Morgan goes 6-0 in region games
By Nick Nunn
Beginning their region schedule this week with games against Hart County and East Jackson County, the MCHS girls varsity and boys JV and varsity teams each started their region record at a perfect 2-0.
This week the JV boys won their third and fourth games of the year, making their record 4-0 so far this season.
“The team is becoming more complete game by game,” said Coach Jonathan Nelson after the team’s fourth consecutive win of the year. “Guys are really understanding the individual role that they bring to this team.”
So far this season, the JV team has shown itself to be a fluid, cohesive, and aggressive unit, outscoring their opponents by at least 20 points in three of the four games they have played this season.
However, Coach Nelson’s emphasis is not on scoring buckets.
“Our forte has been and will always start with our defensive effort. We'll continue to express how important our effort and toughness defensively makes us better offensively.”
As is natural for a coach, Nelson hopes that the team’s streak will keep on going, but he doesn’t want the athletes to get wrapped up in it.
“We just take a workman's approach to every game like it's our first game of the year, try to go 1-0...”
Although the girls varsity team is 2-0 in the region as well, their wins came late against Hart and East Jackson.
After a 50-46 victory in overtime against Hart County, the girls found themselves in a hole against East Jackson as late as the beginning of the fourth quarter, when they faced a nine-point deficit.
Coach Charlemagne Gibbons called a time out two minutes into the last quarter to try to motivate the team.
“You’re watching the game; play the game!” said Gibbons during the time out.
The team took the message to heart, scoring 22 rallying points in the quarter to edge out East Jackson for a five-point win.
Carvetta Williams was particularly aggressive after the pep talk, contributing 10 points in the last quarter alone, including the tying field goal.
Sydney Nash showed remarkable composure at the free throw line through the night, sinking 13 of eight attempted shots.
“The girls have played well down the stretch of these last couple of games,” said Coach Joshua Reeves. “We got down early and by the fourth quarter, we had to play with a sense of urgency and get very aggressive defensively. Stacia McClelland and Carvetta Williams put us on their back for a couple of minutes to get us back in the game.”
Although comebacks are certainly exciting for the crowd, Coach Reeves says that the team will soon learn to be more solid throughout the entire game.
“These types of game will happen with the young team we have,” continued Reeves. “We have to learn what we need to do to not get ourselves into that kind of situation again.”
Characteristically, the varsity boys trounced their opponents this week, beating region competitors Hart County and East Jackson by wide margins.
Against Morgan County, East Jackson’s varsity team looked more like a middle school team than a bunch of juniors and seniors; Morgan County put up 14 points on the board before East Jackson could score.
Morgan County got a chance, not just to display their usual level of speed and coordination, but to show off with a little style, dribbling around East Jackson defenders, and picking attempted field goals out of the air.
East Jackson didn’t even get to half of the varsity boys’ score until the second half of gameplay, and they had visibly given up by the fourth quarter.
In the final minutes of the game, Coach Gibbons shouted from the sidelines that the boys shouldn’t attempt any more shots, so they passed the ball around the three-point line until time ran out.
Despite the big wins against region opponents this week, the boys lost to Greater Atlanta Christian 51-60 during their GAC Showcase tournament this past Saturday.
Coach Gibbons focused on their loss this week, describing the varsity boys’ need to step up against bigger opponents on the road.
“We have to learn how to go on the road to bigtime games and force our will on opponents,” said Gibbons. “Against GAC, they controlled the tempo and we were not able to [play]] the game at our pace. That was a very winnable game for us if we would have force a more uptempo game.”
This week, all three teams are taking on region opponent, North Oconee. Friday and Saturday, the girls varsity team will be competing in the East Laurens Christmas Tournament.
Printed in the December 20, 2012 edition