Tullahoma trounces Bulldogs

Sunday, January 4, 2015
Cornersville's (31) Michael Allen hits a runner over Tullahoma's (44) Brandon Johnson in the first quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Despite the return of senior forward Jamie Crowell, who missed the last six games due to a sports hernia, the Cornersville Bulldogs (0-8) were no match for Tullahoma on Monday afternoon, as the Wildcats thumped CHS 72-48 at the Richland Christmas Classic.

Tullahoma (2-12) broke the game open early and built a 36-20 lead in the first half before outscoring the Bulldogs 36-28 over the final two quarters to cruise to the 24-point win.

Press is difference

Cornersville shot a respectable 44 percent (20-of-45) from the field, made 4-of-12 three-pointers, and out rebounded the Wildcats 32-29, but Tullahoma ran the Bulldogs ragged with their full court press and forced 32 CHS turnovers.

Kolbe McMahon led Cornersville with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Michael Allen, Zack Smith, and Austin Ridinger followed McMahon with eight points apiece, while Crowell and David Looney both tallied four points. Cody Caneer and Hunter Swinney each chipped in three points for the Bulldogs as well.

With their defense setting up numerous easy transition scoring opportunities, the Wildcats racked up 31 field goals on 44 percent shooting, which included a 7-of-29 effort from beyond the arc, while committing only 11 turnovers.

Jake Crabtree paced three Tullahoma players in double figures with 20 points. Dominick Sanchez also tallied 16 points for the Wildcats, while Brandon Johnson added 11 points.

Early blast

Tullahoma knocked the Bulldogs back on their heels at the start of the game and raced out to a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Cornersville trimmed the deficit to 12-4 thanks to a pair of short jumpers from Smith and Allen, but the Wildcats responded with a 15-6 run to open up a 27-10 advantage late in the first period.

The Bulldogs outscored Tullahoma 8-2 over the next 5:50 with the help of a Caneer trey and a couple of layups from McMahon and Crowell to narrow the gap to 29-18 late in the second quarter before the Wildcats rattled off seven straight points to stretch their lead to 36-18.

Cornersville's (24) Austin Ridinger knocks down a turnaround jumper in the third quarter against Tullahoma.

After Ridinger scored on a layup to cut the deficit to 36-20 at the break, Tullahoma opened the third period with a 17-6 spurt to forge a 53-26 advantage.

Cornersville put together a 16-8 run on the strength of two McMahon treys, five points from Allen, and four points from Smith to close the gap to 61-42 early in the fourth quarter before the Wildcats outscored the Bulldogs 11-6 the rest of the way to cap their 72-48 triumph.