Lady Bulldogs extend win streak to five
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs came into Friday's match-up against one-win Hampshire (1-16, 1-7), riding a red hot winning streak as they have captured six of its last eight games, including four in a row by a margin of 21 points per game.
Make that streak five wins in a row after a 54-27 pummeling of the Lady Hawks on Homecoming night at Cornersville.
"We weren't pleased with our energy once again tonight, we started slow," Cornersville coach Peyton Newton said. "We're too good to let a team be down by just eight points at halftime in that situation. We come out in the second half and play a few minutes hard and then take two or three minutes and let the other team back in it. So we've got to put everything together. We play well defensively most nights but we need to come out offensively and take care of the ball.
The Lady Bulldogs were led by Morgan Terry with 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks and senior guard Carson Coble with 10 points, five rebounds and seven steals.
"I think we just pushed the ball and played really hard," Terry said. "We made a bunch of mistakes, but playing hard made up for it. And we out rebounded them in the second half so I think that was a big part too."
Emma Mitchell also came up big for Cornersville, chipping in 11 points and five rebounds.
The upstart Hawks, much improved from the team the Bulldogs beat by 27 earlier in the season, dominated much of the first quarter but a Mitchell 3-pointer with 1:15 left in the opening frame tied the contest at 9-9.
Coble knocked down a three off the ensuing inbound pass that gave the lady Dawgs the lead for good at 12-9 with 45 seconds left in the period.
After building a convincing lead in the second quarter by holding the Hawks to a mere two points throughout the first seven minutes, Abby Jones found the basket on a layup and Breanna Himes grabbed an offensive rebound and the Hawks ended the half on a 5-0 run to pull within eight points at 24-16.
"We had to tell them at halftime to play with heart," Terry said. "We knew from the beginning it was a trap game. We were supposed to win, but if we had the mindset, it's just Hampshire and we've beat them before, we can't have that. We have to get in and play them just like their any other team, it doesn't matter what's on the front of their jersey."
Eight different Bulldog players scored in the third period and Cornersville outscored the Hawks 16-3 in the frame to all but end the game before the fourth quarter even began.
"We started playing as a team and our defense kicked in during the second half," Coble said. "We had to play together and keep the ball moving. Boxing out and rebounding was a big factor in the win. We need to stay positive and keep our attitudes good."
The Lady Bulldogs now enter a stretch of must-win games in order to compete for the number one seed in the district with matches against Columbia Academy, Mt. Pleasant, and Santa Fe coming in the next three games.
"We talk a lot about the next game is our most important game," Newton said. "But every single one of these are very, very important for our seeding in the tournament."
Cornersville 14 10 16 14-54
Hampshire 9 7 3 8-27
Cornersville (54)- Madison Hopkins 8, Carson Coble 10, Emma Mitchell 11, Morgan Terry 15, Gabby King 1, Sam Prosser 3, Sarah Beth Prosser 2, Brooke DeFoe 3, Sydney Wilson 1.
Hampshire (27) - Hannah Lightfoot 5, Breanna Himes 10, Maddy Brooks 4, Brittany James 2, Abby Jones 4, Emma Jones 2.
Three-point goals: Cornersville (3) - Coble, Mitchell 2. Hampshire (1) -- Lightfoot.