Bulldogs knocked out of district tournament

Friday, February 15, 2019
Cornersville’ Blake Pickett (23) drives to the hoop in the Bulldogs’ season ending loss to Cascade Tuesday night.
Photos by George “Pap” Warren

The nightcap of Tuesday’s District 8-A Tournament featured the sixth-seeded Cornersville Bulldogs versus the three-seeded Cascade Champions.

The Champions, behind hot shooting Noah Maddox’s four 3-pointers, took a 20-point halftime lead and never looked back in a 55-38 victory.

Cascade faced the second-seeded Fayetteville Tigers in Thursday night’s semifinal contest at Cornersville, while top-ranked Eagleville played Moore County.

The first quarter began with Cascade controlling the tip, but they missed the first shot and Cornersville’s Tyler Wolaver, playing his first game after an ankle injury since January 15, grabbed the rebound.

The Bulldogs returned the favor as they committed a traveling violation.

Maddox buried the first of his four 3-pointers and the Champions led 3-0.

Tyler Wolaver (1) led the Bulldogs with 18 points in the opening round setback versus the Champions.

Wolaver was fouled and converted two from the charity stripe to make it 3-2 and Eli Woodard, thanks to an assist by Henlee Mitchell, sank a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 5-3 Bulldogs.

Heath converted two-free throws and the Champions with baskets by Maddox, Brandon Heath, and Carter Steele pushed the lead to 11-5.

Cornersville’s Marquis Martin stopped the run with a short jumper to make it 11-7 and Wolaver converted a free throw to close within 11-8.

Cornersville Marquis Martin (13) floats to the basket Tuesday night at Cornersville in the District 8-A Tournament.

The Champions responded with a Chumley jumper and the quarter ended with the Champions up 13-8.

The second quarter started with the hot-shooting Champions coming out gunning.

Seth Countess started the ball rolling with a jumper, Maddox nailed his second 3-pointer, Ethan Swan contributed a free throw, and Maddox claimed two more 3-pointers to push the lead to 25-8 as the Bulldogs’ shots refused to fall.

Countess contributed another jumper, but Wolaver countered with two free throws and a basket to break the ice for the Bulldogs.

Cascade responded with two free throws by Steele and two free throws by Jaden Russell.

Cameron Whitaker scored a basket for the Bulldogs and Steele scored again to make it 34-14 and that was the score at halftime

The Bulldogs’ opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run, getting a basket and two free throws from Wolaver and a 3-pointer from Whitaker to cut the lead to 13 at 34-21.

The Champions responded with a 11-0 run of their own with Carter canning three baskets, Chumley draining a three, and Heath scoring on a jumper.

Wolaver scored to make the score Cascade 45, Cornersville 23 at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter saw Cascade slowing the action and substituting freely.

Wolaver made two more free throws and added another basket for the Bulldogs

Woodard added a 3-pointer as did Blake Pickett and Alexander Stewart rolled in a basket before Trey Luna canned a jumper and a free throw to finish the scoring for Cornersville.

The final score: Cascade 55, Cornersville 38.

“It’s been a long season, I was a little rusty from the layoff,” said Tyler Wolaver fighting back tears. “I can still feel the ankle but it’s getting better. I’m looking forward to baseball and my senior year.”

“It’s been phenomenal,” Marquis Martin said when asked about his years playing for the Bulldogs, ‘I’ve loved every year I played here, great coaches, great teammates, I love Cornersville.”

“I’ve got mixed emotions, we’ve had ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Eli Woodard stated.

Cameron Whitaker said after the game, “Marquis, Eli, Alexander, Henlee, Pickett, we’ve been playing together since kindergarten. Been playing forever.”

Alexander Stewart put it quite well when he said,” I love Cornersville, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love every single one of my teammates, they mean a lot to me.”

This group of seniors shared many memories of wins and losses, of Henlee Mitchell, as a little boy shooting baskets at halftime of the games, dreaming of the day he would play on that court.

Blake Pickett, a force on the football field and a solid role player on the hardcourt. Devin Baus, not giving an inch on the football field or on the basketball court.

These kids, soon to be young men put on the maroon and white and gave every bit of energy they could for Cornersville High School.

Cascade 13 21 11 10 – 55

Cornersville 8 6 9 15 –38

Cascade (55): Noah Maddox 14, Brandon Heath 11, Steele Carter 10, Chay Chumley 7, Seth Countess 6, Matthew Maybee 3, Jaden Russell 2, Ethan Swan 2.

Free Throws (8-for-11): Carter 2-for-2, Russell 2-for-2, Heath 2-for-2, Swan 2-for 2, Countess 0-for-3.

3 Point Goals (6): Maddux 4, Heath, Chumley.

Cornersville (38) Tyler Wolaver 17, Eli Woodard 6, Cameron Whitaker 5, Blake Pickett 3, Trey Luna 3, Alexander Stewart 2, Marquis Martin 2.

Free Throws (9-for-10): Wolaver 9-for 10.

3 Point Goals (4) Woodard 2, Whitaker, Pickett.

Halftime score: Cascade 34, Cornersville 14.