Undermanned Bulldogs fall to Raiders
The Cornersville boys will be a little shorthanded for a while until the football season is over on Saturday.
In the meantime, there is still ball to be played on the hardwood and on Tuesday night at Cornersville, the Bulldogs hosted longtime rival Richland.
Coming into the game, the Raiders had won 23 consecutive games in the rivalry versus the Bulldogs and they made it 24 in a row with a 54-41 win.
“I actually have some good kids out there, we are just missing some depth,” Cornersville coach Matt Hagan said. “We just didn’t play very well, they made things tough for us and we didn’t make things tough on them.”
“We almost looked like a middle school defense out there.”
Cornersville is 3-37 versus Richland since the 2001 season with their only three wins all coming in the 2008 campaign.
The Bulldogs started the game in good form and led 7-4 after two made free throws by Trey Luna with 3:27 remaining in the first quarter until Richland went on a period ending 5-1 run to lead 12-8.
One Jackson Alsup free throw, followed by a 3-pointer by Logan Helton doubled up the score at 16-8 at the outset of the second period as Richland went on to build a 14-point lead before Trey Luna recorded the rare 4-point play to cut the Raiders’ lead back to 10 points at 25-15.
Tyler Wolaver, who led the Bulldogs in the scoring column with 12 points, scored on a drive to the hoop to make it an eight-point game and moments later, Wolaver hit one of two from the free throw line to cut it to seven.
Hunter Inman tallied the final basket of the first half to give the Raiders a 27-18 halftime lead.
The second half started well for the Bulldogs as Marques Martin scored on a driving layup to begin the stanza and after a Raiders’ turnover, Tanner Reese drilled a 3-pointer to make it a four-point contest at 27-23.
Richland scored four straight points before Wolaver made it a six-point game at 31-25 and then the bottom fell out.
Two Inman free throws was followed by a Helton dunk off a Cornersville turnover and after a Richland timeout with 2:57 remaining in the third period, Inman drilled a 3-pointer to make it a 13-point game and that was the deficit entering the fourth quarter with the Raiders in front 41-28.
Richland wasted little time putting the game away as Inman and Helton nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to start the fourth period to go up by 18 points and the Bulldogs never recovered in the 14-point loss.
“There were too many layups, too many drives to the basket, too many cuts in front of your face, we didn’t play very well and that’s on me,” Hagan said. “They move the ball really well, but the things that upset me are the easy plays they got.”
“The easy drives to the basket, the one man dribbling all the way down the floor and getting to the rim for an easy layup with nobody stopping them, chasing down loose balls, getting offensive rebounds, and we missed a lot of free throws. So if you want to do the math on how to lose ballgames, that’s the way you do it.”
Helton led all scorers in the game with 23 points, Daniel Nicholson had 14, Inman netted 12, Jackson Alsup added three points, and Montel Bobbitt had two points for the Raiders.
Luna ended up with nine points, Reese added eight, Alexander Stewart had six, Martin four, and Wallace Francis netted a deuce for Cornersville.
The two teams meet again at Richland on Friday, December 14.
Richland 12 15 14 13-54
Cornersville 8 10 10 13-41
Richland (54): Logan Helton 23, Daniel Nicholson 14, Hunter Inman 12, Jackson Alsup 3, Montel Bobbitt 2.
Free Throws (5-for-8): Helton 2-for-2, Inman 2-for-3, Alsup 1-for-3.
Three-Point Goals (5): Helton 3, Inman 2.
Cornersville (41): Tyler Wolaver 12, Trey Luna 9, Tanner Reese 8, Alexander Stewart 6, Marques Martin 4, Wallace Francis 2.
Free Throws (11-for-22): Wolaver 4-for-9, Luna 4-for-7, Reese 3-for-6.
Three-Point Goals (2): Reese 1, Luna 1.
Halftime Score: Richland 27, Cornersville 18.
Next Game: Tuesday, Dec. 4 versus Hampshire, 6 p.m.