seven players at their disposal, the Lady Bulldogs (0-4) more than held their own in the first half and built a 29-25 lead through the first two quarters of play.

Cornersville, however, ran out of gas in the second half, as Cascade (1-5) outscored them 29-11 over the final two periods to claim the 14-point victory.

Bolstered by a 11-of-21 shooting performance in the second half, the Lady Champions finished with 22 field goals on 43 percent shooting despite hitting only 3-of-14 three-point attempts.

Defense tires

"I think our defense let down in the second half. We just didn't play as hard defensively and gave up too many easy baskets because we didn't communicate well," said Newton. "I think we got a little tired at the end. We're just going to have to fight through that."

Kristen Heath led Cascade with a 16 points, while Maya Guston tallied 11 points. Shaina Schneider, Sarah Edmondson, and Julie Jones notched eight, seven, and six points for the Lady Champions as well.

Although Cornersville knocked down 18-of-22 free throws, the Lady Bulldogs were bothered by Cascade's superior height along the front line and shot just 24 percent (10-of-42) from the field, which included a 2-of-25 effort over the final two quarters, while the Lady Champions recorded eight blocked shots.

Cornersville did outrebounded Cascade 29-22 and held a 10-9 edge on the offensive glass, but were hindered by 21 turnovers. The Lady Champions, conversely, turned the ball over just 13 times.

Double digits

Freshman center Morgan Terry broke double digits for the third straight game and paced the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points and seven rebounds. Breanne Dunkleman also added 13 points, while Carly Salsman tallied five points. Emma Mitchell chipped in four points for Cornersville as well and Taylor Powers had one point.

Cascade jumped out to an early 5-0 lead before the Lady Bulldogs put together an 11-5 run behind seven points from Dunkleman and four points from Terry to seize an 11-10 advantage late in the first quarter.

After the Lady Champions notched seven of the next eight points to grab a 17-12 lead at the end of the first period, Dunkleman hit two free throws and Terry scored on a layup to slice the deficit to 17-16 early in the second.

Cascade rattled off six straight points to open up a 23-16 advantage, but Cornersville controlled the rest of the second period and outscored the Lady Champions 13-2 over the final 3:35 of the stanza on the strength of six points from Terry and five points from Salsman to take a 29-25 lead into the break.

Sudden stop

The Lady Bulldogs saw their offense grind to a halt at the start of the second half, as Cascade opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run to pull ahead 36-29.

Cornersville tallied six straight points on a Dunkleman runner and two free throws apiece from Terry and Mitchell to narrow the gap to 36-35 late in the third period, before the Lady Champions responded with a 6-0 spurt to stretch their lead to 42-35 early in the fourth.

The Lady Bulldogs then cut the deficit to 42-39 with 4:20 left on two Terry foul shots and a jumper by Mitchell, but Cascade pulled away down the stretch and outscored Cornersville 12-1 the rest of the way to seal their 54-40 victory.