Lady Bulldogs lose to Eagleville in consolation game
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (19-9) came into Friday night’s District 8-A Tournament third place game with a match-up against an Eagleville (19-10) team it had beaten early in the season and lost by nine points later in the year after going into the fourth quarter with the lead.
The third time around offered much of the same as Cornersville led by two with 6:55 remaining, but fell apart under a full court press to fall to fourth place in the district by a score of 61-51.
The Lady Bulldogs were stellar from behind the arc as Emma Mitchell, Payton Salsman, Taylor Powers, and Gabby King all knocked down two 3-pointers each and Morgan Terry added 11 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists on the inside.
King finished with 14 points and Powers finished with eight points, three rebounds and three steals.
"I think we started turning the ball over too much and Eagleville went on a run and that caused us to have to foul and they made free throws," Terry said. "I think it’s all mentality, we've blown out Fayetteville City and Eagleville and only beat them by a couple points, so once we can push through the tight game situations we will be at our high point."
The Lady Bulldogs have one more chance to make things right as the maroon and white face former district foe Grace Christian-Franklin (16-8) in Region 4-A opening round play on Saturday.
The two squads played neck and neck in the opening quarter with King scoring seven points to lead Cornersville and Makayla Moates adding five for the Eagles as the teams went into the second knotted at 16-16.
Eagleville jumped out in front 22-16 on a Lizzy Thompson layup, but Salsman knocked down back-to-back triples to bring the Lady Bulldogs to within 24-22.
Cornersville went up for good following a Terry three-point play and a King triple for the 28-24 lead with 2:01 left in the half and Sarah Beth Prosser ended the second quarter with a steal and a layup for the 30-27 lead at the break.
The Lady Bulldogs started out the third quarter with four straight turnovers but managed to regain the lead on a Terry offensive rebound and layup with 3:15 remaining.
King scored on a layup under the basket for a 40-38 lead with 1:23 left in the third, but Karah Snell stole a Cornersville inbound pass for a layup and the two teams went into the final frame all tied up at 40.
Taylor Powers drained her second triple with 6:55 remaining in the game for a short-lived 43-41 Cornersville advantage, but that would be the final lead for the Lady Bulldogs as the Eagleville press gave Cornersville fits, leading to four straight turnovers and ultimately a 10-point loss just six minutes later.
"We played a good first half and then towards the end of the third quarter we had bad turnovers and lost shooters," CHS coach Peyton Newton said. "Our game plan didn't change, but our discipline did. But we lace our shoes back up and go play Grace Christian.”
“That's the thing about basketball, you always have to move on to the next game quickly because from here on out, it's lose and go home."
The Lady Bulldogs beat the Lions by six and 16 points in last season’s district match-ups, but both teams moved to new districts in 2017-18 with varying results and Newton expects the Lions to be a challenge come Saturday at 5 p.m.
"Grace is going to be a confident team because they won each of their district tournament games by big margins," Newton added. "We know they will shoot a lot of threes and be fundamental."
"We have to have great energy and commit to the defensive end," Newton continued. "I have confidence our girls will have a great week of practice and prepare themselves for a nice game."
Cornersville 16 14 10 11-51
Eagleville 16 11 13 21-61
Cornersville (51): Gabby King 14, Morgan Terry 11, Taylor Powers 8, Sarah Beth Prosser 6, Payton Salsman 6, Emma Mitchell 6.
3-Point goals (8): Mitchell 2, Powers 2, Salsman 2, King 2.
Eagleville (61): Makayla Moates 22, Lizzy Thompson 10, Anna Grace Clement 10, Karah Snell 9, Catey Whitley 5, Haylee Ferguson 3, Mary Elise Lynch 2.
3-Point goals (4): Moates 2, Whitley, Ferguson.
Halftime Score: Cornersville 30, Eagleville 27.