Eagles surge by win-hungry Bulldogs

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Although they showed some fight early on, the Cornersville Bulldogs are still searching for their first win of the season after dropping a 70-46 decision to the Zion Christian Academy Eagles (6-4) at home on Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs (0-7) got off to a promising start and led by as many as eight points in the first quarter before taking a 20-18 advantage into the second period.

That proved to be the high water mark of the night for Cornersville, as Zion Christian used a 16-2 run in the second period to take a 34-22 advantage into the break before outscoring CHS 36-24 over the final two quarters to claim its sixth win of the season.

Cornersville's Cody Caneer scores on a layup in the first quarter against Zion Christian Academy. Photos by Louis Scheuchenzuber

Missed shots

Despite hitting 8-of-13 field goal attempts in the first quarter, Cornersville shot just 36 percent (17-of-47) from the floor overall while making only 2-of-11 attempts from 3-point range. The Bulldogs also shot themselves in the foot by committing 19 turnovers, including 10 in the second period alone.

"We executed well in the first quarter and shot the basketball well. When we didn't execute, we turned the ball over. They kept speeding us up and we started making mistakes," Cornersville coach Jeff Morton said.

Shooting guard Cody Caneer led the Bulldogs with 12 points, while center Austin Ridinger tallied 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Cameron Whitaker and Brock Powers also chipped in seven and five points respectively for Cornersville.

Hard efforts

"Austin played well early and did a good job of finishing underneath the basket," said Morton. "Cody always hustles and plays with a lot of grit and determination."

Bolstered by a 9-of-12 shooting performance in the fourth quarter, Zion Christian shot 48 percent (28-of-58) from the field, which included a 4-of-12 effort from beyond the arc. The Eagles also committed just 12 turnovers and outrebounded Cornersville 34-27.

Zion Christian forward Jarrett DeLozier recorded a double-double and poured in a game high 20 points to go along with 13 rebounds and three steals. Jackson South also tallied 14 points for the Eagles, while Briggs Rutter added 12.

ZCA inched out to an early 2-0 lead on a layup by South before the Bulldogs responded with a 7-2 spurt behind four points from Ridinger to seize a 7-4 advantage.

Early lead

After DeLozier hit a jump hook to cut the deficit to 7-6, Cornersville reeled off seven straight points, highlighted by a Whitaker three-point play, stretching their lead to 14-6 midway through the first quarter.

The Bulldogs' lead quickly evaporated, however, as the Eagles went on a 12-4 run to tie the score at 18-18 late in the first period.

Austin Ridinger hits a short jumper over Zion Christian Academy's (12) Landon Finke in the first quarter.

Ridinger scored on a layup in the waning seconds of the first quarter to put Cornersville up 20-18, but Zion Christian began to take control of the game in the second period and went on a 16-2 run on the strength of six points from DeLozier to take a 34-22 advantage into the break.

ZCA powers ahead

The Bulldogs outscored ZCA 10-7 through the first 3:40 of the third quarter with the help of four points from Caneer to narrow the gap to 41-32, but the Eagles delivered the knockout blow by putting together an 18-4 spurt to open up a 59-36 advantage midway through the fourth period.

Caneer banked in a three from the top of the key to trim the deficit to 59-39 with 4:40 left before Zion Christian outscored Cornersville 11-7 the rest of the way to cap their 70-46 victory.

Connersville: 20 2 12 12- 46

Zion Christian: 18 16 15 21-70

Connersville: Cody Caneer 12, Austin Ridinger 11, Cameron Whitaker 7, Brock Powers 5, Eli Woodard 4, Michael Allen 4, Alexander Stewart 3.

Zion Christian: Jarrett DeLozier 20, Jackson South 14, Briggs Rutter 12, John Gleaves 9, Landon Finke 5, Ryan Green 4, Jacob Holmes 4, Andrew Taylor 2.

Three-point goals: Connersville (2): Caneer, Powers; Zion Christian (4): Gleaves 3, Finke.

Halftime score: Zion Christian 34, Connersville 22.