Bulldogs slip at home versus Champions

Friday, January 26, 2018
Darian Bush (2) pulls up for a floater in the lane.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Oh so close!

The Cornersville Bulldogs worked and worked and worked but got no reward Tuesday night, falling 48-41 to Cascade at home.

“We have got to shoot the ball better, I think we missed 15 free throws tonight,” Cornersville coach Matt Hagan said. “We missed a dunk, missed two or three layups, and had a couple of turnovers in crucial situations.”

After beating the Champions at Wartrace earlier this month, the Bulldogs have not been able to pull out a win in a district matchup since.

“We have got to put a complete game together,” Hagan said. “The good news is we are capable of beating these teams, the bad news is we are beating ourselves.”

It was a back and forth affair as Cameron Whitaker started the game with a steal and score to spur the Bulldogs on to an early 5-0 lead before Cascade scored the next eight points to lead 8-5 at the end of the first period.

After a Steele Carter basket capped off a 6-3 Cascade mini-run to begin the second quarter, Tyler Wolaver brought the Bulldogs back with a deep 3-pointer, followed by a three-point play the old fashioned way to tie the game at 14-14.

A missed Cascade field goal led to two made foul shots by Whitaker that gave Cornersville the lead, but the Champs fired back with a period ending 7-2 run to take a 21-18 lead at the half.

Cascade built its lead to five points in the third quarter, but a Kolbe McMahon 3-pointer staved off the Champs.

Several possessions later, McMahon scored in the low post to tie the game at 27 with 1:45 remaining in the period.

After a Cascade timeout a couple of seconds later, Brandon Heath came off a screen and nailed a 3-pointer.

Cornersville had a chance to score from the free throw line, but what would become a theme in period number four surfaced when they missed the front end of a one-and-one at the end third quarter.

Kolbe McMahon sinks two free throws at the beginning of the fourth quarter to give the Bulldogs the lead.

Wolaver kicked off the wild fourth quarter with a basket and a pair of McMahon free throws gave Cornersville a 31-30 lead and that was increased by one point on a Darian Bush foul shot seconds later.

The Champs were struggling to make a basket as Whitaker nailed both ends of a one-and-one and after another Cascade brick, Whitaker scored on an over the top play to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game at 36-30.

For the next three minutes, the Bulldogs did not score while Cascade put up eight points to take the lead at 38-36.

Whitaker scored and was fouled by Landon Parker, who picked up his fifth foul, but the free throw was missed and Cascade countered with a Carter bucket to take the lead back.

Misses and turnovers hurt the Bulldogs from there as Cascade outscored Cornersville 8-3 the rest of the way to claim the win.

Tyler Wolaver (1) knocks down two of his 15 points in the contest Tuesday night in the Bulldogs’ seven-point loss to Cascade at Cornersville.

“We had good effort and the attitude of the team was good,” Hagan said. “That’s all I can ask as a coach is attitude and effort and I think we had that tonight.”

There were a lot of misses from both teams as they combined on a woeful 3-for-37 effort from long distance and 32-for-55 from the free throw line.

Wolaver led the Bulldogs in the scoring column with 15 points and Whitaker was also in double figures with 11.

McMahon had nine, Bush and Eli Woodard had two points apiece, and Bryce Hagan and Caleb Crowell netted one marker each.

Heath had 15 points to lead the Champs and Carter tallied 14.

The Bulldogs’ woes continued on Wednesday when they lost another close game at Moore County 50-47 to fall into last place in the District 8-A standings.

The Bulldogs (3-13, 1-5) travel to first place Eagleville (12-8, 4-0) tonight in an attempt to right the ship.

Cascade 8 13 9 18-48

Cornersville 5 13 9 14-41

Cascade (48): Brandon Heath 15, Steele Carter 14, Jaden Russell 7, Landon Parker 5, Clay Chumley 4, Ethan Swan 2, Noah Maddox 1.

Free Throws (15-for-20): Heath 8-for-9, Russell 3-for-4, Chumley 2-for-3, Maddox 1-for-2, Parker 1-for-1, Carter 0-for-1.

3-Point Goals (2): Heath, Parker.

Cornersville (41): Tyler Wolaver 15, Cameron Whitaker 11, Kolbe McMahon 9, Darian Bush 2, Eli Woodard 2, Bryce Hagan 1, Caleb Crowell 1.

Free Throws (17-for-32): Whitaker 5-for-12, McMahon 4-for-6, Wolaver 2-for-4, Bush 2-for-3, Woodard 2-for-2, Hagan 1-for-2, Crowell 1-for-2, Marquis Martin 0-for-1.

3-Point Goals (2): Wolaver, McMahon.

Halftime Score: Cascade 21, Cornersville 18.