Lady Bulldogs falter in 4th quarter against Loretto
Loretto defeated the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs for the eighth straight time on Thursday night when they pulled away late for a 57-40 victory at home.
The Lady Mustangs (10-9) had beaten CHS 53-34 earlier in the season, but the Lady Bulldogs (6-13) were nipping at Loretto's heels for much of Thursday's contest and trailed just 39-38 late in the third quarter.
Cornersville, however, was unable to maintain that level of play down the stretch, as the Lady Mustangs outscored CHS 18-2 the rest of the way to complete the sweep of the season series.
After shooting 46 percent (13-of-28) from the field through the first three quarters, the Lady Bulldogs went ice cold in the fourth and missed all 14 shots in the period to finish 13-of-42 from the floor overall, which included a 3-of-13 effort from three-point range.
Cornersville held a 10-7 edge on the offensive glass, but Loretto outrebounded CHS 26-21 overall and committed three fewer turnovers (18-15) than the Lady Bulldogs.
"I think we lost our legs in the fourth quarter. Loretto is a big, fast, physical team. When you get tired and a team like that makes a run, it's hard to recover," said CHS coach Peyton Newton. "I'm proud of them though because they played hard tonight. We've played well the last two games and I like where we are."
Reserve forward Gabby King continues to quickly acclimate herself to the high school game, as the talented eighth grader led the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
"Gabby is one of those players that isn't afraid of anything. She posted up well, shot the ball well, and played good defense," said Newton.
Breanne Dunkleman followed King with 11 points, while Morgan Terry tallied seven points and seven rebounds. Emma Mitchell and Madison Hopkins chipped in four and three points for Cornersville as well.
Bolstered by a 13-of-22 shooting performance in the first half, the Lady Mustangs shot 49 percent (21-of-43) from the field and knocked down 5-of-11 attempts from beyond the arc.
Ashley Lamprecht paced Loretto with 15 points, while Sabrie Sirmones notched 14 points. Rachel Burden and Julia Huntley also added nine points apiece for the Lady Mustangs with Burden recording five blocked shots.
Loretto bolted out to an early 9-2 lead before the Lady Bulldogs whittled the deficit to 11-9 midway through the first quarter thanks to a four-point play by King and a Dunkleman three.
The Lady Mustangs reeled off seven straight points to open up an 18-9 advantage late in the first period, but Cornersville went on a 12-6 run behind seven points from King and five points from Dunkleman to narrow the gap to 24-21 midway through the second quarter.
After Loretto outscored CHS 9-4 over the next 4:30 to stretch their lead to 33-25, Terry hit a layup in the waning seconds of the half to make it 33-27 at the break.
Lamprecht scored on a layup at the start of the third quarter to give the Lady Mustangs a 35-27 advantage, before the Lady Bulldogs responded with an 11-4 spurt, highlighted by a Hopkins trey and a pair of layups from Dunkleman and Terry, to slice the deficit to 39-38.
Loretto began to distance themselves from CHS after that point and tallied eight straight points to push their lead to 47-38 early in the fourth period.
Mitchell made two free throws to close the gap to 47-40 with 6:06 left, but Cornersville failed to find the bottom of the net again while the Lady Mustangs scored the final 10 points of the contest to wrap up their 57-40 win.