Bulldogs fall to Unionville in Christmas tournament

Friday, January 6, 2017
Cornersville senior guard Michael Allen surveys the court before driving down the lane for two of his seven points. Tribune photo by Mike Inglsbee

After winning two district games by a total of 114 points, the Cornersville Bulldogs have fallen on hard times by losing two conference games by 94 points and the future looked gloomy when CHS (2-6) played Community (6-8) in the Richland Christmas Classic.

From the start of the contest the Bulldogs looked outmatched, going down 30-7 before ultimately losing 62-45 to the Vikings.

"I saw a lack of effort in the first quarter," Cornersville coach Matt Hagan said. "That's basically why we were in here for eight minutes during halftime. You can't wait until you're down 15-to-20 points to start trying to play."

The Bulldogs finished with 10 players scoring as Tyler Wolaver was the leading scorer with just eight points.

Michael Allen added seven points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals while Austin Ridinger added six points and five rebounds.

"We came into this game not so much concerned with the final score, but we wanted to play with effort and get ready for Culleoka on Tuesday," Allen said. "We didn't really take care of that plan. We got down pretty big early and didn't play with effort and had to play catch up the rest of the game."

The Vikings rarely missed a shot in the first quarter, hitting four 3-pointers and Tyler Bushnell, Jackson Wisener, and Alex Mitchell combined for 21 of Unionville's 22 first quarter points.

The Vikings extended the lead to 30-7 two minutes into the second quarter before Tyler Wolaver and Marques Martin knocked down 3-pointers and Alexander Stewart hit two free throws to cut the lead to 30-16 and the Bulldogs went into halftime down 32-16.

"I was just telling them they weren't playing with effort (at halftime)," Hagan said. "We were getting beat 20-9 on rebounds, they had five turnovers and we had 13, we were getting beat in that category. And they were beating us down the floor, that's all effort."

The Bulldogs heeded its coach's advice and after Henlee Mitchell nailed a 3-pointer with a minute left in the quarter and Hunter Sharp hit a runner at the buzzer, Cornersville was back in the game, down just eight heading into the final frame.

"We had guys coming off the bench and stepping up with effort and started knocking down some shots (in the third period)," Allen said. "We got a few key stops and just got in their heads a little bit."

Cornersville lost all the momentum it had gained in the third quarter, going down 15 points just two minutes into the fourth period and the Vikings put the game away behind 12 points from Bushnell and Wisner for the 17-point win.

The Bulldogs lost the next game against Pickett County 80-32 to finish out the Christmas Tournament.

Cornersville 7 9 17 12 45

Community 22 10 9 21 62

Cornersville (45): Tyler Wolaver 8, Michael Allen 7, Austin Ridinger 6, Henlee Mitchell 6, Alexander Stewart 5, Cam Whitaker 3, Marques Martin 3, Travis Robinson 3, Cameron Gardner 2, Hunter Sharp 2

3-point goals (7): Mitchell 2, Wolaver, Whitaker, Martin, Allen, Robinson

Unionville (62): Jackson Wisener 19, Tyler Bushnell 13, Nathan Smith 10, Corde Lane 6, Alex Mitchell 6, Thomas Buchanan 3, Zac Monroe 3, Kobe Pride 2

3-point goals (7): Wisener 3, Bushnell 2, Mitchell 2

Halftime: Unionville 32, Cornersville 16