Raiders race past Bulldogs
With senior guard Tate Lowery missing his second straight game after reaggravating a knee injury that he suffered earlier in the season, the Cornersville Bulldogs were unable to keep pace with District rival Richland on Friday night, as they were drubbed 67-34 by the Raiders in Lynnville.
Richland (10-11, 5-4 District) built a 31-18 lead in the first half before blowing the game open after intermission and outscoring CHS 36-16 over the final two periods to cruise to their 15th straight win over the Bulldogs.
Despite a combined 10-of-20 shooting performance from guards Zack Smith and Justin Black, the Bulldogs shot just 28 percent (15-of-53) from the field overall, which included a 3-of-19 effort from three-point range, while committing 18 turnovers.
Smith was the biggest bright spot for the Bulldogs (1-13, 1-7 District) and poured in a game high 15 points to go along with four rebounds.
"I was pleased with Zack's performance. He came ready to play and got after it offensively and defensively," said CHS coach Gerard Randolph.
Justin Black and Jamie Crowell tallied eight and seven points respectively for Cornersville as well with Black pulling down seven rebounds, while Michael Allen and Brock Powers chipped in two points apiece.
Aided by an 8-of-22 effort from beyond the arc, Richland racked up 26 field goals on 44 percent shooting and committed 15 turnovers.
Ty Rose and Carter Schmidt led a balanced scoring attack by the Raiders with 11 points apiece. Corey Batchelder and Cade Landers also notched nine and eight points respectively for Richland, while Dillon Gavin and Hayden Morris each added six points.
Start's not bad
The Bulldogs actually got off to a promising start and held an 8-6 advantage midway through the first quarter on the strength of six points from Smith and a layup by Black.
Morris knocked down a three to give Richland a 9-8 advantage, before Smith and Black sandwiched a jumper and a layup around a basket from the Raiders' Kyle Oliver to stake Cornersville to a 12-11 advantage with 1:20 left in the first quarter.
That proved to be the high water mark of the night for the Bulldogs, as Richland promptly reeled off 11 straight points to seize a 22-12 lead midway through the second period.
"We started doing things out of the ordinary after the first quarter. We got tired and started rushing shots instead of sticking to the game plan," said Randolph. "We played hard, but we made too many mental mistakes."
Smith briefly stopped the bleeding by knocking down a trey to cut the deficit to 22-15, but the Raiders responded with a 9-0 spurt to open up a 31-15 advantage late in the half.
After Crowell buried a three to narrow the gap to 31-18 at the break, Richland began to rapidly pull away in the second half and put together 22-4 run to forge a 53-22 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs then tallied the next four points on a pair of layups by Allen and Crowell to trim the deficit to 53-26 before the Raiders outscored CHS 14-8 the rest of the way to cap their 67-34 triumph.