Richland takes over, stops Bulldogs in 4th

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Cody Caneer, who had six 3-pointers, buries a long bomb versus the Raiders. Photo by George "Pap" Warren

Cornersville made the short drive to northern Giles County last Thursday night, looking to end the regular season on a positive note against longtime rival Richland.

The Bulldogs, like so many other games during the 2015-16 season, played right along with its opponent for the better part of the game before falling to the Raiders 71-41.

Sudden change

"We played a good twenty-four minutes, maybe a better twenty-four minutes than we played all season until that final eight minutes," CHS coach Jeff Morton said. "We lost control of the tempo in the game during the fourth quarter, like we had controlled pretty much the entire game. We could have rebounded the ball a little better. It's the same stuff every week."

Senior Cody Caneer led the Bulldogs with 23 points on six 3-pointers to go along with six rebounds and four blocks.

"We just couldn't keep up with (Richland's) intensity," Caneer stated. "They were just making better passes and their shots were falling there at the end."

Closing in

Caneer would nail a 3-pointer to end the third quarter, pulling the Bulldogs within seven points and Cornersville had possession to start the final quarter with the chance to narrow the lead down to five points or four points with a trey.

But the Bulldogs committed a turnover and the Raiders jumped out with 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter en route to a 29-6 scoring edge during the final frame to make the final score seem much more lopsided then the game actually was the majority of the contest.

Getting tired

"The fourth quarter I believe fatigue started to set in," junior guard Michael Allen said. "We play with so much intensity throughout the whole game and that fourth quarter it finally caught up with us. I think that was the turning point in the game. They're a team that likes to run so they still had the energy there at the end."

The Bulldogs started the game out with the hot hand as two Caneer triples put the visitors up 6-2 and an Allen layup pushed the lead to 8-7 with two minutes left in the first period.

The Raiders would wrestle control of the lead on a Cade Landers 3-pointer, but a Will Vanhooser triple would give the Bulldogs its last lead of the game with one minute left in the opening frame at 13-11.

Just out of reach

The Raiders would keep the Bulldogs at arm's length for the rest of the second and third quarters, never leading by more than 10, but Cornersville could never get the lead down below seven before Richland put together its best quarter of the game in the fourth.

"They made a lot of shots in the fourth quarter and we couldn't find the rim," Morton said. "We turned it over too many times and they got points off those turnovers. It all happened so fast. Lack of focus, I thought we were focused and ready for them."

The Bulldogs also shot themselves in the foot, making just nine of 19 free throws and committing nine of its 21 turnovers in the fourth quarter.

Cornersville 11 16 8 6 41

Richland 13 21 8 29 71

Cornersville (41): Michael Allen 4, Eli Woodard 3, Cam Whitaker 5, Cody Caneer 23, Austin Ridinger 3, Will Vanhooser 3, Henlee Mitchell 1.

Richland (71): Nate Emerson 2, Kyle Oliver 23, Corey Batchelder 11, Cade Landers 7, Ryan Parsons 4, Dalton Galvin 4, Quinton Jordan 2, Ty Landers 7, Dakota Bassham 3, Noah Neely 5, Hunter James 3.

3-point goals: Cornersville (8) - Caneer 6, Vanhooser, Whitaker. Richland (4) - C. Landers, Parsons, T. Landers, Bassham.

Halftime score-Richland 34, Cornersville 27.