Dogs fall short of state bid
By Greg Sullivan
The Morgan County Bulldogs couldn't have gotten much closer to a state playoff bid, a bid was granted to all teams that advanced to the region tournament semifinals, but their trip to Dawson for their third region round tourney game didn't go as planned.
Coming off a convincing round two win over two-time defending tourney champions Putnam 53-40 last Tuesday in Madison, the Dogs seemed to have their share of momentum. That momentum, however, was short-lived.
"I think we underestimated those guys a little bit," said Bulldog Head Coach Charlemagne Gibbons of Dawson County. "They made shots early and we didn't."
Dawson jumped out to a 13-8 lead going into the second quarter and took a 25-21 half-time lead on their way to a 54-45 win over the Dogs.
Gibbons said his team had some chances to get back in the game down the stretch but couldn't.
"We just came up short," he said.
Both teams came into the game without having seen the other squad this year, the two teams being in opposite sub-regions.
Leading the way for the Dogs was C.J. Benford who had eight points. Brian Green and D.J. Calhoun each had seven. Roy Smith and Chris Norman added six each.
Last Tuesday: Dogs 54, Putnam 40
Last Tuesday night's win over Putnam marked a totally different outcome for the Bulldogs.
"I thought they really responded to the challenge of trying to get ourselves in the position to be in the state playoffs," Gibbons said of his team's efforts last Tuesday. "I thought they played well. We were focused on the task at hand."
The Dogs took an 11-8 lead going into the second quarter and had a 21-18 half-time lead on their way to a 53-40 win.
The difference came in the fourth quarter. The Dogs were already leading 32-27 and they outscored Putnam 21-13 in the final quarter.
Dee Elder led Morgan County with 15 points and C.J. Benford had 13 in the winning effort. Chris Norman had 12 and D.J. Calhoun added nine.
Wednesday's loss eliminated the Dogs from playoff consideration. Washington-Wilkes won Region 8-AA, convincingly beating North Oconee in the tourney championship game. North Oconee, Dawson and Fannin participated in the region semifinals and earned state playoff berths.
Gibbons said the Dogs will take about a month off and then returning players will get back to training for next year.
"We're sad to see those seniors go, but we've gotta get ready for next year," Gibbons said.
The team will have a new gym, a new region and new teams on its schedule for next year. This, said Gibbons, will be the cause of a lot of excitement for the basketball program.
"We can't take too much time licking our wounds," he said. "We've gotta get ready."