Columbia Academy wallops Cornersville

Sunday, December 18, 2016
Cam Whitaker drives past several Columbia Academy defenders before scoring two of his four points. Photos by Caylee Porter

There was a time during the mid to late 2000's that Cornersville held the upper hand in the series against Columbia Academy, winning five of six regular season games from 2006-09 but since a district tournament loss in 2009 the Bulldogs from Columbia have won every game since then by a large margin.

But Cornersville, riding its first two-game winning streak since the 2013-14 season, came into Tuesday night's contest fresh off a 54-point thumping of Santa Fe and held high hopes of finally breaking the eight-year Columbia Academy reign.

Although the Bulldogs have made great strides under new coach Matt Hagan, Cornersville could not break the Columbia Academy jinx as the private school from Columbia hammered the visitors 91-28 in the largest margin of victory over the southern Marshall County squad since the two teams joined districts in 2005-06.

We played a good team, that's the bottom line," Hagan said. "The jump from Santa Fe to this is just night and day. We knew we still had some work to do but we've still got a long ways to go if we want to catch up to that. They were good."

The Bulldogs were rendered helpless against the Columbia Academy full court press and by the time the first quarter ended they were down 33-7 and 53-14 at the half.

Cornersville turned the ball over an astronomical 58 times despite Columbia Academy rotating the second and third teams in the game mid-second period.

"We needed more effort out there," sophomore big man Devin Baus noted. "We didn't have any effort at all. Some people looked like they gave effort but they really didn't. Maybe like two or three of us. We all try to give effort but we just need more of it."

Tyler Wolaver, who led the Bulldogs with six points, drills a second half 3-pointer at Columbia Academy.

The Bulldogs were led by freshman Tyler Wolaver with six points and three rebounds, Michael Allen with five points and two steals, and Austin Ridinger with five points.

"When you go from a team like Santa Fe to Columbia Academy you just can't compare," Wolaver pointed out. "And after just one practice to prepare for Columbia Academy you can't move the ball like you're supposed to so we just weren't ready for that kind of competition."

Columbia Academy finished with 12 players in the scoring column led by Riley Weller with 20 points, Carson Carey with 15 and Marshall McKee with 11 points, including a monster two-handed dunk during the second quarter.

The red, white, and blue Bulldogs jumped all over the maroon and white Bulldogs from the opening tip as Cornersville managed one Wolaver 3-pointer and a Cam Whitaker layup to finish with seven points in the quarter against 24 combined points from Weller, Cary, and McKee.

The second quarter offered much of the same as Cornersville rarely crossed the half court line and Columbia Academy ran the score past 50 early on a variety of easy layups and 3-point bombs.

"We've got to overcome some mental things, too," Hagan said. "Some things they planted in our heads in years past. That's one of my speeches I said to them before the game is--'Hey, do you think they are better than they really are? Are you making them better than they are in your head'?"

The second half offered much of the same as Columbia Academy went deep into the bench and still managed to outscore Cornersville 36-14 the last 16 minutes of the game.

"We've got to work on handling the ball and we've went over these things in practice-what they would do but they probably couldn't emulate the speed that (Columbia Academy) did it with," Hagan added. "I didn't feel like my kids, all of them, wanted to be out there after we got down. You could see it in their body language and their play."

The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Bulldogs with a district game against Mount Pleasant (4-4, 2-1) on Friday night before taking a two-week break and facing Community (3-6) in the Richland Christmas Classic on December 29.

Cornersville 7 7 8 6 28

Columbia Academy 31 22 24 12 91

Cornersville (28): Tyler Wolaver 6, Michael Allen 5, Austin Ridinger 5, Cameron Gardner 4, Cam Whitaker 2, Alexander Stewart 2, Henlee Mitchell 1, Marques Martin 1, Devin Baus 1, Brock Powers 1

3-point goals (2): Wolaver, Allen

Columbia Academy (91): Riley Weller 20, Carson Cary 15, Marshall McKee 11, Nygil Arms 9, Jackson DeJarnette 8, Tyler Smelser 7, Drew Logsdon 5, Blake Kincaid 5, Sky Polk 4, Davis Cofer 4, Walker Galbraith 2, Rush Landsell 1

3-point goals (10): Weller 3, Cary 3, Logsdon, Arms, Kincaid, DeJarnette

Halftime score: Columbia Academy 53, Cornersville 14