Mustangs gallop over Cornersville in runaway
The Cornersville Bulldogs took a break from a grueling district schedule on Thursday night to welcome the Loretto Mustangs to southern Marshall County.
The Bulldogs (1-17) seemingly threw in the white flag before the contest began, starting five players from the depths of its bench and that move proved prophetic as the Mustangs (13-7) embarrassed Cornersville 78-29 in a game in which the home team never so much as made a run at Loretto.
The Mustangs stand atop the District 12A standings and are led by 6-foot-11 center Adam Fleming, who was one of three Mustangs players that scored in double-digits in the contest.
"Tonight is just one of those games that doesn't really matter much, it's not a district game," junior guard Michael Allen said. "Tonight we were trying to keep the starters healthy. It was one of those were you just go out and have fun, but to have fun and win you have to play hard every night."
Cornersville was no match for the Mustangs, who jumped out to a 15-2 lead before Bulldog coach Jeff Morton was forced the insert his usual starting five to stop the bleeding.
"We didn't get back on defense and we didn't move the ball well," Morton observed. "We didn't execute, we didn't rebound well. We have a must-win tomorrow night (Culleoka). We kind of came into this game limping, tired, sore, and beat-up, so we rested our starters tonight."
The Bulldogs managed just a bucket each by Brock Powers and Austin Ridinger in the first quarter and did not fare much better in the second period.
Ryan Weathers hit two 3-pointers in a row with four minutes left in the second quarter to push the Mustang lead to 34-4, before Eli Woodard finally broke the 23-2 run by Loretto with a driving layup a minute later.
Woodard nailed a 3-pointer on the next possession and Cody Caneer hit a jumper on the following sequence to cut the lead to 41-11 with 1:56 left in the half.
Eight Mustang players scored in the third period and the Bulldogs managed just two points apiece from Caneer, Woodard, and Allen and as Loretto pushed the lead 66-21 heading into the final frame.
Both teams cleared their benches in the final period as all 13 Loretto players scored in the contest and Cornersville was held to its lowest scoring output of the year with 29 points.
"We have to shoot the ball better," forward Brock Powers, who led the team with four rebounds, said. "We've got to eliminate some of these turnovers and make our free throws."
The Bulldogs were led by seven Woodard points and Caneer finished with four points and two assists to lead the Dawgs.
Weathers led the Mustangs with 16 points, Kirkland Suratt added 11 and Fleming chipped in 10 points, all of which were scored in the first three quarters.
Ten Loretto players scored at least four points in its largest margin of victory this season.
Cornersville 4 11 6 8-29
Loretto 20 27 19 12-78
Cornersville: J.D. Crabtree 1, Brock Powers 4, Michael Allen 2, Eli Woodard 7, Cam Whitaker 2, Cody Caneer 4, Austin Ridinger 6, Tyler Wolaver 3.
Loretto: Cole Childress 2, Will McBee 2, Jacob Jones 7, Alec Rhodes 4, Dason Harris 5, Jeremy Woods 5, Jacob Hallmark 4, Luke Childress 5, Ryan Weathers 16, Jack Green 5, Kirkland Suratt 11, Adam Fleming 10, Brock Purcell 2,
3-point goals: Cornersville (1) - Woodard. Loretto (4) - James, Woods, Weathers 2.