Over the past couple of weeks, the Morgan County Lady Bulldogs have been the victim of some very close losses. Their luck turned in the opposite direction this week with wins over East Jackson and Monroe Area by big margins. It was junior guard Lou Reid who turned her game up a notch to lead the way for MOCO scoring 24 against the Lady Eagles in a 74-32 rout that looked more like a layup drill. She turned around three days later to post a season-high 28 Friday vs. the Lady Hurricanes that ended 55-39 for their second 8-AAA win for the week. The pair of victories pushes their record to 2-2 in Region play and places them in sole possession of third place behind unbeaten Franklin County (4-0) and Hart County at 3-1.
The wins put some wind in the sails of the players and coaches as they face a full week of games against Jackson County (Tuesday) and Franklin County (Friday) on the road before returning home to face the number-five ranked (AAAAAAA) Lady Rams of Newton Saturday.
There wasn’t too much to say about the East Jackson game except it was too much Morgan and way too little Eagles. The girls jumped all over their opponent 16-5 after the first period utilizing their pressure defense in the full court, ¾ court, ½ court, and everything in between to stifle much chance of East Jackson of even getting up a shot. Taylor Wilson was the only other player in double figures with 13, but Tamia Benford, Morgan Taylor, Miranda Powell, Kourtney Elder, Arkeisha Williams and others off the bench all played well outside while Aris Hubbard, Jamie Puckett, and Neshay Cobb dominated action in the paint blocking shots, getting rebounds on both ends, and scoring at will.
At the half it was 32-9 and every player got in some good minutes that will pay dividends for them and the Lady Dogs down the road. Early in the fourth quarter Morgan ripped off eight straight layups on a 16-0 run that had East Jackson watching the clock. Mercifully, it ran out with Morgan winning 74-32.
Friday the Lady Dogs faced a much-improved Monroe Area squad from a year ago. They were a feisty opponent that put Morgan in the double bonus before the first quarter expired. Reid was at it again scoring five of the Lady Dogs first eight. The quarter ended with the two teams knotted at 8-8. Monroe led by only one with 4:50 remaining in the half when Williams made a shot that put MOCO in the lead for the first time in the game 13-12. For the next four minutes Morgan asserted themselves defensively allowing just four points while scoring the last six of the half to take a 23-16 advantage.
Showing their brand of basketball the second half, it was the effort and all-out hustle of Morgan that helped them maintain an eight-point lead going into the fourth period of play. They poured it on after that. Reid had 11 in the final eight minutes to put the game to rest 55-39.
Coach Josh Reeves commented, “It was a hard-fought and well-played game against a very aggressive Monroe team. Even though we didn’t make shots early the girls kept grinding. Lou made some big buckets down the stretch and Kourtney and Arkesia played great defensively. It was an ugly, but good win for us as we now go to 2-2 in the Region.”
Don’t miss the Saturday matchups at home as the Dogs and Lady Dogs host a Showcase Saturday with the girls playing at 4:30 against a talented Newton High School squad. The 3:00 game will pit Monticello against Washington High School of Atlanta followed by a 6:00 matchup of East Hall and Jenkins Savannah. The boys will play the nightcap against top-10 Newton at 7:30.