Both Morgan County Middle School basketball teams survived the first round of the Piedmont Athletic Conference basketball tournament and will advance to semifinals play this week. The girls will play again at Morgan County Middle School Tuesday at 5 p.m. (This will be played before you get this week’s issue of the Morgan County Citizen). Note that this is a change from the original schedule where the semifinals were to be held at Morgan County High School. Should they win that game, they will play the finals at MCHS Saturday, Feb. 10 at 12:00 p.m. The boys will play again Wednesday at MCHS in the semifinal round of play at 5 p.m.
The first round of tournament play was held at MCHS and dubbed Super Saturday with eight games and 16 teams competing throughout the day.
A good crowd was there for the first game of the day for the Dogs. The boys came in as the number three seed behind number two, Loganville, and number one Social Circle. They faced off with number six seed, Jasper County, who they had demolished just last week in the final regular season game at MCMS. However, this one was different as the Pups were missing two starters who had played a big role in that win.
Jasper looked like a different team jumping out to a big first quarter 12-4 lead, but these Dogs had some fight in them. Led by Rogers Clark, Zee Little, and David Duclos on offense, and some inspired defense, the Dogs tied things up at 12-12 with 2:30 remaining in the half.
A late barrage of three three-pointers by Jasper was the only thing that kept the Hurricanes close at 20-17 when the buzzer sounded to end the half. Those were the only points Jasper scored in the second quarter.
Seventh grader Reggie Ross got his game going in the third period scoring seven, and Duclos hit a three at the buzzer to give the Dogs a 34-27 edge. The Hurricanes chipped away scoring the first four of the fourth to come within three at 34-31, but they would get no closer. Demetrie Mainer then scored four straight on his own and Morgan ended the game outscoring the opposition 11-2 before a last-second three by Jasper ended the game 45-36 in Morgan’s favor.
Head Coach Bo Larkins said, “I’m proud of the guys who stepped in as we had a few guys out. We got down early and our guys fought back with resiliency.”
Morgan’s Girls were obviously the top seeded team in the tournament and faced an undertalented and overmatched Loganville squad. It was another rout for the girls as they went to 15-0 for the season with a 41-15 win to move onto the semifinals round. Morgan started strong scoring 15 points in the first quarter as Shay Brown had seven and Destiny Hunter four.
They added 14 more in the second period of play with five players putting their names in the scoring column. Coach Brian Cousins graciously substituted generously midway through the second quarter with all the players getting some playing time.
He commented, “Aniya Jackson rebounded well and scored five while Bailey McDaniel knocked down a three. Jada Cooper played well in the post and guards Siddalee Outlaw and Nicole Hill both scored off the bench.
Sixth grader Ta’Nayah Britney came off the bench and played solid defense and knocked down a free throw. Overall, it was a great first round win. We will now play a Social Circle team that defeated Carver earlier in the day. They will be a tougher matchup and we must really play well to get past them.”
Don’t miss the remainder of PAC Tournament action this week.