Bulldogs break six game losing streak

Friday, February 2, 2018
The 2017-2018 Cornersville Basketball Homecoming Court.
Photos by George “Pap” Warren

The Cornersville boys basketball squad has been the tale of two teams during the 2017-18 campaign coming into Tuesday night’s game versus Moore County (5-18, 3-4).

The Bulldogs (4-14, 2-6) played second place Eagleville tough the entire contest but ultimately lost by nine points and followed that with another close loss to first place Fayetteville by 11 points.

Cornersville followed those two close losses by giving last place Huntland its only District 8-A win of the year, while scoring a season-low 28 points and continued its decline with a three-point loss to Cascade, who the Bulldogs had beaten easily by 14 points to start district competition.

The Bulldogs then lost against Moore County by three points after leading by double digits late into the fourth quarter and finally hit a season-low with a 29-point loss at Eagleville on Friday.

But Cornersville finally got the monkey off of its back with a hard fought 56-47 win over the Moore County by outscoring the Raiders 34-24 in the second half after going into the break with a one-point deficit.

The Bulldogs had a bevy of players step up in its second district win as Tyler Wolaver led the team with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Darian Bush added 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Cornersville senior Kolbe McMahon (3) goes up strong to the basket on Homecoming night.

Eli Woodard chipped in 10 points and three rebounds, Kolbe McMahon added eight points, nine rebounds and three steals, and Henlee Mitchell came off the bench with seven points, four rebounds, and two steals.

Moore County was hot from the outside, finishing with nine triples from six different players but only one Raider, Clay Burnett, finished in double figures with 11 points.

11 different Raider players scored in the ballgame, but none besides Burnett finished with over six points.

The Bulldogs started out with a 6-0 lead, but missed six shots from point blank range that would have given the home team a huge cushion by the time Moore County finally scored at the 2:26 mark of the first period.

Once on the board, the Raiders wasted little time taking control of the ballgame as Dylan Knight added a layup 30 seconds later and Burnett knocked down a 3-pointer at the 1:41 mark to give Moore County the 7-6 edge.

The Raiders then took a 10-8 lead following a Ben Fletcher triple, but after Bush drove through the defense for an acrobatic layup to tie the game at 10-10 with just five seconds remaining in the quarter Ethan Holt took two dribbles inside half court, squared up and drained a prayer for a 13-10 lead despite not scoring for the first six minutes of the period.

The two squads went back and forth in the second frame until Brayden Cashion banked a 3-pointer off the glass to tie the game at 20 and Fletcher followed with his second triple of the half for a 23-20 advantage.

The Bulldogs took the lead for good on a McMahon layup on the first possession of the third quarter and by the time Wolaver drilled his second 3-pointer of the night with three minutes remaining in the third, Cornersville had turned a one-point halftime deficit into a six-point lead, heading into the final period.

The Raiders kept the game close, tying the contest at 38 on an Andrew Copeland triple at the 6:50 mark and pulling back to within 44-41 at the 3:16 mark on a Burnett 3-pointer, but unlike the previous close losses, the Bulldogs kept cool heads, made smart decisions with the ball, and hit free throws down the stretch to take the win going away.

In theory, the Bulldogs have a chance to overtake Moore County for fourth place in the district with wins over first-place Fayetteville on Friday and last-place Huntland on Tuesday, but Cornersville would need the Raiders to lose Huntland and Eagleville for that scenario to play out.

Eli Woodard (12) flies in for a layup for two of his 10 points in the Bulldogs’ big Homecoming win over Moore County Tuesday night.

One thing is certain, the Bulldogs need to take a win over either the Tigers or Hornets to avoid falling into last place, heading into the district tournament.

Moore County 13 10 7 17-47

Cornersville 10 12 14 20-56

Moore County (47): Clay Burnett 11, Andrew Copeland 6, Ben Fletcher 6, Brayden Cashion 5, Dylan Knight 4, Evan McKenzie 4, Ethan Holt 3, Riley Holman 3, Dylan Scruggs 2, Nate Love 2, Garrett Jennings 1.

3-Point Goals (9): Burnett 2, Copeland 2, Fletcher 2, Holt, Cashion, Holman.

Cornersville (56): Tyler Wolaver 14, Darian Bush 13, Eli Woodard 10, Kolbe McMahon 8, Henlee Mitchell 7, Cam Whitaker 2, Alexander Stewart 2.

3-Point Goals (4): Wolaver 2, Bush, Mitchell.

Halftime Score: Moore County 23, Cornersville 22.