Lady Bulldogs fall to tough Pickett County
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs wrapped up a two day stint at the Richland Christmas Tournament on a down note, losing to Pickett County 95-50.
The fourth ranked Bobcats (15-1) came into the contest fresh off a 73-point win over Culleoka the previous night in the midst of an 11-game winning streak and Cornersville (3-9) proved to be little competition for the 1A powerhouse.
How to succeed
"I love the group we have, when we want to play, we really play," Cornersville coach Peyton Newton said. "But you can tell that group has played together for a long time. I know they have a really good youth league and it shows. As well as that team plays together, they do all the little things right."
Morgan Terry led Cornersville with 14 points and five rebounds, Emma Mitchell added 12 points, Madison Hopkins chipped in 10 points, three rebounds and three assists and Brooke DeFoe added an unexpected spark off the bench with eight points and two rebounds.
Pickett County was paced by Trista McClellan's 27 points on five 3-pointers and Jayna Ferrell's 26 points.
"I don't think anything was bad about the game, we came out and hustled," Terry said. "I just think they got up kind of quick in the beginning. If we would have had intensity the entire game like we had the last couple of minutes we could have beaten them."
Full court press
The Bobcats started and ended the contest in a full court press that Cornersville could not seem to crack, forcing the Bulldogs into 44 turnovers in the game.
"First off that's a great team, they could be the best team in the state," Newton added. "Turnovers killed us again. When you face pressure like that you know you're going to turn the ball over. I felt like overall we didn't turn it over as much as I thought we might. Main thing is we hit one 3-pointer and scored 50 points."
Cornersville started the game out strong, trailing 12-7 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter behind three Hopkins and four Terry points, but the Bulldogs finally relented to the full court pressure and the Bobcats ended the opening frame on a 12-2 run paced by 10 Jayna Ferrell points.
"We need to commit less turnovers, that's our main problem," Hopkins said. "We could have played better defense. They had a bunch of easy shots on the block and we could have boxed out better. We've got to hit our easy shots."
From the bench
Brooke Defoe came off the Cornersville bench in the second quarter and provided an instant spark by driving hard to the basket and scoring six straight points on three foul shots and a 3-pointer, but the Bulldogs still trailed 56-27 at the intermission.
Hopkins started off the fourth quarter with a steal, went coast-to-coast and hit a free throw after getting fouled on the layup attempt to cut the Pickett County lead to 27 points.
That's as close as Cornersville would get the rest of the game as the Bobcats outscored the Bulldogs 25-5 the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs finished the Christmas Tournament 0-2 with a tough loss against a good Frank Hughes squad and a hard fought game against a team ranked number four statewide so despite the record, Cornersville gained valuable out of district experience to help them on the road to district tournament play.
Cornersville 9 18 17 6-50
Pickett County 29 27 14 25-95
Cornersville (50)- Madison Hopkins 10, Taylor Powers 2, Carson Coble 2, Emma Mitchell 12, Morgan Terry 14, Sara Beth Prosser 2, Brooke DeFoe 8.
Pickett County (95)- Trista McClellan 27, Jayna Ferrell 26, Alahna Bilbray 3, Abbi Buck 19, Courtney Pritchett 7, Savannah Hammock 7, Aaliyah Brown 6.
Three-point goals: Cornersville (3) - Hopkins, Mitchell, DeFoe. Pickett County (6) - McClellan 5, Buck.