By R. Alan Richardson sports editor
Both Morgan basketball squads finished the season with identical 12-0 8-AAA records to take the number one seed going into this weekend’s region tournament with wins over Hart County on Tuesday. Both teams are currently ranked number one in AAA in state polls with high expectations going into the playoffs.
The girls’ game pitted Morgan against the number three or four ranked team in AAA (depending on which poll you looked at). Hart had taken the Lady Dogs to the limit in their previous meeting at Hart so it was a huge game for the home team. However, the girls were up to the task. Coach Josh Reeves said, “We were super prepared and played almost perfect in the first quarter. Our execution was great and the different press we put in really gave them problems. In our first game they went over the top against our 1-2-2 so we used the 2-2-1 three quarter press and it created a lot of turnovers for us.”
Morgan led 21-6 after the first period with excellent outside shooting that resulted in five three pointers. They led 40-24 at the half, and then exploded in the third to take a 26 point 62-36 lead after three. Tat Davis had a monster third quarter with 12 to lead the charge. Leading scorers for the game were Davis with 23, Pumpkin Brown with 14 and Sarah Couch with six. Reeves again commented, “Sarah hit two big three’s in the first half that really gave us a lift. When you can bring in somebody like her to give Tat, Sydney (Nash), or Pumpkin a breather, we don’t miss a beat when she plays like that. She’s also a great defender. This is just a testament to how hard this team works. We’re built for late game runs with our conditioning and depth,” added Reeves.
Morgan’s seven seniors that were honored include Brown, Nash, Taleah Adams, Jateariea Bryant, Brittany Belser, Tyra Smith, and Myishia Williams. Note: At the region tournament meeting last Sunday, Brown and Davis were named co-players-of-the year for 8-AAA. Also, both teams have qualified for the state tournament due to their first place finish. The teams will play in the semi-finals of tournament play on Friday at 7 and 8:30 P.M. at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs.
The hardcourt boys also only had one game this week and blew out Hart County on senior night 73-40. Morgan finished the season at 20-4 overall, 12-0 in the region, and also ranked number one in the state in the final polls in AAA. Jordan Ford was on fire with 32 points followed up by Jailyn Ingram with 19 and Emmanuel Little with 10 to round out the scoring. The Dogs graduate five key seniors that were honored on Tuesday. They are Ingram, Little, Ford, Devorious Brown, and Tradarious Briscoe.