By Leila Dycus, Staff Writer

By Leila Dycus staff writer The Morgan County Middle School basketball teams started their season off this past week with games against Taliaferro.

On Friday Nov 8 the Bulldogs hosted their first preseason games at home. The girls took the court first. According to Coach Brian Cousins the girls team is young this year consisting of 9 sixth and seventh graders and 7 eighth graders.

The Lady Bulldogs took the early lead in the first quarter against Taliaferro, leading by three points. In the second quarter Taliaferro came back outscoring MCMS 10-13. The Dogs were not ready to give up without a fight, making a come back in the third quarter. Coach Cousins said that the girls were playing good defense throughout the game.

The girls took the zone defense and full court press that they learned in only two practices and used it in game against Taliaferro. With a score of 22-18 at the end of the third quarter the Lady Dogs went into the final stretch of the game. By the end of the fourth quarter the MCMS girls had pulled out their first win of the season- 28-21.

“We played pretty good defense, shared the ball well,” said Cousins. “We need to work on being more physical and be willing to take the ball to the hole whenever the opportunity presents itself.” The Taliaferro game was the first scrimmage after only having six practices.

The young team is said to be progressing and learning a lot. They are working hard and supporting each other as a team. Coach Cousins said that if they keep up those two things they would have a successful season no matter what the record.

The boy’s team took on Taliaferro after the girls. Much like the girls this year’s middle school boys team is different from previous year’s teams. According to Coach Franklin, this year’s team is a much faster paced with a guard-oriented offense.

In the first quarter of Friday’s game the Bulldogs scored 10 points leading Taliaferro by five. In the second quarter Taliaferro came back scoring 12 points to MCMS’s two. However, the Bulldogs weren’t going to give up easily putting their strong offense to the test. Coach Franklin said that their offense stood out to the coach staff.

Several times during offensive possessions the boys had five to seven passing between them, which is very hard to do when it comes to middle school basketball players. In the third quarter the Dogs scored 17 points widening the gap between the two teams. The fourth quarter proved much like the third with the Bulldogs scoring 17 more points.

The boy’s team beat Taliaferro 46 to 39. Like the girls team the boys only had five practices before the scrimmage against Taliaferro. Coach Franklin said that his focus is for the team to improve every practice and develop a competitive mindset where they can handle the mental aspect of the game.

Both the boys and the girls will take on George Walton Friday Nov 15 for another scrimmage at home. The games start at 4:30 with the girls playing first followed by the boys.