Pups fall short in semifinals
By Greg Sullivan
The Morgan County Middle School Bullpups jumped out to a 12-0 lead on the Youth Hornets in the semifinals of the area tournament at Youth Wednesday, but Youth rallied back to eliminate the Pups from tournament play.
Down 10-0 going into the second quarter, Youth turned things around, outscoring the Pups 14-4 in that quarter to tie things up at 14-14 going into the half.
In the third quarter the Pups took the momentum again, taking a 25-18 lead into the final period, but just like they did in the second quarter, Youth responded winning 33-27.
"We had our game plan executed perfectly until the final three minutes of the fourth quarter," said Bullpup Head Coach Milfred Franklin. "The inability to take care of the ball in the clutch really hurt us."
The team had some key turnovers in the final minutes against Youth's man-to-man defense.
The Pup team, coming off last year's championship, improved significantly throughout the year despite an inexperienced team. All five starters weren't on last year's team, and Franklin said he was proud of the way these players got better as the year progressed.
"From the beginning of the year until now we made great steps of improvement," said Franklin. He said he expects next year's squad to have a lot more game experience.
Youth advanced to the tournament final where they lost to the Loganville Rebels.
Monday: Pups 44 Monticello 40 OT
The game was back in forth in regulation, but in overtime the Pups used their close game experience to leave no doubt of their tournament intentions.
The Bullpups scored the first six points of the overtime period in the first minute of the overtime on their way to a 44-40 win.
"We knew what was to be expected and we knew what we had to do," said Franklin.
The team had won an overtime game over Social Circle just four days earlier.
The Pups dominated the first quarter Monday 10-3 only to see Monticello cut that eary lead to 17-16 Pups by the half. The Pups led 27-24 going into the fourth quarter, but Monticello got some late scoring to force the extra period.
From then on, however, the Pups had seized momentum.
The Pups were led in the game by Marty Cobb who had 15 points. Guy Taylor had 12 points, Fred Williams had eight and Davon Gibbs had five.