Lady Bulldogs bow out of district tourney
For the first time in 11 years the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (9-18) failed to advance past the first round of the District 11-A tournament after getting drubbed 66-37 by Columbia Academy at home on Monday night.
The two teams split the regular season series, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Lady Bulldogs, as CA (11-17) roared out to a 35-17 lead in the first half before outscoring Cornersville 31-20 over the final two quarters to advance to the District tournament semifinals.
Columbia Academy looked like a well oiled machine offensively and shot 59 percent (26-of-44) while knocking down 6-of-10 three-point attempts and registering 17 assists.
6'5" center Leslie Golden and point guard Kenzie Hobbs formed a potent inside-outside duo for CA, as Golden poured in a game high 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting while Hobbs hit four three-pointers and 7-of-10 shots overall to finish with 19 points.
"If you read off the shooting percentages that says a lot in itself. We tried changing defenses, but they always found the right person and hit shots," said Cornersville coach Peyton Newton. "Columbia Academy played a great game. They made the right passes and decisions and we didn't have an answer for it."
Although they hit 20-of-26 free throws and held a 21-6 edge on the offensive boards, the Lady Bulldogs were unable to solve CA's matchup zone and mustered only eight field goals on 15 percent shooting, which included a 1-of-17 effort from beyond the arc.
Lady Bulldog sparks
Freshman center Morgan Terry paced the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points and seven rebounds, while senior guard Breanne Dunkleman tallied nine points and eight rebounds. Taylor Powers and Hope Taylor chipped in four points apiece for Cornersville as well.
"They tried to take Morgan out of the game with their zone. We had a lot of open shots, but just couldn't make them," said Newton.
The Lady Bulldogs inched out to an early 6-4 lead thanks to a three-point play by Terry and a Dunkleman trey, but things quickly went south for Cornersville, as CA went on a 14-2 run to seize an 18-8 advantage late in the first quarter.
After the Lady Bulldogs cut the deficit to 18-10 on a runner by Carson Coble, CA outscored Cornersville 12-3 over the next five minutes to open up a 30-13 advantage midway through the second period.
Couldn't catch up
CHS then narrowed the gap to 30-17 on four free throws by Powers before Columbia Academy tallied the final five points of the half on a Claire Graham three and a layup by Golden to stretch their lead to 35-17 at the break.
CA continued to pour it on in the second half and started the third quarter with a 12-3 spurt to forge a 47-20 advantage.
Cornersville trimmed the deficit to 48-25 on the strength of a Terry three-point play and a layup by Madison Hopkins, but Columbia Academy reeled off 10 straight points to push the lead to 58-25 early in the fourth period before cruising to its second straight win over the Lady Bulldogs.
Cornersville 10 7 8 12 = 37
Columbia Academy 21 14 19 12 = 66
Cornersville: Morgan Terry 11, Breanne Dunkleman 9, Hope Taylor 4, Taylor Powers 4, Emma Mitchell 3, Madison Hopkins 2, Carson Coble 2, Gabby King 2.
Columbia Academy: Leslie Golden 25, Kenzie Hobbs 19, Lainey Truitt 7, Sabrina Gilliam 6, Anna Marie DeJarnette 4, Claire Graham 3, Abigail Thomason 2.
Three-point field goals: Cornersville (1): Dunkleman 1; Columbia Academy (6) Hobbs 4, Graham 1, Truitt 1.
Halftime score: Columbia Academy 35, Cornersville 17.