MCMS ends season with losses in semifinals
By Nick Nunn
The Morgan County Middle School basketball teams’ playoff runs ended last week with a pair of losses to Youth Middle School. The girls lost 24-27 in overtime to the Youth Warriors in last Tuesday’s girls semifinal match-up, and Morgan County’s boys lost Wednesday to top ranked Youth, who beat the Dogs 42-19.
Although the second-place ranked girls were able to beat seventh-place Carver Middle handily in the quarterfinals to move on to the second round of playoffs, Youth Middle came from behind to pull off an upset in the semis.
No clear leader emerged through the first three quarters of the girls’ game, but, with fewer than 15 seconds remaining in the game, Morgan County had a fragile 22-20 lead, which was the result of a series of late baskets by Tatyana Davis, who racked up 16 points in the game.
Morgan County’s lead was broken by a Warrior layup at the buzzer, tying the game 22-22 at the end of the last regulation quarter.
The Warriors were able to build a lead in overtime by earning several foul shots while managing to keep Morgan County’s defense outside of the three-point line.
Just before the final buzzer, Autumn Woodard attempted a long shot, which could have brought the 24-27 deficit to a tie, but the throw missed, signaling the end of the MCMS girls’ season.
The boys’ first round victory against Carson Middle School sent them up against Youth, who represented the highest-ranked team of the Piedmont Athletic Conference.
Neither team took a strong lead in the first quarter. Morgan County patiently awaited their chances for a shot in the first quarter, but they were unable to capitalize on any situation; the Dogs were losing 0-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The game began to slip out of Morgan County’s grasp as the minutes ticked away, and their apparent patience revealed itself as blatant inaction. After the beginning of the second half, Morgan County was never again within ten points of the lead and eventually lost 19-42.
“Our effort was nowhere to be found during the game,” said Coach Milfred Franklin. “We played like we were in a daze. Having basically 15 new players and being one of the four teams left in the playoffs was a good accomplishment, but going eight and eight is not a record acceptable with our basketball program. I hope all the players and students realize athletes who play multiple sports don't settle for mediocrity in any sport they play if they want to be great.”
Coach Franklin is already anticipating next year’s season, which he believes will vindicate his beliefs about the strength of the MCMS basketball program.
“I have high expectations for the 7th grade group because I know they are up for the challenge to get back to being the top or one of the top teams in the league.”
Printed in the February 14, 2013 edition