By Nick Nunn
The varsity Diamond Dogs won two of four games last week to put their record so far this season at 4-3. After beating Social Circle last Wednesday 7-3, Morgan County traveled to Lamar County to play a double header against the Trojans. The Dogs lost the first game 3-7 but won the second 10-5. Monday, Morgan County lost 5-11 to Rockdale County in their second matchup of the year.
Stewart Spence drove in three of Morgan County’s seven runs against Social Circle while going one-for-three in at bats for the night, which proved a big help in assuring the Dogs’ 7-3 victory over Social Circle.
Morgan County’s pitching throughout the night was sufficient to hold Social Circle at bay. Ross Kirkpatrick, the starting pitcher, allowed the only runs for the night, and Clark Owen, who relieved Kirkpatrick in the fifth, struck two batters out while walking only two.
In the first game of the double header against Lamar County, Morgan County couldn’t get their offense off to the start it needed to keep pace with Lamar’s scoring.
The Trojans’ pitching racked up seven strikeouts in the first game, while their batters were able to hammer the Dogs’ pitcher Brantley Frost, who gave up four earned runs on eight hits in the first three innings.
However, the Dogs returned to the field amidst miserable weather and proved that they were not just going to lay down for Lamar County in the second game.
By Nick Nunn
The Morgan County Middle School’s track team competed in their first event of the season last Wednesday in a dual meet against Youth Middle School. The boys’ and girls’ teams complied nine first-place finishes, nine second-place finishes, and 10 third-place finishes.
“We have a lot of first time runners this year and I thought we looked good,” said Coach Pat Hartney about the team overall.
Aris Hubbard and Jessie Pagett earned first in the long jump and 1600 meter race, respectively, and the MCMS girls’ relay teams took first in the 4x400 relay and the 4x100 relay.
For the boys, Dalton Smith put in a win in the shot put competition, and Jordan Hilsman took first in the 800 meter race.
Dalton Shaw, who ran with the MCHS cross country team this year, placed first in both the 3200 meter and 1600 meter races.
“Dalton Shaw is a third year runner,” said Coach Hartney. “He is a very strong distance runner.”
Printed in the March 7, 2013 edition
Morgan County Hoop Dogs lose to North Hall in second round of state playoffs
By Nick Nunn
After defeating the Ringgold Tigers 61-34 in the first round of the state playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the Morgan County High School Hoop Dogs lost to the North Hall Trojans 46-50 late in their second-round game in the state playoffs. The Dogs end their season 24-6 with the distinction of being the 2013 8-AAA Region champions.
Morgan County set themselves up for victory early in the first quarter of the game against Ringgold. In the first few minutes, the Dogs had built a 19-0 lead over the Tigers, which waxed and waned throughout the game.
Ultimately, however, Ringgold was never able to catch up, and Morgan County won easily 61-34.
Tookie Brown’s 23-points during the game was far and away the biggest total for either team.
Morgan County meant to show the Trojans that they meant business at the beginning of their game on Saturday.
The first points of the game came from a powerful alley-oop dunk by CJ Turman, which caused Morgan County fans to erupt in the stands.
Although North Hall was a tough competitor throughout the entire game, Morgan County appeared to be able to keep them at approximately a five-point distance for most of the first half.
Just before the end of the second quarter and still ahead 27-25, Brown took the ball down the entire court to execute a masterful layup to extend the Dogs’ lead.
Before the crowd had time to sit back down after Tookie’s layup, Tookie, astonishingly, stole the ball on a North Hall inbound, got in the air before the buzzer, and shot a three-pointer to give Morgan a 32-25 lead.
I think that enough time has passed for what I’m about to say to sound like an honest opinion and not the soft-but-unmistakable sound of chewing on sour grapes.
Of course that I’m disappointed that the Morgan County basketball team lost last Saturday in the second round of the state playoffs. There were many in the community that thought that this might be the year they go all the way; I was among them.
It was a bitter pill to swallow when the final buzzer sounded and, looking back to the scoreboard just once more for something we knew wasn’t there, we saw that we had been outdone.
Make no mistake about it: we were outdone by North Hall. They exploited weaknesses that we had shown while under pressure for the entire season and were able to dominate control on both sides of the ball.
That happens. It just does.
What I also saw was what I considered to be unsportsmanlike, if not downright mean, conduct directed at our players by a few of North Hall’s athletes.
And that I cannot abide.
One player in particular – and I couldn’t cite his name if I wanted to, since North Hall doesn’t seem proud enough of their kids to list a roster anywhere on the internet – dogged our players all night.
Tookie Brown showed the patience of a saint against this kid, who looked like he was pushing Brown even as he was trying to defend him on a throw-in.
Of course, he never did anything to earn anything more than a slight reprimand from the referees; his borderline abusive techniques became condoned by the officiating committee.
I am familiar with the concept of “gamesmanship” as opposed to “sportsmanship,” but I don’t think that the Georgia High School Association should turn a blind eye to a team that wants to push the limits of rules designed for the safety of minors for something as ultimately trivial as a basketball game.