Alexis Brown prepares to throw in to freshman Salina Fortuna.

Alexis Brown prepares to throw in to freshman Salina Fortuna.

By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Morgan County High School (MCHS) varsity and JV basketball teams traveled to Elberton on Friday, Dec. 6 to face the Elbert County Blue Devils for the first 8-AAA region games of the 2013-2014 basketball season.

The varsity boys lost a close game in overtime 73-78, but the varsity girls started off their region record with a 56-33 win over the Blue Devils. The JV Dogs also had a tough night on the court, with the JV girls and boys falling 21-26 and 39-56, respectively, to Elbert County.

The varsity girls’ team got led Elbert County from the very beginning of the game. After the first eight minutes of play, the Dogs had already built a 13-7 lead, which would extend to 25-12 at the half. During the third quarter, the Morgan County girls more than doubled their score by earning 27 points in a single period.

The Blue Devils were never able to catch up offensively, and Morgan County skated to an easy 56-33 win. Freshman Tatyana Davis led the team with 16 points, and Sydney Nash and Alexis Brown each contributed 13 points. “We were excited about the win but we know we still have a ways to go,” said Varsity Girls Basketball Head Coach Joshua Reeves. “Elbert beat us pretty handily last year so getting the win was important to us.”

The varsity boys’ game against the Blue Devils was a hard-fought affair, which, unfortunately, ended in a region loss for the Hoop Dogs. Morgan County started the game strong, building a 17-11 lead in the first quarter of the game.

The taunts of the Elbert County fans didn’t slow the Dogs down in the second quarter; Morgan County scored 14 points to the Devils’ seven to make the score 31-18 at the half. In the third quarter, however, the Blue Devils began to press the Dogs and earned 23 points before the last quarter to come within five points of Morgan County, who held onto a close 46-41 lead.

The fourth quarter saw the two teams neck-and-neck down to the final minutes. With only 30 seconds left in the game, the Dogs still had a slim 62-61 lead. As time ticked away, Morgan County scored another basket and a free throw to go ahead 65-61, but, the Blue Devils were able to score once and then, at the buzzer, tie the game at 65-65.

Elbert County fans spilled onto the court and had to be pushed back before the four minutes of overtime could begin. Morgan County fell behind by only a few points to begin the overtime period, and they were never able to make up the deficit, losing 73-78 to the Devils. The JV girls’ team lost a close 21-26 game to the Blue Devils.

After managing to get ahead 12-7 through the first half, Elbert overtook the girls in the third quarter and held onto their lead through the conclusion of the game.

The JV Boys suffered an almost scoreless first quarter, during which they fell behind 1-15, and, despite putting up good numbers in the remaining periods of the game, the Dogs were never able to overcome the deficit created during that first eight minutes, losing 39-56. Now that region competition has begun, the next series of games before the holiday break will be full of region opponents.

After taking on Hart County at home last Tuesday, December 10, the Hoop Dogs will travel to East Jackson this Friday and then North Oconee next Tuesday to continue region play. “We have and important week and a half of region play coming up and we will see half of the region teams before the break,” said Coach Reeves about the coming weeks.  “We want to take it one game at a time right now until we are able to see all of the teams in our region.” “Once we play everyone we will have a better idea of where we stand. Regardless of how we feel, we still have to play hard every night to be the team we expect to be.”