By R. Alan Richardson sports editor
The Morgan County boys’ basketball team had high hopes for a championship trophy last week before Cedar Shoals upended the Dogs on a last second driving layup bucket that spoiled their bid. The final score was 61-59 in a hard-fought game of state-ranked teams. Head Coach Jamond Sims talked about the championship game, “It was one of those games, even though we lost, that we got something out of it at the end of the day. It helps you test yourself and figure out where we are at the midseason point. As we head into our region test this week, we got a chance to see what our complement of full roster players looks like. We put ourselves in position to win, but Cedar made a great play with one second left on the clock.” The Jaguars are ranked fifth in the state in class 5A while Morgan is currently ranked third in 3A.
The Dogs came up two points short against a mighty talented basketball team. Sims added, “The one thing I think we can take away is to go back and redefine our defense. We have to be able to say we’re going to get a stop when we need it and need a possession late in the game. The guys also have to understand to play hard at all times. When you’ve won a lot of games the players tend to turn it on and off when they need to. I think you can tell a difference in how they are locked in and focused playing against top-notch opponents and I mean all of this in a positive way.” Ingram and Brown both made the All-Tournament team and deservedly so. They led the way in scoring with 22 and 12 respectively followed by Alec Woodard with 11. In earlier action in the tournament, Morgan easily handled Hampton in the first round but had a much tougher task with Stone Mountain in the second. The combination of athleticism, quickness, coaching, and great man-to-man defense gave the Dogs all they wanted. Morgan held a slim 11-10 lead after the first quarter. Had it not been for some easy missed opportunities, the lead could have been bigger.
Sims employed a 1-3-1 zone trap to start the second that gave Stone Mountain some problems, but the lead was still only seven at the half. Coming out of the half the Dogs went on a 17-9 run that eventually stretched out to an 18 point lead 48-30 in the fourth quarter. However, Stone Mountain was game and clawed back. The Panthers went on a run of their own cutting the lead to 58-52 with 33 seconds remaining before the Dogs finished them off 60-52. Morgan was led in the scoring column by Brown with 15 and DJ Fisher with 11. The Dogs face a tough schedule this week against Oconee on Tuesday, Hart on Friday, and number one ranked Laney Saturday.