Bulldogs can't get past Loretto's tough front line

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Cornersville's (5) Zack Smith fires up a baseline jumper in the second quarter against Loretto. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Bulldogs didn't have enough horses to hang with the Loretto Mustangs on Thursday night, as they were drubbed 81-32 by the District 12-A leader on the road.

Led by their imposing front line, the Mustangs (13-5) overwhelmed Cornersville (1-15) in the paint and raced out to a 39-20 lead in the first half before outscoring the Bulldogs 42-12 over the final two quarters to coast to the 49-point victory.

Tall, physical

"We were just outmatched and their height hurt us a lot. They're a very physical team and we didn't match their physicality," said CHS coach Gerard Randolph.

Despite hitting only 3-of-16 three-point attempts, Loretto still racked up 32 field goals on 46 percent shooting. The Mustangs also committed just seven turnovers, outrebounded Cornersville 45-21 and held a 22-5 edge on the offensive glass.

Reserve forward Kirkland Suratt led four Loretto players in double figures with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Lane Myhan and Adam Fleming followed Suratt with 12 points apiece, while Luke Childress added 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The Bulldogs, conversely, committed 24 turnovers and mustered only 12 field goals on 30 percent shooting, which included a 4-of-15 effort from beyond the arc.

Cornersville's (12) Kolbe McMahon shoots a turnaround jumper over Loretto's (50) Kirkland Suratt in the third quarter.

Jamie Crowell and David Looney paced Cornersville with eight points apiece. Zack Smith tallied seven points as well and Michael Allen notched three points. Cody Caneer, Justin Black, and Austin Ridinger rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs with two points each.

The Mustangs got off to a fast start and galloped out to a 16-3 lead late in the first quarter.

Mustang runs

Allen buried a trey to narrow the gap to 16-6, but Loretto rattled off nine straight points to open up a 25-6 advantage early in the second period.

After Crowell sandwiched a layup and a jumper around a basket by Childress to narrow the gap to 27-10, the Mustangs tallied the next six points to stretch their lead to 33-12.

Cornersville outscored the Mustangs 8-4 over the next three minutes with the help of baskets from Smith, Looney, and Black to close the gap to 37-20 before Myhan hit a layup to stake Loretto to a 39-20 advantage at the break.

The Mustangs picked up where they left off in the second half and opened the third quarter with a 14-5 run to push their lead to 53-25.

The Bulldogs then trimmed the deficit to 55-30 late in the third period on the strength of a Looney trey and a layup by Ridinger, but the game got out of hand down the stretch, as Loretto outscored CHS 26-2 the rest of the way to cap their 81-32 victory.