Hampshire upsets Cornersville in district tourney

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The Cornersville defense gets in position for a stop versus Hampshire on Thursday night at Culleoka. Photos by Mike Inglsbee

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs were in prime position for a spot in the 11-A District Tournament finals heading into Thursday night's semifinal matchup with three-win Hampshire after the Hawks knocked off number-two Santa Fe in a stunning upset during the opening round of the tournament.

The Hawks carried its newfound confidence into the game against the Lady Bulldogs and Cornersville fell victim to the annual tournament upset bug by losing to Hampshire 59-51 in a game the number-three seeded Bulldogs played catch-up through its entirety.

Respected foe

"I don't think we over looked them, because we knew they had beaten Santa Fe," Cornersville's Morgan Terry, the game's leading scorer, said. "We didn't realize that they were coming off of a hot win and ready to play again."

Terry led the Bulldog charge with a game high 22 points and 13 rebounds, Emma Mitchell added nine points, four rebounds and three steals and Madison Hopkins scored nine points and dished out four assists.

The Hawks were led by Hannah Lightfoot with 19 points, Breanna Himes 16 points, and Kaitlyn Blalock with 10 points and three 3-pointers.

"I think we had a lot of emotions running through us before the game and it threw us off," Terry continued. "Hampshire came in a lot more focused than we did."

The Lady Dawgs allowed the Hawks to keep control of the game by committing 32 turnovers and shooting a dismal 1-for-13 from the 3-point line and hitting just 10-of-17 free throws in a game decided by eight points.

Errors' damage

"I think we should have come in a little more focused," Terry said. "We had a game plan that everyone rehearsed, which was not to get them to the foul line, but next time we just have to make sure to follow through with the strategy."

The Hawks managed to get to the charity stripe 32 times, but allowed CHS to stay close by hitting just 21 shots and committing 24 turnovers.

Lightfoot and Himes combined for nine first quarter points to take a commanding 14-4 lead before Terry grabbed a rebound and took off for a coast-to-coast layup to cut the Hawks' lead to 14-6 with six seconds remaining in the opening frame.

Taylor Powers is wide open on the inbounds play.

Taylor Powers scored on a layup with 2:32 remaining in the second quarter to cut the Hampshire lead to 20-19, but Blalock nailed her second triple of the game and Himes added a jumper to push the lead back to 26-21 at the half.

First lead

Terry scored back-to-back baskets to start the second half to close the Hawks' lead down to one point and a Hopkins 3-pointer with 48 seconds remaining in the third gave the Bulldogs its first lead of the game at 35-33.

Blalock quickly answered with her third three of the game on the next possession to steal the lead back for the Hawks at 36-35 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs seemed to hit their stride in the fourth period as two Terry buckets put Cornersville back ahead 43-41 and a Mitchell layup gave the Lady Bulldogs its biggest lead of the game at 47-43.

The Bulldogs seemed to be in control with a 49-45 lead following two Mitchell free throws with 3:30 remaining in the game and two Hawk starters fouling out, but Hannah Lightfoot banked in a triple and Himes would score on a layup to regain the lead for good at 50-49 and Hampshire would outscore Cornersville 9-2 to finish out to game on continue its Cinderella season in the finals against the number-one seed Columbia Academy.

Cornersville 6 15 14 16-51

Richland 14 11 11 23-59

Cornersville-Madison Hopkins 9, Taylor Powers 3, Carson Coble 3, Emma Mitchell 9, Morgan Terry 22, Sam Prosser 3, Sarah Beth Prosser 2.

Hampshire-Hannah Lightfoot 19, Abby Jones 3, Emma Jones 3, Breanna Himes 16, Maddy Brocks 4, Kaitlyn Blalock 10, Brittany Jones 4.

3-point goals-Cornersville-Hopkins 1; Hampshire-Blalock 3, Lightfoot 1.

Halftime score-Richland 25, Cornersville 21.