Hopkins carries Lady Bulldogs past Culleoka

Friday, January 8, 2016
Cornersville point guard Madison Hopkins scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 65-48 win over Culleoka. Photos by George "Pap" Warren

Junior point guard Madison Hopkins helped Cornersville (4-9, 3-2) continue their long winning streak against Culleoka on Tuesday night when she poured in a career high 24 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 65-48 road victory over the Lady Warriors (3-8, 1-4).

Cornersville held just a 39-35 lead through the first three quarters of play, but pulled away down the stretch by outscoring Culleoka 26-13 in the fourth quarter to claim their 27th straight win over the Lady Warriors.

Handing it ove

Although Culleoka shot a respectable 47 percent (15-of-32) from the field and out rebounded the Lady Bulldogs 34-24, the Lady Warriors struggled mightily with Cornersville's full court press and committed 47 turnovers.

"Pressing is something we knew we wanted to do later in the season against the teams in our district. That's what we did last year. It gives us a chance to force some turnovers and score in transition," Lady Bulldog coach Peyton Newton said.

With their press providing them with numerous extra scoring opportunities, Cornersville finished with 20 field goals on 36 percent shooting and held a 3-1 edge in 3-pointers while outscoring Culleoka 22-17 at the foul line.

Work pays off

Hopkins turned in a highly efficient offensive performance for the Lady Bulldogs, as she hit 9-of-11 shots overall, knocked down 2-of-4 three-point attempts, and made all four foul shots to go along with five steals and three assists.

"I've been working on my shot a lot lately. I've also been working on my one-on-one moves more and my layups so that's given me more confidence," Hopkins said.

Center Morgan Terry followed Hopkins with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while Carson Coble added 10 points. Emma Mitchell and Sarah Beth Prosser chipped in seven and six points for Cornersville.

Forward Rayann Adamson led Culleoka with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Kaitlyn Young tallied 10 points. Slinky Mulholland and Ashleigh Kelly also notched seven points apiece for the Lady Warriors.

Taylor Powers knocks down a jumper in the third quarter against Culleoka.

Hopkins carried the Lady Bulldogs early on and scored 11 points in the first quarter on four layups and a trey from the top of the key to stake Cornersville to a 14-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Going to basket

"We've been talking to her about attacking the basket the last few days and she did it tonight. She has to be more of a scorer for us to be successful," said Newton.

With Hopkins and Terry both being forced to the bench due to foul trouble early in the second period, the Lady Bulldogs' lead quickly evaporated, as Culleoka put together a 16-4 run to tie the score at 18-18 late in the second period.

After tallying the last three points of the first half on three free throws to take a 21-18 advantage into the break, Cornersville opened the third quarter with a 6-2 spurt thanks to a short jumper by Taylor Powers and a pair of layups by Coble and Hopkins to stretch their lead to 27-20.

The Lady Warriors reeled off five straight points to narrow the gap to 27-25, but the Lady Bulldogs countered with a 10-1 run behind seven points from Hopkins and a Coble 3-pointer to forge a 37-26 advantage.

Terry leads way

Culleoka outscored Cornersville 9-2 over the final 2:14 of the third quarter to slice the deficit to 39-35 before the Lady Bulldogs started the fourth period with a 13-5 spurt on the strength of six points from Terry to push their lead to 52-40.

The Lady Warriors notched the next three points to close the gap to 52-43 with 2:51 left, but Cornersville put the game away at the foul line and outscored Culleoka 13-5 the rest of the way with the help of 11 free throws and a Terry layup to take home the 65-48 victory.

Cornersville: 14 7 18 26-65

Culleoka: 2 16 17 13-48

Cornersville: Madison Hopkins 24, Morgan Terry 13, Carson Coble 10, Emma Mitchell 7, Sarah Beth Prosser 6, Taylor Powers 3, Brooke Defoe 1, Hope Taylor 1.

Culleoka: Rayann Adamson 11, Kaitlyn Young 10, Slinky Mulholland 7, Ashleigh Kelly 7, Taylor Daly 5, Baily Ingram 4, Katie Primm 2, Alex Kelly 2.

Three-point goals: Cornersville (3): Hopkins 2, Coble; Culleoka (1): Young.

Halftime score: Cornersville 21, Culleoka 18.