Bulldogs pull out thriller over Moore County

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Cornersville’s Tyler Wolaver had nine points versus Moore County, including the go-ahead 3-pointer.
Photos by George “Pap” Warren

The nightcap of Friday night’s District 8-A matchup featured the Raiders of Moore County and the Cornersville Bulldogs with both teams sitting at the bottom of the district standings with identical 0-2 records.

Both have also lost to Cascade with Moore County also losing to Fayetteville and Cornersville losing to Eagleville. Overall, the Raiders sport a record of 3-16 and the Bulldogs are 6-6.

This game was a thriller as Cornersville pulled out a 41-40 win.

Asked before the game how things are going for his team, Bulldog head coach Matt Hagan stated, “Well, we’re on a losing skid and it would be nice to take a win into the weekend. We will have to be prepared to guard their 3-point shooting.”

The first quarter began with Moore County controlling the tip, but they unable to score and the Bulldogs brought it down court where Tyler Wolaver found the range, draining a 3-pointer.

Moore County answered with a basket by Garrett Jennings, but Trey Luna countered with a 3-pointer for the Bulldogs.

Cornersville’s 2-3 zone was containing the 3-point shooters of Moore County.

Cameron Whitaker led the Bulldogs in scoring with 10 points.

Bulldog Marquis Martin bagged a basket, then MC countered with a two pointer and a three by Andrew Copeland, plus a basket by Braden Cashion. Cornersville’s Cameron Whitaker hit a 3-pointer and Devin Baus followed with a basket.

Both teams struggled on defense and offense, but the Bulldogs led 12-8 after the first quarter.

Trey Luna bagged his second three, but the Raiders replied with Riley Holman hitting two treys and Jennings, Cashion, and Fanning adding baskets.

Whitaker added a 3-pointer and a free throw by Tyler Wolaver concluded Cornersville’s scoring for the quarter as Moore County’s hot shooting gave them a 23-19 halftime lead.

The second half began with Moore County scoring first then Eli Woodard scored for the Bulldogs and was fouled, making a three-point play the old-fashion way.

Baus scored for the Bulldogs and then Tyler Wolaver made a beautiful reverse layup and the score was 26-25 Dawgs.

Moore County countered with three baskets to make it 32-26.

Woodard added a 3-pointer and Baus made one free throw, but Cornersville still trailed 38-30, entering the final eight minutes.

“At the half I challenged them to start moving their feet and get after it,” Hagan said.

The Bulldogs took his advice to heart in the fourth period, beginning with a Whitaker break-away layup off an assist from Wolaver.

A three by Woodard and a steal and layup by Whitaker made it a one-point game at 38-37.

Wolaver picked up his fourth foul, but more importantly moments later, Moore County committed their seventh and Cornersville was in the one-and-one.

A free throw by Whitaker tied the game at 38 as the play was electric.

Woodard blocked a shot, but a seventh foul by Cornersville meant Moore County was in the bonus. Two free throws by Copeland put the Raiders up 40-38 with 1:53 to play.

Lighting struck as Wolaver bombed a three to put the Dawgs in front 41-40.

A tie-up at the 36.4 second mark gave the Raiders possession and with 17.8 seconds remaining in the game, a Bulldog foul put Smith at the free throw line.

Smith missed both shots and Cornersville had the ball as Wolaver was fouled.

Two misses gave the ball back to Moore County with 10 seconds remaining and after a Raiders’ timeout, they worked the ball around to the right side and in the melee of arms, hands, and leaping bodies stood Wolaver with the ball cradled in his arms to secure the win for the Bulldogs.

“It is hard, but coach challenged us at halftime and we got after it,” said Whitaker when asked if it is hard getting out of football mode and into basketball.

Just like on the football field, Woodard, Whitaker, and Baus, along with the other gridiron players do not back down and add Wolaver and Luna and this basketball team could be a force before the season is over.

Moore County 8 15 15 2- 40

Cornersville 12 7 11 11- 41

Moore County (40): Andrew Copeland 16, Garrett Jennings 9, Riley Holman 6, Brayden Cashion 4, Jason Fanning 3, Dylan Scruggs 2.

Cornersville (41): Cameron Whitaker 10, Tyler Wolaver 9, Eli Woodard 9, Trey Luna 6, Devin Baus 5, Marques Martin 2.

Halftime Score: Moore County 23, Cornersville 19.