Bulldogs weather Huntland rally

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The Cornersville Bulldogs looking to end a five-game losing streak took on the 
Hornets of Huntland High School on Saturday afternoon in the gymnasium of Cornersville High School.
The Bulldogs built an early lead that held up for three quarters, then withstood a fourth quarter comeback by the Hornets as they showed maturity in that they sank 7-of-9 free-throws down the stretch and Cornersville eased by Huntland for a 56-50 victory in their District 9-A opener.
“We needed this win because I felt we had lost our identity for a few games, but it seemed to me that we found it tonight,” Coach Peyton Newton said, 
The Bulldogs placed four players in double figures with Eli Welch leading the way with 15 points, Gage Lovell chipped in 13, Mason Calahan scored 11 and freshman Kel Ford added 10 points.
The Hornets were led in scoring by Brayden Phillips with 15 points and Zeier Golden with 12 points.
The opening tip went to Huntland but a miss and a rebound by the Bulldogs sent the ball down court where after a Bulldog miss Welch put back a basket down low for a 2-0 Bulldog lead.
Braylen Phillips for the Hornets bombed a 3-pointer to put the Huntland in the lead, 3-2.
The Bulldogs with Welch working down low scoring six points and outside Calahan drained an NBA range 3-pointer and drove the lane for four more points to lead the Bulldogs to a 16-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the scoring slow as it was almost two minutes gone by before Phillips for Huntland broke the drought but baskets by Gage Lovell and Calahan eased the Cornersville lead out to five points, 20-15.
The Bulldogs with Kel Ford and Kale Adcox scoring baskets stretched the Cornersville lead to 24 -16 but free throws by Noah Thompson and Zeier Golden brought the Hornets back to within four points, 24-20.
Gage Lovell added a free throw and at the buzzer, a lay-up by Ford made the Bulldog lead seven points, 27-20.
The third quarter saw Cornersville maintain their lead with Ford and Welch operating down low effectively as the two big men combined for eight points together to lead the Bulldogs to a nine-point lead, 42-33, as the third quarter ended.
The fourth quarter is where things got heated for the Bulldogs as Huntland’s Eli Wiggs bombed away for two 3-pointers and Noah Thompson chipped in four points before fouling out at the 3:47 mark and the Hornets trailing by four 46-42.
After a Hornet basket that cut the Cornersville lead to two points, 46-44, Welch for Cornersville banked in a short jumper to make the lead four points, 48-44.
The Hornets elected to foul the Bulldogs and Lovell made the Hornets pay as he sank two free-throws for a 50-44 lead with 2:02 left in the game.
Wiggs with a 3-pointer made the score 50-47 but Lovell again went to the line and sank two more free-throws to put the lead to five points 52-47 with 50.9 seconds to go.
Wiggs for Huntland again struck with another 3-pointer to make the score 52-50 with 37 seconds left but Cornersville’s Lovell again was fouled, went to the line, and sank one of two free-throws for a 53-50 Cornersville lead.
Golden for Huntland launched an air ball and Cornersville brought the ball down court where Calahan was fouled and made both free throws with 14.2 seconds left.
After a Huntland miss Calahan again drew a fouled and made one of two free-throws with 5.5 seconds left to safely put the Bulldogs up by six points, 56-50.
That score would be the final as the Cornersville Bulldogs broke their five-game losing streak and a three-year district losing streak when they last defeated these same Hornets of Huntland in January of 2019.
 
Huntland        13  7 13 17 — 50
Cornersville   16 11 15 14 — 56
 
Huntland 50): Braylen Phillips 15, Zeier Golden 12, Noah Thompson 9, Eli Wiggs 8, Trace Kilpatrick 2, Cade Limbaugh 2, Alex Meyering 2.
3-Point Goals (7): Phillips 3, Wiggs 2, Golden 2. 
Free Throws (7-11): Golden 2-for-2, Wiggs 2-for-2, Phillips 2-for-4, Thompson 1-for-3.
Cornersville (56): Eli Welch 15, Gage Lovell 13, Mason Calahan 11, Kel Ford 10, Blaine Woodard 3, Bryce Woodard 2, Kale Adcox 2.
3-Point Goals (1): Calahan.
Free Throws (14-20): Welch 5-for-6, Lovell 7-for-10, Calahan 2-for-2, Blaine Woodard 0-for-1, Kale Adcox 0-for-1.
Halftime Score: Cornersville 27, Huntland 20.

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