Lady Bulldogs run out of steam at Santa Fe
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs traveled to Santa Fe on Friday night, looking to make it two wins in a row and an undefeated district record following a 27-point drubbing of Hampshire earlier in the week after starting the season 0-5.
Cornersville (1-6, 1-1) gave the Lady Wildcats all they could handle in the early district match up, leading 36-35 with three minutes left in the game before Santa Fe (3-5, 2-0) went on a 10-1 to end the game with a 45-37 victory.
"We have a game plan every time and we followed it for the most part tonight," Cornersville coach Peyton Newton said. "Again, you have to hit free throws and you have to know who the shooters are on the other team. We have to finish possessions and take care of the ball."
Youth was served for Cornersville on Friday as freshman Gabby King contributed 10 points, six rebounds and two steals, while sophomore Morgan Terry scored a team-high 13 points, grabbed five rebounds, blocked two shots and had one steal. Madison Hopkins set up the duo brilliantly with five assists and added four rebounds and six points.
The Lady Wildcats came out business-like, confidently scoring the first eight points of the game before a Terry shot broke the Cornersville drought and a Hopkins 3-pointer that followed cut the Santa Fe lead to three to end the quarter. Five different players scored for both squads in the second quarter, led by a Katie Mouton 3-pointer for Santa Fe and three Hopkins' points for a slight 17-12 Wildcat lead heading into the break.
King busted out of halftime on fire, scoring 10 straight points to ignite both the Cornersville crowd and the freshman wing's teammates before a freakish knee injury forced King to miss the rest of the game seconds after scoring her last point of the quarter.
"We were down and I just thought we should hustle more and we got the lead back," King said. "I didn't stop hustling because we usually stop playing well after every half, I wanted us to play a complete game."
"I was trying to get a rebound," she explained. "I guess when I was coming down my knee went out and everything was off from there."
Terry picked up the slack after King's injury by scoring seven points to bring the game to a 30-30 tie, heading into the final frame after trailing the majority of the game.
The Lady Dawgs managed to grab a 34-32 lead on a Taylor Powers free throw, but Mouton drilled an open 3-ponter to give the Wildcats a 35-34 lead with 3:31 left in the game.
Terry grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the floor for a lay-up and the 36-35 edge with just three minutes left in the game.
Mouton nailed another trey with a Cornersville defender in her face for the 38-36 lead with 2:11 left in the fourth and the Bulldogs would sputter to the finish line with just one more point scored to assure the Wildcats' eight-point win.
"We lost Gabby (King), which was a big part in our struggles at the end, she was hustling and playing really good," Terry explained. "And we just lost shooters and they made three 3-pointers pointers possession after possession so that played a big part too. Once again we just lost our players on defense."
"They go down and they knockdown two big threes, we lost the person in a match-up, miss some easy baskets and had a bad turnover at a key point," Newton said. "There were a lot of things that happened there. Main thing is that we knew who their shooters were and we lost them and they knock down the threes like they were supposed to."
Much like its last second lost to Harpeth in the Forrest Thanksgiving Classic, Cornersville missed key free throws down the stretch that most likely would have changed the outcome of the game. The Lady Bulldogs made just 13-28 free throws in a game that was decided by just eight points.
"I'm not really sure what the problem is, I think it's just all in our head, just like our (missed) shots," Terry said. "We make at least 50 free throws each and do shooting drills before and after practice. So it's just all in our head. We just have to slow down and shoot the ball."
The Lady Bulldogs started the season off 0-5 with big losses to Loretto (52 points), Forrest (25 points), and Watertown (40 points) until getting its full line-up back and battling a 9-1 Eagleville team the entire game before succumbing by just 15 points.
They lost at the buzzer to 2A Harpeth (6-5), knocking off Hampshire by a large margin to start district play and holding a two point edge with three minutes left in the game against Santa Fe before running out of gas.
Cornersville 5 7 18 5 37
Santa Fe 8 9 13 17 45
Cornersville (37): Madison Hopkins 6, Taylor Powers 1, Emma Mitchell 3, Morgan Terry 13, Gabby King 10, Carly Salsman 3, Sara Beth Prosser 2.
Santa Fe (45): Chadwell 4, Lusk 2, Pack 9, Dodson 1, Mouton 19, Shepard 5, Hood 1, Warf 6.
Three-point goals- Cornersville (1): Hopkins. Santa Fe (6): Pack 3, Mouton 3.