Raiderettes knock Lady Bulldogs out of district tournament
The opening game of the District 8-A Tournament Monday night featured the hometown Cornersville Lady Bulldogs versus the Raiderettes of Moore County.
Moore County led by the 20 points from Olivia Richards, ended the season for the Lady Bulldogs in a 53-44 loss.
Moore County moves on to the semifinal round of District 8-A play and faces top-seeded Cascade in a 6 p.m. matchup Wednesday night.
The first quarter began with a controlled tip by Cornersville and Bethany Fitzgerald was fouled on a shot attempt, sinking one of two free throws to put the Lady Dawgs up 1-0.
Fitzgerald scored again on an inside move with an assist from Sarah Beth Prosser, but Moore County countered with a free throw by Kynleigh Fanning and a basket by Kelli Ray.
Merihannah Walker proceeded to drain a 3-pointer for the Lady Bulldogs.
Anna Smith drilled a two pointer and was fouled, but could not convert from the charity stripe for Moore County.
The teams traded two free throws by Prosser and a 3-point shot from Fanning before Fitzgerald scored two more baskets and Chloe Brazier responded in like fashion for Moore County.
A basket by Merihannah Walker via an assist by Prosser put the Lady Dawgs up 14-13 with time running out in the first quarter.
Moore County came down the court and Fanning swished through a 3-pointer from deep in the corner to put the Raiderettes on top 16-14 at the end of one.
The second quarter began with Richards scoring a two-pointer and she converted an old fashion three by hitting a free throw.
The Lady Bulldogs charged back with Payton Salsman nailing a three, but Richards struck again with a basket after which Cornersville called timeout with Moore County leading 21-17.
Moore County’s Madison Floyd canned two free throws and Cornersville’s Alicia Polk scored a basket, but the Raiderettes countered with a free throw by Macey Fletcher and a three from Richards which brought the half to a close with Moore County on top 27-19.
Cornersville fought back with a free throw by Walker and a Prosser bucket to begin the second half.
Three’s by Salsman and Woodard were sandwiched around two baskets and a free throw by Richards and at the 3:46 mark of the third stanza, Moore County led 32-28.
The teams traded baskets by Moore County’s Carolyn Driver and a free throw by Fanning with a basket by Polk and a free throw by Woodard.
Once again Moore County struck with lightning when Richards raced down the court with time slipping away and hit a NCAA 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Raiderettes up 38-31.
Cornersville opened the final stanza with a third 3-pointer from Salsman and two free throws from Woodard to edge closer to the Raiderettes at 38-36.
The Lady Dawgs then had three trips down the court to tie or take the lead, but could not do either and a free throw by Madison Floyd and a Fanning bucket made it 41-36, Moore County.
From there, except for a 3-pointer by Woodard, Cornersville was forced to foul and the charity stripe was charitable to the Raiderettes as they pulled away to a 53-44 victory.
The Lady Bulldogs end their season and say goodbye to Sarah Beth Prosser, whose teamwork and leadership will be missed. She is off to UT-Chattanooga to study to be a nurse.
“It was a tough game, we fought hard, but they won,” Prosser said as she fought back tears. She was asked of any special memories of this season and she said, “Being with her teammates was a lot of fun.”
Payton Salsman, a junior, put the loss in perspective when she said, “It makes you hungry and ready for next year.”
The Lady Bulldogs have bright spots coming back next year with Salsman, Polk, Woodard, Fitzgerald and others returning. The learning experience of this season will pay off next November when the hardwood season starts anew.
The Lady Bulldogs finished the season with a 12-16 record, while the Raiderettes (10-19) move on to the district tournament semifinals and take on the number one seeded Lady Champions (22-4) tonight at 6 p.m. at Cornersville.
Cornersville 14 5 12 13 – 44
Moore County 16 11 11 15 – 53
Cornersville (44): Payton Salsman 12, Abbie Woodard 9, Alicia Polk 8, Bethany Fitzgerald 7, Sarah Beth Prosser 4, Merihannah Walker 4, Paisley Young 2.
Free Throws (12-for-20): Salsman 3-for-6, Woodard 3-for-5, Polk 2-for-2, Prosser 2-for-2, Walker 1-for-3, Fitzgerald 1-for-2.
3 Point Goals (6): Salsman 3, Woodard 2, Walker
Moore County (53): Olivia Richards 20, Kynleigh Fanning 7, Anna Smith 5, Madison Floyd 5, Kelli Ray 4, Erica Clifton 4, Chloe Brazier 4, Carolyn Driver 3, Macey Fletcher 1.
Free Throws (20-for-33): Richards 6-for-8, Ray 4-for-6, Floyd 3-for-4, Clifton 2-for-3, Fanning 2-for-2, Smith 1-for-2, Fletcher 1-for-2, Driver 1-for-4, Corder 0-for-2.
3 Point Goals (3): Richards 2, Fanning.
Halftime score: Moore County 27, Cornersville 19.