By Nick Nunn staff writer
The Morgan County High School (MCHS) Hoop Dogs and Lady Dogs continued their holiday seasons with continued success at prestigious tournaments. The Lady Dogs took the runner-up position at the Dwight Madison Christmas Tournament in Montgomery Ala., and, Monday night, the MCHS boys were set to play against Berkmar High School for the championship game of the 2013 BMASP/Nike Holiday Hoops Classic.
Last Thursday, Dec. 26, the boys’ varsity Hoop Dogs began their bid at the Nike Holiday Hoops Classic at the Berkmar High School with a game against the South Gwinnett Comets. Morgan County got to nose ahead of the Comets during the first quarter and extended their lead to 39-32 by the end of the half.
The shootout continued in the second half, with the Dogs pulling ahead to 61-49 during the third quarter and then to 84-65 for the final score. After the win over South Gwinnett, the Hoop Dogs faced the Lanier Poets from Montgomery, Ala., on Friday, Dec. 27.
Lanier held close to the Dogs in the first half, staying behind only 24-29, but the Dogs began to pull ahead after halftime, going to 51-28 after the third quarter. Morgan County continued to build their lead in the last eight minutes of the game, winning 73-42 and moving on to the final four teams of the tournament.
Saturday, the Dogs came up against the St. Francis Knights of Alpharetta to fight for their chance to get to the championship game. St. Francis, who lost a close game to Greenforest Christian last year for the single A championship during the 2012-2013 season, gave the Dogs their toughest competition of the tournament yet. Morgan County built a 37-25 lead over the Knights during the first half of the game, but, despite the deficit, St. Francis wasn’t ready to give up.
During the third quarter, the Knights scored 27 points to overcome the Dogs 52-50. The Dogs recognized their situation and rallied against the Knights, taking back the lead and the win with a final score of 68-61 in Morgan County’s favor. With St. Francis behind them, the Dogs only had the championship game ahead, with Berkmar High School as their competitor.
The results of the championship game, which was played Monday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. will be in next week’s edition. Additionally, on Monday, Dec. 23, the Hoop Dogs won their final game of the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C., against Luella High School 71-65.
The Lady Hoop Dogs earned a second-place finish in the Dwight Madison Christmas Tournament in Montgomery, Ala., after three consecutive tournament wins. After beating Francis Marion in the first round of the Dwight Madison games, the girls moved on to Selma High School, who they beat 61-47 for a shot at the tournament championship game.
Carver High School was Morgan County’s opponent for the championship game last Saturday, and the girls were able to take the lead over Carver 30-27 through the first half. However, Carver came back in the second period with tough competition and were able to snatch the lead from the Lady Dogs, and Carver finished the game ahead 64-52 for the tournament championship.
After a month on the road, the Hoop Dogs will be home after a couple of games in Alabama. Saturday, Jan. 4, the varsity boys’ and girls’ teams will play against Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala., before returning home on Jan. 7 to host the Jackson County Panthers.