CMS teams earn sweep against rival Richland
The Lady Bulldogs of Cornersville Middle School played host to long-time rival Richland on Monday in Cornersville, and except for a brief third-quarter run by the Raiders, the Lady Bulldogs dominated for a 46-30 victory.
"It starts with our defense," CMS coach Peyton Newton stressed. "We know we have a hard time scoring. We're not great shooters right now. If our defense is good, we get some steals then we can get some easy transition baskets. Tonight. our defense was as good as it's been, so you put those together and that's how we got the outcome we did."
The Lady Bulldogs (3-2) raced to a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter behind five points from Payton Salsman and four points from Lauren Allen.
Defense was the name of the game in the second quarter for the home team, allowing the Raiders just two points for a 26-5 halftime cushion. six Bethany Fitzgerald has six points in the quarter while Lexi Warren had three.
The Raiders (2-3) came out in the third period more inspired and deployed a suffocating full-court press that rattled the Lady Bulldogs.
After allowing just five points the entire first half, the Raiders exploded for 17 third-quarter points with 14 from Jesse Jennings.
"The first thing we said at halftime was 'you had a great half, but this isn't a two-quarter game. You have to play four quarters' and we know that," Newton said. "Richland changed their game plan and we were still doing the same thing."
The Lady Bulldogs managed just six points in the period, but were able to pick up the pace a notch in the final quarter with 14 points to pull away as Newton cycled in the bench.
Fitzgerald led the win with 15 points while Salsman added 12. Laura Allen finished with six points and Exandria Scheetz chipped in four.
The CMS boys played a much closer game against the Raiders as the game featured more turnovers and fouls in the first half than points scored. The Bulldogs managed to pull away from the winless Raiders late for a 28-17 victory.
"We were kind of dragging around in the first half," CMS coach Gerard Randolph said. "I told them at halftime we've got to do something to get us flowing. This wasn't a pretty game."
The Bulldogs led 4-0 at the end of the first quarter on a bucket by Jackson Mitchell and two foul shots from Tyler Wolaver.
Wolaver nailed a 3-pointer and Mitchell knocked down a free throw in the second quarter for a slim 8-5 edge at halftime.
"Coming out of halftime, I challenged our guys to play a much better half than the first," Randolph said. "I told them we need to get back to the basics. Box out, rebound, take care of the ball, play good defense and everything will take care of itself."
The Bulldogs slipped into a full-court press in the second half that quickened the pace and led to more open court points than in the first half.
With the Raiders threatening a comeback late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs once again relied on Wolaver, who promptly nailed a trey from the corner and drove inside for a layup to stretch the lead.
Dylan Bows scored his only two points on the foul line after a flagrant foul to put the finishing touches on the Bulldogs win.
Wolaver led the Bulldogs with 14 points while Mitchell finished with 12.