Chargers zap Sparta

The public address announcer at Huntingdon College learned the name JV McKinney quick Thursday, as McKinney scored the first seven points of the game en route to a 65-27 Cornerstone victory over Sparta in the AISA 1A quarterfinal.

Sparta opened the game in a man defense, giving the Chargers a chance to run the ball and attack early.

“I was a little bit shocked, because everybody I talked to said they played nothing but 2-3. To be honest, I was kind of happy,” Cornerstone head coach Tim Bullard said. “Coming out and making them turnover the ball quick and get a couple of easy baskets helped.”

McKinney, who has battled a cold all week, said he was worried at first about how he’d handle the pressure, but that quickly changed.

“We wanted to try to run them and get them tired enough so we could just go play,” McKinney said.

McKinney scored 12 points in the opening quarter and finished with 30 points and seven steals after exiting early in the fourth quarter. Freshman Kendall Moore followed with 18 points, including an eight-point third quarter and four 3-pointers.

Sparta slowed in the second half, hitting only 12.5 percent of its shots after trailing at the half, 31-20. Cornerstone shot 45.8 percent for the game.

McKinney said a large part of the win was everyone diving on the floor and playing hard for the win. Stephen Bulger led CCS with eight rebounds, followed by seven each from Moore and Pokey Reece and six from Josh Dunnaway.

Mason Black led Sparta with 12 points.

Cornerstone will meet either Shelby Academy or Open Door in the state semifinal at Huntingdon on Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m.