Ninth-ranked Lady Bulldogs take down Fayetteville
Coming off an unexpected, last second win over Eagleville last week the last thing the first place Lady Bulldogs wanted was a letdown versus last place Fayetteville (5-12, 0-3) Monday afternoon at Cornersville.
But this Lady Bulldog (15-2, 3-0) squad is not typical of the previous and went right to work on the Lady Tigers, who were missing its best player, D. J. Horton due to illness.
Cornersville jumped out to a 17-7 first quarter lead en route to a 48-17 win while allowing a minuscule five second half points.
"We had a good first quarter, but our second quarter was bad," Lady Bulldog coach Peyton Newton said. "Intensity, we weren't moving the ball on offense, we weren't in the right spots defensively.”
“But we came back out in the second half and really picked up. We kept telling them defense will lead to offense, so other than the second quarter I was pleased."
Cornersville was led by a pair of seniors with Morgan Terry scoring a game-high 22 points and Emma Mitchell dropping nine points.
Gabby King and Daisy Braden added four points apiece.
"At the beginning of the game we moved the ball as a team and we ran our sets and just played team ball," sophomore guard Payton Salsman, who added two points and a team-high three assists, said. "But we're gonna have to guard the outside better than we have been because (Huntland) is a threat out there.”
“But if we just play good defense and make our shots then I think we will continue to get these kind of wins."
The first quarter was owned by seniors Terry and Mitchell, who scored eight and seven points respectively, but Kevondria Carr kept the Tigers in the game with seven points on two triples.
The Lady Dawgs struggled to continue the strong offensive showing in the next period as Salsman, Terry and Mitchell each scored a bucket for the only six points of the quarter.
Fayetteville managed five points in the quarter and the half ended with the Lady Tigers quietly still within striking distance at 23-12.
Cornersville snapped out of its second quarter slump to score 20 points in the third period with nine by Terry and four each from King and Braden, while holding Fayetteville to just four points to ultimately put the game out of reach.
We got our minds right at halftime and we decided we had to play more aggressive defense," Salsman stated. "We had to shut down (Carr) and keep them off the boards and remember to talk to each other on the defensive side."
The Lady Bulldogs scored just five points in the final quarter, but allowed just one point by the Lady Tigers to claim the win going away.
Cornersville held Fayetteville to its lowest point total of the season and its second team to under 20 points this year.
The Lady Bulldogs have held seven opponents to 31 points or less with five scoring less than 27.
"You have to put a few things in perspective," Newton said. "Their best player is out sick, but yeah we did do some good things on defense and our intensity was up.”
“We switched up our defenses, we tried a few different kinds of zones and man. The second half I do think was a good performance defensively but it’s got to be better on other nights."
Number nine ranked Cornersville faces its toughest District 8-A tests of the season with games against second place Huntland (10-8, 3-1) and an eighth-ranked Moore County squad the next two matchups.
Cornersville (15-2, 3-0) and Moore County (13-5, 3-0) are tied for first place in the district standings.
If the Lady Bulldogs can take both of the wins on the road, the newest district member will be firmly set in the driver’s seat for the top district seed.
"We really didn't know much about this other district other than talking to people and watching the films that we already had," Newton said. "But I know we have a great group and they were ready to play and compete in this district."
Fayetteville 7 5 4 1-17
Cornersville 17 6 20 5-48
Fayetteville (17): Kevondria Carr 12, Hannah Litaker 4, Savannah Richardson 1.
3-Point Goals (2): Carr 2.
Cornersville (48): Morgan Terry 22, Emma Mitchell 9, Gabby King 4, Daisy Braden 4, Payton Salsman 2, Meri Hannah Walker 2, Shasta Beaty 2, Sarah Beth Prosser 1.
3-Point Goals (2): Terry 2.
Halftime Score: Cornersville 23, Fayetteville 12.