CORNERSVILLE — While the wins were tough to come by once Cornersville entered district play in January, Bulldog coach Dakota Brown feels like the overall composure of his program is trending …
CORNERSVILLE — While the wins were tough to come by once Cornersville entered district play in January, Bulldog coach Dakota Brown feels like the overall composure of his program is trending the right way.
While the season came to an end in a 52-49 loss in the District 9-A first-round game on Monday night at the hands of Moore County, the Bulldogs have played much better as of late, including a win over the Raiders in last week’s regular season district finale.
“We had a pretty good start to the year and after Christmas in district play, we ended up losing most of those. Then Tuesday night we went to Moore County and got a big win and then came in here tonight and fought to the bitter end,” Brown said.
Monday night’s game was an all-out battle between the Bulldogs and Raiders that saw the game within a single possession for the majority of regulation.
Trailing 46-44, it was Gave Lovell who drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key with 2:21 left to give the Bulldogs a 47-46 lead.
Moore County answered with a three of its own courtesy of Keller Morey with 1:05 to go.
Not batting an eye, big man Kel Ford hit the tying basket with 41 seconds left to knot the game at 49 apiece.
Taking the ensuing possession, Moore County held the ball for the remainder of the final minute until Will Baker drilled a teardrop corner three-pointer with two seconds left, which proved to be the game-winner.
Leading up to the fourth-quarter drama, the Bulldogs were at their best with Ford and fellow big man Ben Franklin on the court at the same time.
The 2-3 zone gave the Raiders fits off the glass and in the paint, allowing the Bulldogs to keep the game a mostly-one possession contest.
“Both of those kids are big kids and great assets to have. Both of them have worked their tails off. Kel Ford has made tremendous gains in the last two or three weeks and again tonight,” Brown said.
Ford and Franklin provided a stellar, one-two punch in perhaps the best effort of the season.
The two combined for 27 points, with Ford’s 14 points leading the Bulldogs.
Franklin added 13, while Blaine Woodard chipped in 12.
Cornersville also shot it well from the perimeter, knocking down five three-pointers in the game, with Woodard accounting for three made treys.
But it was Alex Copeland and Morey who went for a combined 31 points, while Baker added 12, including the game-winner with two seconds left.
While the glimmers of progress began to show through the team on the floor in the final weeks of the season, Brown is optimistic about the direction his program is trending, as Cornersville returns all of its starters next season.
“I’m super excited about the future of this team. In our starting lineup tonight, there wasn’t a senior out there. Definitely have a lot to build on for the future,” he said.
Cornersville 10 10 11 18 — 49
Moore Co. 10 10 13 19 — 52
Cornersville: Kel Ford 14, Ben Franklin 13, Blaine Woodard 12, Gage Lovell 5, Kale Adcox 3, Hayden Grover 2.
Moore Co.: Alex Copeland 16, Keller Morey 15, Will Baker 12, Dawson White 9.
3-Point goals: Moore Co. (7): Morey 3, White 2, Baker 2; Cornersville (5): Woodard 3, Adcox, Lovell.
Halftime score: Cornersville 20, Moore Co. 20.