Lady Bulldogs stop Santa Fe; Bulldogs struggle from start
On Tuesday, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs notched a big District win when they went on the road and defeated second place Santa Fe 51-39 to earn a split in the season series with the Lady Wildcats.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, lost to Santa Fe for the third straight time by dropping a 72-45 decision to the Wildcats in the nightcap.
The Lady Bulldogs (8-13, 6-5 District) were locked in defensively early on and built an 11-6 lead in the first quarter on the strength of four points from Morgan Terry and a Carson Coble three-pointer.
Santa Fe (13-8, 7-3 District) outscored CHS 6-2 in the second period to slice the deficit to 13-12, but Cornersville managed to maintain their tenuous one-point lead in the third quarter and held a 26-25 advantage at the end of the stanza thanks to six points from Madison Hopkins and a Gabby King trey.
The Lady Bulldogs then delivered the knockout blow to the Lady Wildcats in the fourth period by putting together a 25-14 run behind eight points from Terry, six points, from Coble, an Emma Mitchell three, and four points apiece from King and Breanne Dunkleman to wrap up their 12-point victory.
"Our run in the fourth quarter started with our pressure defense. We played full court man-to-man the entire game and forced them to play faster than what they wanted too. We also got some steals off of our press and scored some easy baskets," said Cornersville coach Peyton Newton.
Thanks to Tuesday's triumph, the Lady Bulldogs have now won 15 of the last 16 meetings against Santa Fe and moved within half a game of fourth place Columbia Academy in the District 11-A standings.
"Our confidence has been high lately and we've had two good weeks of practice. The girls are having fun again. Our attitude and mindset are that we have to win every time out in order to reach our main goal and that's to win the District tournament championship," said Newton.
Terry led the Lady Bulldogs' offensive attack by pouring in a game high 16 points. Coble followed Terry with 11 points and King tallied seven points. Dunkleman and Hopkins notched six points apiece for Cornersville as well, while Mitchell added five points.
Katie Muston paced Santa Fe with 14 points. Emily Thomason also tallied seven points for the Lady Wildcats, while Abigail Chadwell and Hannah Warf chipped in four points apiece.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats pounced on Cornersville early and jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first quarter before outscoring the Bulldogs 12-7 in the second period to take a 25-13 advantage into the break.
After stretching their lead to 44-28 in the third quarter, Santa Fe (10-11, 6-4 District) went on a 28-17 run in the fourth period to cap their 27-point win.
Shooting guard Tristan Kelly and center Austin Winchester provided the Wildcats with a potent inside-outside combo, as Kelly scored a game high 25 points while Winchester tallied 24 points. Wyatt Long notched seven points for Santa Fe as well, and Tyler Parham and Miguel Brito each added five points.
Kolbe McMahon paced the Bulldogs (1-17, 1-10 District) with 10 points, while Zack Smith, Cody Caneer, Jamie Crowell, and David Looney tallied eight, seven, six, and five points respectively. Austin Ridinger, Will Vanhooser, and Michael Civitello also chipped in three points apiece for Cornersville.