CMS Bulldogs come up short versus Culleoka

Friday, October 27, 2017
Andrew Santini brings the ball up court for the CMS Bulldogs.
Photos by George “Pap” Warren

Cornersville Middle School squared off against Culleoka Middle School just a week after the Warriors handed the Bulldogs a 27-point loss at the Culleoka Classic.

The second time around would prove even more difficult as the Bulldogs leading scorer, Trey Luna, who averaged 23.5 points over the first two games, was out with a hamstring injury.

The Bulldogs had some role players step up and despite not having that number one go-to option the home squad put up a second half fight before falling 51-36.

Mason Calahan takes the ball to the glass for two points versus Culleoka Tuesday night at Cornersville.

"I wanted to find out who was going to step up," CMS coach Matt Hagan said. "I needed people to be more aggressive out there because when we play less aggressive, bad things happen."

"But we did get better as a team tonight," Hagan added. "We got better as the game wore on and defensively we did better tonight."

The Bulldogs were led by Eli Welch with six points and six rebounds, including five straight to end the third quarter, while Andrew Santini chipped in five points.

Christian Stewart led the Warriors with 10 points while Landon Spencer and Will Jackson combined for 17 points.

The Bulldogs started the game out extremely stagnant as Stewart banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key to push the Warrior lead to 17-2 with three seconds left in the first quarter.

Cornersville jumped back into the game in the second quarter with Skylar Davis 3-pointer cutting the lead to 21-9 with just 1:39 left in the half and the Bulldogs went into the break, down 23-9.

"I told them you all have got to be aggressive," Hagan told his players at the half. "You've got to drive, don't be robotic. The more they did that, better things happened and we gained confidence."

The Warriors started the second half on a 6-0 run culminating with a Spencer triple, pushing the lead to 29-9 and after a Bulldog basket, the Warriors went on a separate 14-0 run to claim a 43-11 lead with the third period winding down.

Welch finally got things going, scoring five straight and a Mason Calahan free throw trimmed the Warrior lead to 43-17 at the end of the quarter.

Cornersville finally started hitting shots in the fourth quarter with a Calahan steal and pullup jumper that chipped the lead to 45-28, but the run was too little too late as the Warriors left southern Marshall County with its second win in as many weeks over the Bulldogs.

"Despite the loss we still did some good things out there tonight," Hagan said. "I wanted to see who would step up with Trey (Luna) out and I saw some good things from several players out there. Everyone got to play tonight, everyone is getting a shot, and that's only going to help us as the season continues."