Lady Bulldogs run over Culleoka

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Cornersville coach Peyton Newman talks some strategy with the Lady Bulldogs during a second quarter timeout at Culleoka Friday night. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs backed up a huge 47-34 win versus Mt. Pleasant on Tuesday in a big way Friday night at Culleoka, running away from the Lady Warriors via a 53-34 victory.

"We just came out and pushed the ball hard, because we knew how big of a win this could be," senior Morgan Terry said. "We lost three tough games last week and we knew after we beat Mt. Pleasant we had to come over here and keep our momentum up."

Cornersville (10-8, 8-4) remained in a three-way tie for second place in the District 11A standings with Mt. Pleasant (12-8, 8-4) and Columbia Academy (10-10, 8-4).

Richland holds the top spot with a 17-4 overall record and an unblemished (12-0) mark in the district.

Things may be clearer this morning as Cornersville hosted Richland last night, while Mt. Pleasant travelled to Columbia Academy.

It was turnaround of sorts for the Lady Bulldogs Friday as they shook off the second half blues that has plagued them over the past two weeks, erasing a five-point first quarter deficit before taking a four-point halftime and then exploding in the third quarter to put the Lady Warriors away.

All nine Cornersville players posted at least two points in the scoring column with Terry leading all scorers in the contest with 19 points.

"We knew what we had to do tonight and everyone who stepped on the floor did their part and that equaled a win," Terry said. "We had people come in and give really good minutes tonight."

Payton Salsman had eight points, Daisy Braden came off the bench and added a big spark with seven points, Taylor Powers scored six, Madison Hopkins had four, Sara Beth Prosser three, and Brooke Defoe, Carly Salsman and Brittany Fitzgerald all had two points apiece.

Terry talked about Braden's contribution, saying, "She supports us when she's on the bench and when she comes in we trust her and we know she can knock down some shots and play defense."

Terry opened the scoring in the game with a rebound and put-back and then Cornersville went on a cold spell, not converting another field gold for the remainder of the period and the Lady Warriors took advantage to hold an 11-6 lead after the first eight minutes.

The Lady Bulldogs scored the first five points of the second quarter before Culleoka's Rayanne Adamson drained a 3-pointer to fend off the visitors.

After a series of turnovers by both clubs, Slinky Mulholland scored her only two points of the game to give Culleoka an 18-11 lead.

Terry began to bang down in the low post and converted four three throws, while Powers added two additional foul shots in a 6-0 run by the Lady Bulldogs to slice the Culleoka lead to one point at 18-17 with just over two minutes to play in the first half.

Taylor Powers (12) scores with her left hand after sealing the ball away from the Lady Warriors in the first half in Cornersville's 53-34 win at Culleoka Friday night.

Freshman Payton Salsman came up huge for Cornersville, putting the Lady Bulldogs in front with a short jumper and after a Culleoka miscue, Salsman drained a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 22-18.

Salsman's senior sister Carly scored next on a swipe and score before the first half ended with Alex Kelley scoring for Culleoka, making it a 24-20 ballgame in favor of Cornersville.

The second half began with two made free throws by Brooke Defoe and after a Culleoka turnover, Terry scored in the low post, making it 28-20.

"We just knew we couldn't let down at that point, we had to push it and keep boxing out and rebounding and taking it to the hole because most of them were in foul trouble," Terry said.

There was no scoring for a couple of possessions by both teams before Powers knocked in a 3-pointer, giving Cornersville its first double-digit lead of the game at 31-20.

Culleoka managed to cut the Cornersville lead to eight points at 35-28 on a Kaitlyn Young free throw late in the period, but a Terry basket was followed by a Braden two-pointer and a 3-pointer by the Lady Bulldog sophomore near the buzzer made it a 42-28 game.

Cornersville's Carly Salsman (20) comes up with a big steal and score with 30 seconds left in the first half at Culleoka Friday night.

Cornersville never looked back from there, outscoring Culleoka 11-6 in the final period to claim the win and stay in the thick of the district race to the tournament that commences at Mt. Pleasant on February 13.

"Having three games next week, we just have to keep our minds right and go out and give it our all and that's all we can do right know," Terry said.

Cornersville 6 18 18 11-53

Culleoka 11 9 8 6-34

Cornersville (53): Morgan Terry 19, Payton Salsman 8, Daisy Braden 7, Taylor Powers 6, Madison Hopkins 4, Sara Beth Prosser 3, Brooke Defoe 2, Carly Salsman 2, Bethany Fitzgerald 2

3-point goals: (4): Payton Salsman 2, Powers, Braden

Free throws (19-for-31): Terry 7-for-10, Hopkins 4-for-6, Powers 3-for-4, Defoe 2-for-2, Fitzgerald 2-for-4, Prosser 1-for-2, Payton Salsman 0-for-2, Carly Salsman 0-for-1

Culleoka (34): Alex Kelly 10, Rayanne Adamson 8, Kaitlyn Young 8, Taylor Daley 6, Slinky Mulholland 2

3-point goals (2): Adamson, Mulholland

Free throws (6-for-15): Adamson 5-for-10, Young 1-for-2, Mulholland 0-for-1, Kelly 0-for-2

Halftime score: Cornersville 24, Culleoka 20