Middle School teams off to strong start

Jesse Walker Sports

Morgan County’s Bullpup basketball started their season this week in robust fashion. The boys came up with a big PAC conference win over rival Greene County/Carson Middle School Tigers 52-45 after losing to last season’s PAC conference champions Loganville 45-26 in their first outing.  The girls won handily over the same two clubs at Loganville 28-12 and in their first home game vs. Greene 48-16.

Morgan’s girls took it to Loganville in the opener by holding the Lady Red Devils scoreless in the first half.  They led 16-0 at intermission which allowed Coach Brian Cousins to get all of his players some valuable playing time in the second half.  Precious Benford led the charge offensively with ten points on 8-of-10 free throw attempts and Shay Brown got nine.  Morgan’s final tally showed Maya Smith with 2, Destiny Hunter 4, Tameria Smith 2, Aaliyah Cooper 4, and Jada Cooper with 2.

In the Greene County contest the girls jumped out early and never looked back.  They outscored the Tigers 18-5 in the first quarter and held them scoreless in the second and fourth periods.  Brown led all scorers with 20 points while draining four three-pointers.  Other scorers included A. Cooper with 1, Smith 2, Hunter 4, Benford 8, Smith 2, J. Cooper 3, Siddalee Outlaw 6, and A. Jackson 2.  Others that played in the game were An. Cooper, N. Hill, B. McDaniel, A. Griggs, T. Briney, L. Williams, A. Smith, and M. Brown.

Cousins said this about the wins, “The girls are playing well so far this year.  Against Loganville we jumped out to a 16-0 lead which allowed me to get everyone on the team in. Aaliyah Cooper, Shay Brown, Destiny Hunter, Jada Cooper, and Precious Benford all played well.  In the Greene County game we again jumped out to an early lead and were able to get everyone involved. Defensively, Aaliyah Cooper was outstanding and Shay Brown poured in 20, hitting four 3’s.  Tameria and Maya Smith also performed well.  Siddalee Outlaw also provided a spark off the bench with a couple of baskets.”

The boys took an eye-opening loss to Loganville in their opener on the road.  The talented Red Devil team showed their superiority at this point in the season by handing the Dogs the 45-26 defeat.  In the Loganville game Morgan’s scoring came from Avarry Warren with five, Ashton Cooper 4, Reggie Ross 1, Rogers Clark 12, David Duclos 2, and Zemarion Little 2.  Others on the roster included Ty Butler, Samaurea Ward, Cooper Easterday, Kendarious Williams, Marquavious Wright, Demetrice Mainer, TJ Thompson, Jacob Pritchett, Jared Gilbert, and Chance Reid.

Morgan roared back after the loss to take it to the Carson Middle School Tigers of Greene County getting the 52-45 win.  The Dogs took a one-point lead after the first quarter 9-8.  It looked like Morgan would run away with it at the halfway point after they got hot in the second period.  Butler went scoreless in the first quarter, but found his range by scoring nine of the Dogs’ 19 second quarter points.  Wright put up seven of his own in the period to give Morgan a commanding 10-point 28-18 lead at intermission.  Had it not been for Greene’s three-point shooting that accounted for half their total, the game could have gotten away from them.

MOCO stretched the lead out to fourteen in the third period behind the shooting and scoring of Butler, but the Tigers wouldn’t go away.  They outscored the Dogs 21-14 in the final six minutes of play to get back in the game.  It was a little late as Morgan prevailed in the end.  Butler was high scorer with 17 followed by Wright with 12 and Mainer and Clark each added five.    

Bo Larkin chimed in on how his first two games went saying, “We were eager to start the season and excited to be tested our first two games – the two teams who made last year’s championship game. We had a “wake up call” vs. Loganville playing poorly both offensively and defensively which led to a lopsided second half. We bounced back with a quality win over Greene at home on Friday, where we had good stretches defensively and were able to take a 38-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter. This team has very high expectations and is beginning to sell out on the defensive end which is exciting to see moving forward.”  The two teams travel to Jefferson Middle School on Tuesday and hope to get some of the Morgan County fans in attendance prior to the varsity teams playing at Jefferson High School Tuesday night.

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