Hoop Dogs tip off play
By Jonathan Branch
As temperatures continue to rise, the Morgan County Hoop Dogs’ schedule heats up.
The Hoop Dogs, a collection of teams coached by Morgan County Middle basketball coach Milfred Franklin, tipped off their season this month against a pair of teams from Athens.
The youngest team, comprised of fifth and sixth graders, lost two games to Team Athens. The older team of seventh and eighth graders lost by two points to the Classic City Storm from Athens.
“The [younger] team came out a little overwhelmed with the size of their opponent,” said Franklin. “We played well in spurts but just couldn't put together for the entire game. Our kids learned the hard way of protecting the ball, and they really look forward to focusing on their passing and dribbling skills.”
“The [older] team played hard throughout the game but just couldn't convert on easy baskets,” said Franklin. “We also had mental mistakes which led to easy points for them. One thing that we need to work on is consistency with our guard play and guarding people.”
After several June tournaments, including two trips to Putnam County and one at South Gwinnett, the Hoop Dogs have a busy month ahead.
The Hoop Dogs will host tournaments June 30, July 14, and July 21 at the new high school gymnasium. Tournaments begin at 9 a.m. and normally finish around 4 p.m., depending on the number of teams involved.
This summer, the Hoop Dogs program consists of six total teams—two fifth/sixth grade boys teams, three seventh/eighth grade teams and one girls team. Younger teams practice on Tuesday and Thursday nights, while older teams practice Monday through Thursday.
Rick Wadsworth, Michael Carter, Derrick Worrell, Eric Benford, Doris Elder, Kimberly Smith, Phyllis Reed, Nate Williams, CJ Benford assist with instruction for the Hoop Dogs, according to program coordinator and volunteer coach Milfred Franklin, who also coaches the Morgan County Middle School boys basketball team.
“During the program, we expect the players to gain basketball knowledge, experience, sportsmanship,” said Franklin. “Most of all we want them to have fun.”
Hoop Dogs Home Tournament Play
After burning up the road in June, the Hoop Dogs will host several tournaments in the weeks to come.
Where: Morgan County High School Gymnasium
When: June 30, July 14 & 21
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Printed in the June 28, 2012 edition