CMS Bulldogs roll past Richland
On Thursday, the Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs (7-7) completed the season sweep of archrival Richland when they whipped the Raiders 37-14 at home on 8th grade night.
Despite getting off to a slow start offensively, the Bulldogs held a 12-7 lead at the break before blowing the game open in the second half and outscoring Richland 25-7 over the final two quarters to claim their fifth straight win over the Raiders.
"I let some guys start that had never started before and I was proud of the way that they held the fort until our regular starters came in," said CMS coach Gerard Randolph. "I was also happy with the way our regular starters came out and locked it down defensively. When we play Richland, it's always going to be an emotional game and we played with a lot of intensity."
Although the Raiders outscored Cornersville at the foul line, the Bulldogs finished with a 14-4 advantage in field goals and a 4-0 edge in three-pointers. CMS also outrebounded Richland 30-24, held a 19-10 advantage on the offensive glass, and committed 12 fewer turnovers (29-17) than the Raiders.
"We executed pretty well offensively. We cut down on our turnovers tonight and that really helped," said Randolph.
Point guard Eli Woodard hit 4-of-7 shots, including two three-pointers, and led the Bulldogs with 13 points and three steals. Caleb Crowell followed Woodard with six points and Diego Bazaldua tallied five points. Henlee Mitchell and Riley Wickberg notched three points apiece as well, while Trenton Warren, Tyler Wolaver, C.J. Coble each chipped in two points. Alexander Stewart rounded out the scoring for Cornersville with one point.
Trey Stacey and Tim Allen paced the Raiders with four points apiece, while Bobby Sowell and Grant Lowell each added two points.
Richland jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs got things going in the second and put together an 8-0 run behind six points from Woodard to seize a 9-6 advantage late in the stanza.
After the Raiders narrowed the gap to 9-7 on a free throw by Colton Teegarden, Woodard drained a trey from the top of the key in the waning moments of the half to give CMS a 12-7 lead at intermission.
Cornersville then began to pull away in the third period and outscored Richland 11-2 in the stanza with the help of four points from Woodard, a Mitchell three, and a pair of baskets from Crowell and Coble to stretch their lead to 23-9.
Stacey hit two free throws at the start of the fourth quarter to trim the deficit to 23-11, but the Bulldogs tallied six of the next seven points thanks to layups from Crowell, Warren, and Wolaver to forge a 29-12 advantage.
The Raiders then closed the gap to 29-14 on two foul shots by Lowell before Cornersville ended the game with a 8-0 run on the strength of five points from Bazaldua and a Wickberg trey to cap their 37-14 triumph.