Cornersville takes two from Hampshire
On Friday night, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs stayed in the running for the third seed in the upcoming District 11-A tournament by defeating the Hampshire Lady Hawks 75-55 on the road.
Aided by the full fledged return of senior guard Tate Lowery from a knee injury, the Bulldogs snapped an eight-game losing streak when they pulled out a hard fought 84-79 victory over Hampshire to claim its sixth straight win over the Hawks.
The Lady Bulldogs (9-14, 7-5 District) got off to a solid start and built a 14-9 lead in the first quarter behind eight points from Morgan Terry and four points from Gabby King.
In the second period, Cornersville began to open up some breathing room and put together a 19-9 run on the strength of a Madison Hopkins three-pointer and five points apiece from King and Breanne Dunkleman to forge a 33-18 advantage at the break.
CHS then outscored Hampshire 24-16 in the third quarter with the help of seven points from Dunkleman, six points from Terry, and a pair of Emma Mitchell baskets to stretch their lead to 57-34, before coasting to their 21st straight win over the Lady Hawks.
"We were sluggish at the start of the game, but we turned up our defensive pressure and got some easy baskets because of that. We scored a lot of points off our defense," said Cornersville coach Peyton Newton.
Coupled with Mt. Pleasant's loss to Santa Fe on Friday, the Lady Bulldogs moved into a tie for third in the District standings with the Lady Tigers, but still need fourth place Columbia Academy to lose their final conference game to claim the third seed in the tournament.
Terry led three Cornersville players in double figures with 18 points. King followed Terry with 15 points and Dunkleman added 12 points. Hope Taylor also tallied eight points, while Hopkins and Mitchell notched seven points apiece. Carson Coble, Carly Salsman, Brooke Defoe, and Sarah Beth Prosser rounded out the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs with two points each.
Amaya Ashley paced Hampshire (4-20, 2-10 District) with 22 points, while Hannah Lightfoot added 17 points.
In the nightcap, the Bulldogs (2-18, 2-10 District) jumped out to a 22-14 lead in the first quarter with the aid of five points from Lowery and six points apiece from Zach Smith and Michael Allen.
After Cornersville outscored Hampshire 26-20 in the second period behind eight points from Lowey, seven points from Crowell, and a pair of Smith treys to open up a 48-34 advantage at the break, the Hawks (1-23, 1-11 District) went on a 21-8 run in the third quarter to slice the deficit to 56-55.
Hampshire then tied the game at 70-70 at the end of regulation, but the Bulldogs regrouped in overtime and outscored the Hawks 14-9 in the extra session on the strength of five points apiece from Lowery and Kolbe McMahon to complete the sweep of the season series.
After playing sparingly in Cornersville's previous game against Moore County, Lowery saw his first significant minutes on the court in three weeks and finished with a game high 23 points.
"Being my senior year, it's just a blessing to be back out there helping the team," said Lowery. "I was worried about my conditioning, but my knee felt fine and I felt good during the game."
Smith followed Lowery with 19 points, while Crowell and McMahon each tallied 11 points. Allen added nine points as well, and David Looney and Cody Caneer both notched four points. Michael Civitello also chipped in three points for the Bulldogs.
Seth Grimmitt paced four Hampshire players with 22 points, while Marshall Wray, Neil Kyle, and Dustin Pinkleton tallied 15, 12, and 10 points respectively.