By R. Alan Richardson SPORTS EDITOR
Morgan’s number one ranked boys moved to 16-4 overall and 8-0 in region play with a 79-54 win over Elbert County last Tuesday. The Dogs are leading the region by a large margin with their closest competitors Jackson County (5-4), East Jackson (4-4), and Jefferson (4-5) all vying for the two through four spots as the season winds down. Due to inclement weather this past weekend that caused a cancellation of the Jackson County and Buford games, the Dogs have four or five games remaining on the schedule depending on whether the Buford non-region game is rescheduled. The Jackson County game has been rescheduled for February 6th. Morgan was without the services of standout guard Devorious Brown who is out due to a twisted knee. Coach Jamond Sims said they are awaiting a doctor’s assessment last Monday to determine his return. Sims commented, “We want to make sure that he’s ready and healthy for the region tournament so we are certainly not going to rush it.” Morgan answered the next man up question by inserting Jordan Ford into the lineup. He and the rest of the team picked up the slack and cruised to the win. Sims said, “We moved Emmanuel Little to the point and junior guard Josiah Mitchell stepped up to give us some great production off the bench as our sixth man scoring 10 points.” Jailyn Ingram had a game high 21 followed by Alec Woodard with 14, and Little with 10. Sims observed, “Jailyn was our leader in assists and let the game come to him by being more patient. He didn’t force the issue and turned down a lot of shots trying to get everybody else involved.”
The Dogs jumped out to a first quarter 10 point lead at 22-12 with Ingram leading the way with eight points. Morgan went into the locker sitting on a comfortable 47-28 advantage mainly on the plays of Woodard, Mitchell, and Little. “In the game we limited Elbert to one shot and none on the defensive glass and that was the difference. We were able to speed them up by pressing them a little more, but we continue to try and be more selective about when we press to conserve some energy. The guys off the bench like Josiah and Quinn Williams gave us a lift with their rebounding and overall play,” said Sims. Morgan gave the Blue Devils a steady diet of pressure and half court man-to-man defense in the first half and then settled into their 2-3 and 1-2-2 zone defenses in the second half to secure the win. This week the Bulldogs will face Jefferson on Tuesday and Oconee County on Friday in two important region matchups.