Bulldogs fall by 12 points at Fayetteville
Tuesday’s second game featured the high flying number six-ranked Class A Fayetteville Tigers and the improving Cornersville Bulldogs (7-7, 1-3), who were seeking their second District 8-A win.
Fayetteville (17-3, 4-0) was perfect in district coming into the contest and remained that way with a 52-40 win.
Asked before the game how he planned to slow down the Tigers, Bulldog coach Matt Hagan stated: “We will have to take care of the ball, block out and set our screens. We will have our work cut out, but that’s basketball fundamentals.”
Faced with a much taller and physical team, the Bulldogs, indeed had their work cut out.
The first quarter began with the Bulldogs not contesting the jump ball.
The Bulldogs got the game’s first rebound, but a block on the other end by Fayetteville’s Desiah Bartleson gave the ball back to Fayetteville.
Fayetteville’s Floyd Williams canned a basket to put the Tigers up 2-0, before Marquis Martin scored on a drive for Cornersville, then made great play on a Tiger breakaway, almost stealing the ball instead of blocking it, but was called for the foul.
A basket by Julius Dixon was offset by two free throws by Martin.
From there the Tigers used speed, quick hands and crisp passes to build their lead.
At the end of the first period Cornersville stayed close, but was down 10-7.
The second quarter brought more of the same only with an increase of tempo from both sides.
A dunk and a 3-pointer by Dixon upped the Tiger lead.
Fayetteville baskets by Desiah Bartleson and Jacious Clark were sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Cameron Whitaker for the Bulldogs.
Two technical fouls were called against the Tigers, but the Bulldogs could only cash in on one point.
A basket by Tyler Wolaver was the last score of the period for Cornersville as Fayetteville was still up 27-17 at halftime.
The third period was barely started when a technical foul was called on the Fayetteville coach Chris Murdock and this time Alexander Stewart made both shots for the Bulldogs.
Wolaver had a rebound and put-back, but Fayetteville answered with baskets by Bartleson and Walker.
Wolaver got hurt and was helped off the court and to the locker room and was on crutches after the game.
Fayetteville scored two baskets before Trey Luna got loose for a layup and Whitaker nailed a 3-pointer.
As the quarter ticked away, a play that shows the grit and determination of this Bulldog team occurred as Dixon, all 6’7”of him, goes up for a shot and a leaping Woodard swatted it away.
With the Bulldogs still behind 37-29, Whitaker canned another 3-pointer and another basket as Cornersville crawled back in it.
A basket by Devin Baus at the 4:41 cut the deficit to 41-36, but that was as close as they got.
Asked after the game how he blocked the 6’7” Dixon’s shot Woodard stated, “I don’t know, I just saw the ball and jumped. We came out and didn’t lay down, we were not scared.”
Eli Woodard and the rest of the Bulldogs don’t know fear.
Cornersville 7 10 12 11-40
Fayetteville 10 17 10 15-52
Cornersville (40): Cameron Whitaker 13, Tyler Wolaver 7, Trey Luna 5, Eli Woodard 5, Marquis Martin 4, Alexander Stewart 2, Henlee Mitchell 2, Devin Baus 2.
3-Point Goals (3): Cameron Whitaker 3.
Free Throws (13-for-21).
Fayetteville (52): Julius Dixon 16, Floyd Williams 15, Jacious Clark 10, Desiah Bartleson 6, Xayvion Hicks 4, Kenneth Ruiz 1.
Free Throws (12-for-16).
3-Point Goals (2): Julius Dixon 2.
Halftime score: Fayetteville 27, Cornersville 17.