Second half surge carries Lady Bulldogs over Cascade
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs opened up District 8-A play Friday night at Cascade and came away with a convincing 51-44 win as Morgan Terry poured in a game-high 23 points.
Cornersville (13-2, 1-0) got off to a shaky start at Wartrace, managing just 16 points in a sloppily played first half by both teams.
“It was one of those nights where you face a lot of adversity,” Cornersville coach Peyton Newton said. “We got in early foul trouble, missed a lot of easy early buckets, didn’t move well defensively and didn’t rebound the ball.”
“We had a lot to overcome tonight, so to pull one out was pretty impressive.”
The Lady Bulldogs only made one field goal the entire first quarter and that came with less than a minute to play in the period when Meri Hannah Walker banged home a 3-pointer to make it 6-5 contest in favor of the Lady Champions.
After a Cascade missed shot, Sara Beth Prosser gave Cornersville a 7-6 lead on a low post bucket before the Lady Champs responded with an Ally Murdock field goal to take an 8-7 lead to the second quarter.
The hometown orange and black clad Lady Champs came up with a 5-0 run to begin the second stanza before the Lady Dawgs matched it, cutting the margin back to one point when Taylor Powers hit both ends of a one-and-one from the free throw line.
Cascade surged again, going up by five points at 19-14 until Terry ended the first half scoring on a rebound and put-back, making it 19-16.
The Lady Bulldogs seized the lead at the outset of the third period on back-to-back buckets by Terry in the low post and a feed by Terry to Prosser that gave Cornersville a 22-19 edge and force a Cascade timeout with 6:06 remaining in the stanza.
One Cascade free throw made it 22-21 before the Cornersville defense took over with Terry blocking two shots and both her and Prosser coming up with low post baskets to give the Lady Bulldogs a 26-21 lead with 2:10 left in the period.
The two teams traded buckets to end the period and at the outset of the final eight minutes, Cornersville took over the game as Terry and Gabby King owned the blocks, splitting eight points in an 8-2 run that put the Lady Dawgs up by 11 points at 36-25.
“We told them at the half that we had to play our game,” Newton said. “It wasn’t that we were jacking up bad shots in the first half, we weren’t getting shots or Morgan and Sara Beth were missing those shots that they made in the second half.”
Cascade cut the lead to five points twice and to four points with 50.1 left in the game on two Haleigh Crouch free throws to force a Cornersville timeout.
Terry made one-of-two from the free throw line before Grace Jackson tossed in a long bomb to cut the lead to two points at 46-44, but Terry scored four more points along with a Powers free throw in a 6-0 Cornersville run to end the game.
“You have to give credit to Cascade, they made us come in here and earn one, but at the end of the day we are 1-0 at the start of the district and that’s all that is important.” Newton said. “We know it was ugly, the film will show it was ugly, but we will be at the top of the district with all the other teams that win tonight.”
The Lady Bulldogs are back on the hardwood Friday night when they host Eagleville in another District 8-A clash.
Cornersville (13-2, 1-0), Eagleville (11-5, 0-1), Moore County (11-5, 1-0), Huntland (8-7, 1-0), Fayetteville (5-10, 0-1), and Cascade (2-12, 0-1) make up the newly formed league.
“Eagleville has been the only team we have really played,” Newton said. “We don’t play Moore County, we don’t play Huntland, we haven’t played Fayetteville in a while, and I’ve have never played Cascade, so it’s all new. You might want to say that plays into it, but at the end of the day we just didn’t play our game.”
“We have to play tough and we have to play tough Tuesday night versus Eagleville.”
Cornersville 7 9 12 23 — 51
Cascade 8 11 4 21 — 44
Cornersville (51): Morgan Terry 23, Gabby King 11, Sarah Beth Prosser 5, Taylor Powers 5, Meri Hannah Walker 3, Emma Mitchell 3, Payton Salsman 1.
3-Point goals (1): Walker.
Free Throws (16-for-32): Terry 5-for-9, King 3-for-8, Mitchell 3-for-5, Powers 3-for-5, Salsman 1-for-2, Prosser 1-for-2, Lexi Warren 0-for-1.
Cascade (44): Grace Jackson 10, Keeley Sutton 10, Haleigh Crouch 8, Delaney Vaught 6, Carmen Ray 6, Ally Murdock 4.
3-Point goals (3): Jackson 2, Sutton
Free Throws (13-for-22): Ray 4-for-6, Sutton 3-for-4, Jackson 2-for-7, Crouch 2-for-2, Murdock 2-for-2, Vaught 0-for-1.
Halftime score: Cascade 19, Cornersville 16.