CORNERSVILLE — During their previous meeting against Fayetteville City, the Cornersville Lady ‘Dawgs pushed the Lady Tigers to an epic, five-overtime battle, in which the Lady Tigers won …
CORNERSVILLE — During their previous meeting against Fayetteville City, the Cornersville Lady ‘Dawgs pushed the Lady Tigers to an epic, five-overtime battle, in which the Lady Tigers won on a last-second three-pointer, beating Cornersville by a single point.
On Friday night, no overtime was needed.
Cornersville rallied from a nine-point deficit to start the fourth quarter and dominated Fayetteville in the closing minutes to notch their third-straight victory with a 37-36 win over the Lady Tigers.
“No overtime tonight. They beat us by a point last time and we got them by a point tonight. It feels really good,” Lady Bulldog coach Hayden McMahon said.
Offense was a struggle at times for Cornersville, particularly in the first half, but after three quarters, McMahon’s squad never strayed the course and kept to their game plan.
“We just stayed the course. On offense, we just wanted to start feeding the ball down low and just being patient. We didn’t come down and start forcing up shots just because we were down night. You can’t get them all back at once. Just one possession at a time, play good defense and that’s what we did,” he said.
Senior Alicia Polk banked 10 of her game-high 17 points in the first half, but drew heavy attention from the Fayetteville defense through the second half.
Needing a second scorer to emerge, the Lady Dawgs’ focused on feeding the ball to the low post and it was Ady Gentry and Camille Franklin who answered the bell.
Gentry knocked down a pair of key baskets to spark the rally towards the end of the third period and it was Franklin’s efforts off the glass and off the block in the fourth quarter that sparked a 14-4 romp through the final quarter.
“Ady—we started feeding it to her and she was making good moves going strong to the basket and getting fouled. I think Camille Franklin came in and did a great job. In the second half, she had two huge buckets, rebounding and she hit some free throws. Both of those girls played really well in the fourth quarter,” McMahon said.
During their previous meeting, Fayetteville freshman Trinity Dixon lit up the score sheet with a whopping 40 points, including the game-winning three-pointer.
In Friday night’s rematch, Dixon was held to 10 points, including a single field goal in the fourth quarter.
In front of a capacity crowd, the Lady Bulldogs took a one-point lead in the closing seconds and the Lady Tigers in-bounded the ball, only to have the last shot fall short.
McMahon credited the raucous crowd as one of the key factors in the game.
“It was awesome. I want games like this every time. I’m sure it was the most these girls played in front of. I hope they keep coming back,” he said.
The win marked the third-straight by Cornersville, who has muddied up the top of the 9-A standings with wins over Moore County, Huntland and now Fayetteville.
“Before we started this year, I felt like we could beat any of them—the girls just have to believe it. I can believe it all day, but if they don’t believe it, nobody will. We got a taste of that win in that first win against Moore County. Winning is very contagious,” he said.
While the wins have been sweet as of late, McMahon said full credit lies with his squad who has bought into the coaching staff’s vision for the program and the work they’ve put in has been the source of their success.
“This is awesome. They just turned this ship around from where it was three years ago to now—it’s just a testament to these girls. They’ve bought in. That’s just a testament to them,” he said.
Cornersville looks for its fourth-straight win on Tuesday night with a road trip to Eagleville scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip-off.
Fayetteville 12 12 8 4 — 36
Cornersville 9 7 7 14 — 37
Fayetteville: Autumn Nunemaker 11, Trinity Dixon 10, Gracie Hoagland 8, Elly Bain 5, Bella Martin 2.
Cornersville: Alicia Polk 17, Ady Gentry 6, Jayli Childress 6, Camille Franklin 5, Anna Wood 3.
3-Point goals: Cornersville (1): Wood; Fayetteville (1): Nunemaker.
Halftime score: Fayetteville 24, Cornersville 16.