Morgan County's Jailyn Ingram hangs onto the rim after adding two points to the Dogs' score during their game against Buford last Saturday. Photo by J. Walker

Morgan County’s Jailyn Ingram hangs onto the rim after adding two points to the Dogs’ score during their game against Buford last Saturday. Photo by J. Walker

By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Buford Wolves avenged early-season losses against the Morgan County basketball teams with wins in Buford this past Saturday, Feb. 1. With only two region opponents left to face this week, the Morgan County varsity basketball teams are quickly approaching the postseason, with the region tournament leading the Dogs toward the 2014 state playoffs.

The Lady Dogs were neck-and-neck with Buford after the first quarter of the game, trailing by a single point 9-10. By halftime, Morgan County had fallen back to a 10-point deficit at 29-19, but the Lady Dogs weren’t prepared to be left so far behind.

After fighting back to 36-41 at the end of the third quarter, the Dogs were still challenged by the Wolves, who were able to hold Morgan County just far enough behind to hang onto the win 57-49.

The Hoop Dogs’ game began aggressively, with both teams running up the score to nearly 20 points in the first quarter.

Similarly to the girls’ game, Buford was able to increase their lead during the second quarter, going from 22-19 to 37-28 in the space of eight minutes.

With the game slipping away from them, the Dogs buckled down and were able to pull back to 45-48 for a real chance to tie the game back up and contend for the victory.

Unfortunately, however, Buford got a second win during the last quarter, and took the game with a final score of 69-58. “We had a tough loss over the weekend, but I still feel that we are a better team at this point than we were last season,” said MCHS Head Boys’ Basketball Coach Charlemagne Gibbons about the loss to Buford. “[The] guys are really taking coaching and playing for each other. We just need to continue to play our game, and we have to embrace our roles and do their job.”

Looking forward to the postseason, Coach Gibbons stated that he has high expectations for the team this year. “I feel very confident in our team and the run that we are going to make,” said Coach Gibbons. “We have one of the toughest schedules in the state and we expect that to pay off at the end of the season.”

Last Thursday, Jan. 30, the varsity basketball teams traveled to Jackson County to take on the Panthers, for a round of region play, and both Morgan County’s girls and boys came out with wins. Jackson County stayed locked in with the Lady Dogs during the first half of the game.

After trailing by only four points at the end of the first half, the Panthers were right on Morgan County’s heels 17-18 at the half. Coming out of the locker room, however, the Dogs were determined to hold the Panthers at bay, building a cushion of 11 points during the third quarter and finishing off Jackson County with a 47-35 victory.

The Morgan County boys’ turned in a more dominating performance over Jackson County last Thursday, however. Ahead 12-2 after the first quarter, the Dogs went on to go up almost 30 points in the lead by halftime, 41-12, and maintain that sizeable lead for a final score of 60-30.

Last Tuesday, Morgan County took on Oconee County for the final regular-season games of the year. This Friday, Feb. 7, the Dogs will travel to Franklin County for the final games of the 2013-2014 regular season.