Lady Dogs advance to second round
ROME — The Lady Hoop Dog’s opening round performance in last Saturday night’s game against the Lady Jackets of Rockmart High School left no questions unanswered.
Morgan County was there to play.
Up by as many as 27 points at one time, the Lady Dogs walked off the court into second round action with a 66-54 win over Rockmart, who spent much of the game simply trying to decide which Morgan County player to defend.
"If we play as well as we did Friday night, I feel good about our chances," said Head Coach Ron Thomas. "I thought it was our best game all year."
Up by 17 points at the half, Morgan County turned once again to its veteran scorers, Amanda Malcolm and Robyn Gilbert, both of whom scored 24 points. Gilbert went on to notch a virtual triple-double, pulling down some 14 rebounds and stifling Rockmart’s offensive effort with another 12 blocks.
"Defensively we did a really good job," said Thomas of the Lady Dog’s effort. "We were able to get the ball off the board, and we did a good job of finding the open kid and converting."
Much of Morgan County’s offensive numbers came as a result of the impressive transition play demonstrated by the girls. Quick passing and a frantic pace contributed to a variety of looks inside the paint for the Lady Dogs, who managed to convert well beyond their season averages.
Guards Samia Pettigrew and Tiffany Elder managed to spread the scoring opportunities while making several shots of their own. Thomas later discussed the importance of E lder in the team’s offensive scheme.
"Most people don’t realize this, but Tiffany is the spoon that feeds our team," he said.
In the Lady Dogs’ third consecutive appearance at the state tournament level, this tournament’s outcome is the swan song for several key Morgan County players.
"We shouldn’t be nervous," said Thomas as he discussed the upcoming match against Wesleyan out of Norcross, Ga. The girls will return to Rome to play at the Forum next Friday at 7 p.m. where a win against the Lady Wolveswill enter Morgan County into semi-finals play.