Bulldogs shatter 24-game losing streak versus Richland

Friday, December 21, 2018
Cornersville’s Tyler Wolaver goes up for the rebound and put-back for two of his game-high 17 points at Richland.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Not even a power outage and a three-day delay could stop the Cornersville Bulldogs from destiny as they busted a 24-game losing streak to Richland with a 54-42 road win.

“We made a few timely shots in the second half when they were making a run, but it feels great to beat them,” Cornersville coach Matt Hagan said. “We didn’t play well the previous two times we had played them going back to last year, but it was things we were doing, not them. We still have a long way to go.”

Last Friday, Cornersville travelled to Richland where the girls won the first game and the Bulldogs trailed 8-6 in the nightcap when the lights went out in the gym.

After waiting for almost an hour for the power to the scoreboard and the main lights to come back on, the game administrators called for a postponement until Monday.

The two teams met back up in Giles County and resumed the game with 37 seconds remaining in the first period with the Raiders in front 8-6.

“It was a little different starting with 37 seconds left in the first period, but it gave us a chance to either go to the second down 8-6 or tied 8-8 or even up 9-8,” Hagan said.

There was no scoring during the final seconds of the quarter and the Bulldogs exploded in the second period as they outscored Richland 25-7.

“We really had a big second quarter,” Hagan said. “We made some adjustments and put Tyler (Wolaver) in the middle of their half court press and he did a good job of scoring or finding the open man.”

“We shared the ball really well and were able to knock down some shots.”

The Bulldogs went deep on the Raiders as they drained four 3-pointers in the period with two coming from Henlee Mitchell and one apiece by Alexander Stewart and Marques Martin.

Wolaver, who led all scorers in the game with 17 points, also had a huge second quarter as he tallied nine points and the Bulldogs led 31-15 at the half.

“Our half-court defense really slowed them down, so we were able to go into half with a lot of momentum,” Hagan said.

Trey Luna gets ready to jack up a 3-pointer in the Bulldogs’ huge 54-42 win at Richland Monday night.

Cornersville cooled off in the third period, but a pair of treys by Trey Luna and another by Stewart, combined with a continued solid defensive effort kept the Bulldogs in front 42-22 as they went to the fourth quarter.

The 20-point margin was too much for the Raiders to make up as they eventually lost to the Bulldogs for the first time since February 19, 2008 when Cornersville took a 60-58 win at Richland.

“The keys to victory was our defense really slowed them down and didn’t allow them to control things by calling set plays,” Hagan said. “And, I can’t even recall one bad shot from our team all night.”

Devin Baus (44) puts up a shot over Richland’s Montel Bobbitt (20).

Hagan is beginning to see some serious scoring from the football guys as Stewart (8), Mitchell (8), Devin Baus (6), and Cameron Whitaker (2) combined for 24 points in the contest.

“The football guys are still learning plays and what we want to do defensively,” Hagan said. “We are doing some things differently, so the football guys are learning new strategies and plays.”

The Bulldogs (5-4) played at Santa Fe last night and come back after the holidays to face eight straight District 8-A squads, beginning with Cascade on Friday January 4, 2019 at Cornersville with tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m.

“We are going to practice five or six times over break to get everyone on the same page,” Hagan said. “Right now we haven’t had enough time together for us all to be on the same page.”

“Going forward, we have a lot of improving to do.”

Cornersville 6 25 11 12-54

Richland 8 7 8 19-42

Cornersville (54): Tyler Wolaver 17, Alexander Stewart 8, Henlee Mitchell 8, Trey Luna 8, Devin Baus 6, Marques Martin 3, Bryce Woodard 2, Cameron Whitaker 2.

Three-point goals (7): Luna 2, Stewart 2, Mitchell 2, Martin 1.

Free Throws (7-for-10): Wolaver 5-for-6, Luna 2-for-2, Martin 0-for-2.

Richland (42): Daniel Nicholson 14, Logan Helton 11, Hunter Inman 9, Tyrell Randolph 4, Jackson Alsup 2.

Three-point goals (2): Nicholson 1, Helton 1.

Free Throws (7-for-10): Helton 6-for-6, Nicholson 1-for-2, Inman 0-for-2.

Halftime Score: Cornersville 31, Richland 15.