CORNERSVILLE — Coaches want their teams playing their best basketball down the stretch of the regular season district slate and hope to transition that successful play into the postseason. …
CORNERSVILLE — Coaches want their teams playing their best basketball down the stretch of the regular season district slate and hope to transition that successful play into the postseason.
Cornersville Lady ‘Dawg coach Hayden McMahon is starting to see that transition with his team after beating Moore County on Friday night for the first time in 14 years and after upsetting Huntland (17-9, 4-1) on Tuesday in a come-from-behind thriller.
“They (Huntland) were the No. 1 seed and Moore County was the No. 2 seed, and we beat both of them. It was the first time we beat Moore County in 14 years the other night and they (Huntland) haven’t lost a regular season district game in three or four years,” McMahon said.
The game got off to a typical Huntland Lady Hornet start by stretching the floor, making the extra pass and knocking down several early triples.
It was a balanced start by Huntland, dispersing 20 first-half points among four players, with Logan McClennan knocking down three triples in the opening half.
But make no mistake, this was Alicia Polk’s game.
Polk was virtually unstoppable and accounted for 13 of the Lady ‘Dawgs first-half points, with the only other basket coming from Ady Gentry in the first quarter.
Still, Cornersville (10-11, 2-3) trailed 20-15 at the intermission.
Even trailing, Cornersville never panicked and the composure, according to McMahon, was one of the keys to Tuesday night’s win.
“When we get behind, or we’re tied, we’ve got to keep that same composure. You just have to keep fighting and keep playing if you get down and that’s what they did,” he said.
By the end of the third, the Lady Bulldogs had cut the Huntland lead to one point.
Polk and the Lady ‘Dawgs put the game out of the reach with a near-perfect fourth quarter, by drawing contact and cashing in at the charity stripe.
As a team, Cornersville shot 11-of-12 attempts from the free throw line in the fourth quarter alone, with Polk making good on 8-of-9 attempts.
While McMahon has come to expect a 20-plus point production night out of Polk over the last several games, it hasn’t just been her ability to score that’s impacted the game, but also to distribute the ball and find quality shots for positive possessions.
“She’s been on a roll the last few games. I think she’s had at least 20 in the last three or four games. She’s hot right now and she’s still facilitating and distributing the ball to other people. She’s getting to the bucket and taking good shots. I like quality shots over quantity, every day,” McMahon said.
Polk led all scorers with 28 points, while Gentry chipped in 10.
Anna Wood and Katie Powers added eight and three, respectively.
McLennan led Huntland with 22 points.
Cornersville hosts another key District 9-A matchup on Friday night, hosting Fayetteville City.
In their previous meeting, Fayetteville escaped with a thrilling five overtime win against Cornersville.
With all signs pointing towards his team clicking at the right time, McMahon is pleased with the composure and morale of his team as the regular season draws to a close.
“We’re coming along at the right time. We had a few lessons we had to learn in the overtime games that I thought we should have won, but it’s been a blessing in disguise for us,” he said.
Cornersville will host Fayetteville City on Friday night at 6 p.m. in a key District 9-A tilt.
Huntland 10 10 8 12 — 40
Cornersville 8 7 12 22 — 49
Huntland: Logan McLennan 22, Jocy May 12, Yareli Avalos 4, Judah Hill 2.
Cornersville: Alicia Polk 28, Ady Gentry 10, Anna Wood 8, Katie Powers 3.
3-Point goals: Huntland (5): McLennan 3, May 2; Cornersville (4): Polk 2, Powers, Wood.
Halftime score: Huntland 20, Cornersville 15.