Bulldogs beat by last second buzzer beater

Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Wallace Francis (24) nails a free throw in Cornersville’s 57-54 overtime loss at Zion Christian Academy on Thursday.
Tribune photos by Dennis Holley

The Cornersville Bulldogs (1-6), coming off their first win of the season versus Hampshire on Tuesday, travelled to Zion Christian Academy on Thursday night where they provided the fans with a thriller.

The two teams traded second half leads and were tied at the end of regulation before Sam Boyd raced down court for a three-point basket as time expired to give the home team a thrilling overtime 57-54 victory.

The game began with ZCA roaring out on a six-point run, four of them by Boyd as Cornersville’s shots kept falling off the rim and unforced errors plagued the Bulldogs.

Eli Welch scored for the Bulldogs off a great feed by Mason Calahan to break the ice for Cornersville, but Boyd scored again to make it 8-2.

Cornersville’s Michael Ashley then lit up the scoreboard with back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game.

ZCA stormed back as Boyd, Max Brown, and Wesley Riggings poured in baskets to up the lead to 14-8.

The Bulldogs could not respond and the horn sounded for the end of the first quarter with the score ZCA 14, Cornersville 8.

The Bulldogs warmed up as the second quarter began with Calahan and Ashley nailing 3-pointers to tie the game at 14.

Boyd, continuing his hot shooting nailed another 3-pointer, but Ashley hit another three and Calahan raced down the lane to lay the ball in and backed it up with a jumper and Cornersville led 21-17.

Mark Lowery poured in a 3-pointer for GCA and Boyd scored again to push the Eagles back in front 22-21.

Welch scored on a soft jumper and Wallace Francis canned a free throw for the Bulldogs to make it 24-22.

Welch added a jumper and Jackson Mitchell scored on a rebound and put-back to give Cornersville a 28-22 lead at the half.

The Bulldogs still had no answer for Boyd as he opened the third quarter with another 3-pointer to cut the lead to 28-25.

Cornersville’s Michael Ashley (23) brings the ball up court for the Bulldogs.

Ashley stayed hot for Cornersville, nailing two more 3-pointers to make it 34-25, but Ethan Yates responded with a trey for ZCA.

Lowery hit another three-pointer on a jumper at the top of the key and the lead was three for Cornersville at 34-31.

Mitchell canned a three-pointer for Cornersville before Boyd made two more three’s to tie it up at 37-37 as time ticked away in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter opened with Lowery scoring a two-pointer and Calahan responded with a field goal for the Bulldogs.

Cornersville’s Tanner Reese sank two free throws to make it 41-39 and Riggins made one of two free throws for ZCA to cut the Cornersville lead to one point with 4:46 left in the game.

A Lowery 3-pointer and Yates basket and a free throw pushed ZCA into the lead at 46-41 before Calahan responded with a basket and a free throw to make it 46-44.

Calahan was not done as he scored on a jumper and Welch laid in a basket and the Bulldog were up 48-46 with 14.4 seconds left in the game.

ZCA attacked the basket as time ticked away and Boyd missed on a short jumper, but Conner Matheny was there to put it back in for the Eagles, tying the score at 48-48 to send the game to overtime.

Welch controlled the tip and Calahan made one free throw put Cornersville up 49-48.

Yates made one of two free throws to tie it back up 49-49 with 1:16 left in overtime before Welch scored on a great feed by Reese to edge Cornersville in front 51-49.

Boyd struck again, nailing a three to put ZCA up 52-51 and he was fouled on the next possession and nailed two free throws to make it 54-51 with 25.9 seconds left.

Cornersville raced down court and Calahan found the range for a 3-pointer to even the score at 54-54 with 3.6 left and then for some reason four seconds was put on the clock.

“He (Calahan) has been playing well and making shots and after he made that 3-pointer I felt we would win,” Cornersville coach Peyton Newton said

Boyd got the ball in, weaved in and around Bulldogs players and pulled up beyond the three-point line and let it go, hitting nothing but net for the ZCA game-winner as the Bulldog players collapsed on the floor.

“After winning Tuesday night we obviously wanted to go back-to-back,” Newton said. “The guys fought, but we had bad turnovers and guys that couldn’t catch the ball. You can’t really question their heart or effort. We’ve got things to work on.”

Cornersville 8 20 9 11 6-54

Mt Pleasant 14 8 15 11 9-57

Cornersville (54): Michael Ashley 18, Mason Callahan 16, Eli Welch 11, Jackson Mitchell 5, Tanner Reese 2, Wallace Francis 1, Andrew Santini 1.

Three-point goals (9): Ashley 6, Calahan 2, Mitchell.

Free Throws (7-for-14): Ashley 0-for-1, Francis 1-for-3, M. Callahan 2-for-4, Reese 2-for-2, Welch 1-for-2, Santini 1-for-2.

Zion Christian Academy (57) Sam Boyd 29, Mark Lowery 13, Ethan Yates 6, Wesley Riggins 5, Max Brown 2, Connor Matheny 2.

Three-point goals (8): Boyd 5, Lowery 3.

Free Throws (4-for-9): Yates 2-for-4, Riggins 1-for-2, Boyd 1-for-2, Runions 0-for-1.

Halftime Score: Cornersville 28, Zion Christian 22.