2017 Cornersville Girls Basketball Preview
Newton has high expectations for Lady Bulldogs
The past two seasons did not end the way Cornersville coach Peyton Newton would have hoped with opening round region losses to Loretto last season and Perry County in 2015-16.
This season, with a new district, Newton is expecting big things from his squad that won 26 games the past two seasons.
"My expectations for this team and this season is to start out strong, improve every day we practice and every game we play and by the end of the season be playing our best ball to make a deep tournament run," Newton said. "Outside of that it is my job to make sure these young ladies are prepared to be successful when they leave our program. I will do all I can to help them get there."
Despite losing three highly productive seniors in Madison Hopkins and Samantha Prosser (who both signed to play college softball this season) and Carly Salsman, the Lady Bulldogs return a wealth of talent at all positions.
Three time all-district college prospect Morgan Terry, both an inside and outside threat, will be the focal point of the offense, having past the 1,000 point mark in the final game of her sophomore season.
Terry, who posted plenty of 20 plus point and 10 plus rebound games the past two years is just as comfortable stepping outside for a 3-pointer as banging in the inside.
"I hope to just have a great year, not only advancing myself, but also Cornersville’s program," Terry stated. "Going into the new district can be hard the first year, but I hope to get things started on a good note for Cornersville in the future."
"I think we have improved our shooting a lot more since last year," Terry added. "We’ve always had open looks but could never knock down a shot. Now we’re getting easy baskets and quick points just hitting the shots we take."
Another strong inside/outside presence will be Sarah Beth Prosser, a part-time starter the past two seasons.
Prosser, who has made a name by doing the little things on floor, often led the team in rebounds, steals, blocks, or assists, but will be asked to provide more scoring this year if the Lady Bulldogs want a chance to go far.
"I'm not around much during the off season because of football, so I've had to come in and focus more on my game," Prosser mentioned. "My biggest improvement so far has been my attitude and ability to stay coachable. I've become more vocal and supportive of everyone, which the team as a whole has too."
Prosser has also seen positive changes as the 2017-18 team takes shape.
"The past few seasons we haven't rotated between players as much, but I'm confident that could change this year," Prosser added. "Everyone has been working hard and supporting each other in practices. I think the support and confidence we have in each other will keep us motivated to finish games stronger than we have before."
The back court duties will be spread between Emma Mitchell, Payton Salsman, Gabby King, and Taylor Powers.
Powers, one of just three seniors, has been a steady ball handler the past two seasons as a starter and also has been able to knock down open threes.
Powers has sporadic scoring outbursts like 10 point contests versus Columbia Academy and Spring Hill last season and Cornersville will need more of those to succeed this season.
King has been dealt a tough hand the past two seasons with knee injuries.
The junior burst for 10 points as a freshman at Santa Fe to spark a second half Cornersville run, but injured her knee in the same game and missed the rest of the season.
The bad luck followed to her sophomore campaign, played just a few games before missing the majority of the season once again.
King is another inside-outside threat and a tough defender the Lady Bulldogs will rely on heavily.
Salsman thrived at the role of hired marksman off the bench last season as a freshman as evidenced by scoring eight points on two 3-pointers at Columbia Academy.
Mitchell, the last senior on the squad, can score in bunches and is another in a long line of tough inside-outside threats in the Cornersville lineup.
Mitchell is a tough defender and can step out and knock down the occasional three, but thrives on drives to the hoop.
Daisey Braden will play a bigger role this season off the bench.
With a deep lineup last season, Braden played few minutes but made them count when asked to step on the floor.
The junior guard scored seven points against Culleoka last season and can provide a spark off the bench.
"When I think of strengths of this team I think about how they have been playing together for a while," Newton said. "You hope that allows them to gel quicker and know what each other is thinking on the floor."
"I also feel like we have several players who are versatile and I can put at different positions on the floor," Newton continued. "A couple of things we need to improve on quickly is taking care of the basketball and hitting open shots. Those two things hurt us down the stretch last season so I hope to see these young ladies make a conscious effort to pay attention to detail and make the smart easy plays instead of trying to do too much sometimes."
Shasta Beaty and Bethany Fitzgerald will provide added depth off the bench and coach Newton welcomes a strong freshmen class with Abbie Woodard, Lexi Warren, Meri Hannah Walker, and Exondria Scheetz.
"I don't think anyone role will be more important this season than another," Newton explained. "I think we have thirteen young ladies who work hard every day and who will be ready when called upon to go out and do the job our coaches ask them to do."
"Until we get started and see who steps up, every player has the chance to make a name for themselves with their work ethic, attitude, and sportsmanship," Newton added. "I look forward to seeing them all play and grow as we go along."
The biggest question mark for the Lady Bulldogs will be the new district teams.
Gone are the predominately Maury County squads and the Lady Bulldogs find themselves in what most have considered the toughest single A district in the state.
However, perennial powerhouses Forrest and Community have moved up to 2A, replaced with Cornersville and Cascade, who dropped back down from 2A.
"I am excited about the challenge of playing in this new district," Newton offered. "We still have several of the teams from the previous district on the schedule, but we know each night we step on the floor against any of these teams we have to be our best and I look forward to seeing these ladies step up and make noise in this district."
The district will also feature Eagleville, Fayetteville, Huntland and Moore County.
2017 Cornersville Lady Bulldogs
00 Emma Mitchell
12 Taylor Powers
34 Morgan Terry
15 Gabby King
22 Daisy Braden
23 Sarah Beth Prosser
30 Shasta Beaty
10 Payton Salsman
40 Bethany Fitzgerald
1 Abbie Woodard
2 Lexi Warren
24 Meri Hannah Walker
55 Exondria Scheetz
|Tuesday, Nov. 14||Culleoka (HOF) W 63-45|
|Friday, Nov. 17||Mount Pleasant (HOF) W 45-25|
|Monday, Nov. 20||Pope John Paul II, Ala. (Ardmore Thanksgiving Tournament) L 71-57|
|Tuesday, Nov. 21||Clements, Ala. (Ardmore Thanksgiving Tournament) W 50-47|
|Wednesday, Nov. 22||Lindsay Lane CA (AL) (Ardmore Thanksgiving Tournament) W 47-28|
|Tuesday, Nov. 28||Richland Home W 38-31|
|Friday, Dec. 1||Zion Christian W 55-45|
|Tuesday, Dec. 5||at Hampshire W 61-21|
|Friday, Dec. 8||at Mount Pleasant|
|Tuesday, Dec. 12||Hampshire Home|
|Friday, Dec.15||at Richland Away|
|Tuesday, Dec. 19||at Zion Christian|
|Thursday, Dec. 28||Richland Christmas Classic Richland TBD|
|Friday, Dec. 29||Richland Christmas Classic Richland TBD|
|Friday, Jan. 5||at Cascade Away D|
|Tuesday, Jan. 9||Eagleville Home D|
|Friday, Jan. 12||at Moore County D|
|Tuesday, Jan. 16||Fayetteville D|
|Friday, Jan. 19||at Huntland Away D|
|Tuesday, Jan. 23||Cascade D|
|Friday, Jan. 26||at Eagleville D|
|Tuesday, Jan. 30||Moore County D|
|Friday, Feb. 2||at Fayetteville D|
|Tuesday, Feb. 6||Huntland Home D|
|Thursday, Feb. 8||at Culleoka Away|
|February 12-17||District 8A Tournament at Eagleville|
|February 23-March 1||Region 4A Tournament|