MCHS basketball bested at Berkmar
By Nick Nunn
The MCHS boys and girls varsity basketball teams competed in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament at Berkmar High School in Lilburn last Saturday. Both teams lost to Berkmar High. The girls lost 35-42, and the boys were defeated in overtime 51-57.
The girls’ game was played in Berkmar’s auxiliary gym. Amidst the buzzing of fluorescent lights and a smattering of Berkmar cheerleaders, the girls began their preparatory routines.
Enclosed by a barred fence, which created an almost prison-like atmosphere, the stands extended right to the court, leaving the coaches nowhere to stand but on the playing surface.
Berkmar took an early lead over the Morgan County girls, who fell behind 10-17 after the first quarter but closed the gap to 19-25 right before halftime.
In the third quarter, the girls kept up their regular offensive output, scoring 10 more points, but Berkmar bought themselves a little more room, stretching their lead to 29-38.
Morgan County had a chance to come back in the last quarter of the game. Berkmar’s offense was limited to only four points, each of which was the result of a free throw.
However, Morgan County couldn’t match their own scoring from the earlier quarters, earning only six points and losing the game 35-42.
Despite the loss, Coach Charlemagne Gibbons feels good about the girls team’s progress.
“I felt overall we got better today,” said Gibbons. “We have such a young team that, the more we play the more comfortable they will be. This team is making strides everyday and game by game.”
“We have to just continue to build confidence and understand what it takes to compete at a high level.”
Although the auxiliary gym that the girls played in was less than awe-inspiring, the main gym showcased of the grandeur and size of the rest of Berkmar’s facilities.
Music, almost overpowering, filled the time as the modest crowd, whose numbers appeared depleted in the oversized arena, awaited the match between Morgan County’s boys varsity team and Berkmar.
Both teams scored the most points per quarter that they would all day in the first eight minutes of the game.
Tookie Brown put up eight points himself in the first quarter, but Morgan County found themselves behind 15-17 going into the second quarter.
By halftime, Morgan County had come back and was then leading 28-26 over Berkmar.
It looked like Morgan County would be able to hold onto a two-point lead past the buzzer in the last seconds of the fourth quarter, but Berkmar tied the game with a single field goal, sending the game into a four-minute overtime.
Berkmar took an early lead in overtime, and Morgan County, desperate to slow the clock in the last minutes, began to foul Berkmar in the hopes that they could buy themselves some time.
But Berkmar’s skill at the free throw line only put Morgan County farther behind; they made eight out of 10 attempted free throws in overtime.
Morgan would accumulate 14 fouls in the second half before the game was over.
Morgan County’s 51-58 loss to Berkmar indicated to Coach Gibbons that the team was missing key component of playing basketball last Saturday.
“When you play the teams that we have on our schedule you must play hard and smart,” said Gibbons. “I don't feel we played smart tonight.”
The season is still promising to Coach Gibbons, in spite of a couple of early losses.
“We feel very good about this team and the brutal early schedule will have us ready at the end of the season. The guys just have to begin to understand their roles on the team and begin to play smarter.”
This week, Morgan County is hosting the SweetSouth Tip-Off Classic, which will begin this Saturday. The girls will be playing Washington County at 12:30, and the boys will take on Alcovy at 8 p.m.
Printed in the November 22, 2012 edition