Morgan County Hoop Dogs lose to North Hall in second round of state playoffs
By Nick Nunn
After defeating the Ringgold Tigers 61-34 in the first round of the state playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the Morgan County High School Hoop Dogs lost to the North Hall Trojans 46-50 late in their second-round game in the state playoffs. The Dogs end their season 24-6 with the distinction of being the 2013 8-AAA Region champions.
Morgan County set themselves up for victory early in the first quarter of the game against Ringgold. In the first few minutes, the Dogs had built a 19-0 lead over the Tigers, which waxed and waned throughout the game.
Ultimately, however, Ringgold was never able to catch up, and Morgan County won easily 61-34.
Tookie Brown’s 23-points during the game was far and away the biggest total for either team.
Morgan County meant to show the Trojans that they meant business at the beginning of their game on Saturday.
The first points of the game came from a powerful alley-oop dunk by CJ Turman, which caused Morgan County fans to erupt in the stands.
Although North Hall was a tough competitor throughout the entire game, Morgan County appeared to be able to keep them at approximately a five-point distance for most of the first half.
Just before the end of the second quarter and still ahead 27-25, Brown took the ball down the entire court to execute a masterful layup to extend the Dogs’ lead.
Before the crowd had time to sit back down after Tookie’s layup, Tookie, astonishingly, stole the ball on a North Hall inbound, got in the air before the buzzer, and shot a three-pointer to give Morgan a 32-25 lead.
Brown’s five points in as many seconds at the end of the first quarter looked like a sign that Morgan County would start to pull away from North Hall in the second quarter. In fact, the opposite happened.
The Trojans’ defense rallied in the third quarter; the Dogs scored only four points in the third quarter, which allowed North Hall to catch up and tie the game 36-36.
Morgan County couldn’t hunker down in the fourth quarter enough to build up another lead, and four successful foul shots by North Hall in the last quarter were enough to give the Trojans the winning lead.
As Morgan County fans began to file out of the stands and the gym, hardly believing the numbers on the scoreboard, they were walking out at the end of an impressive and memorable season of Morgan County basketball.
Congratulations on the season, guys. It has been a great year.
Printed in the February 28, 2013