The Morgan County High School Lady Dogs met a buzz saw of a team last Friday, Feb. 24, in the Sweet 16 of the AAA Georgia State Championship.
Carver High School (Columbus) lived up to their number four state ranking and dismantled the Lady Dogs 94-31. The Tigers pressed the Lady Dogs from the tip off and never let up.
Morgan County Head Coach Milfred Franklin said the Tigers brought experience to the game, played in Columbus. “There were more seasoned,” he said. “They had a lot of seniors.”
Despite the loss, Franklin said he was proud of the Lady Dogs for advancing in the state championship. “We made leaps and bounds of progress from the beginning of the season,” he said.
Against Carver, junior Tanya Brine led the Dogs in scoring with nine points. Sophomore Jaden Young and freshman Gracie Durden both had five points in the game. Senior Destiny Hunter, who has led the Dogs all season, had four points and five rebounds in her final game as a Lady Dog. Junior Kiwi Lane had two points, six rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.
Franklin said the team, which carries a 3.6 grade point average in the classroom, was able to both adjust and pivot and learn during a 20-8 season. Morgan County’s three region losses came to an undefeated Cross Creek program and to Carver High School last Friday.
To get to the Sweet 16 game, Morgan County defeated Long County 49-45 on Wednesday, Feb. 22 playing at Morgan County.
Against Long County, Morgan County’s Hunter led the Lady Dogs in scoring with 15 points. More importantly, said Franklin, Hunter and junior Destiny Smith nullified Long County’s two six footers under the basket. “They played big down low, battling with their bigs,” Franklin said.
Sophomore Young managed 10 points even after Long County tried to contain Young with a box and one defense. Franklin and the Lady Dogs adjusted and opened up opportunities under the basket.
Morgan County led three quarters of the game, taking the first 14-11; the third 14-11 and the fourth 14-9. Morgan County was down 25-21 after the second quarter after Long County put up a 14-7 run against the Dogs. No matter, said Franklin. ‘We continued to fight throughout the game.”
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