By Alvin Richardson
The Morgan County High School Lady Bulldog basketball team is off and running in 2016. The defending state champions of Class AAA played three games against stiff competition this past week as they begin their defense of that title and came through with two wins and a loss. On November 19th they fell to the Class 7A Archer Tigers 64-49 in a game played at Greenbrier High School in Augusta. Archer was 25-5 last year and lost to eventual state champion McEachern in the state tournament. After that opening loss Morgan posted a 60-45 win over Class 5A Miller Grove on November 2nd (Lithonia) in a game played in Rome, Georgia. Miller Grove went 15-13 last season and advanced to the state tournament. The busy week wound up with a 58-31 win over Class a private school Southwest Atlanta Christian. Southwest was 17-12 last year and advanced to the third round of the state tournament.
Archer 64 – Morgan County 49
In the season opener Morgan took on a top-tier Class 7A squad in the Archer Tigers of Lawrenceville. Georgia. Coach Josh Reeves noted about the game, “It was a tough loss because we got off to such a poor start. I felt like we should have competed better but they had a very good team with superior length. We played much better in the second half and pushed the tempo to our advantage. Tot (Tatyana Davis) scored 10 of her 14 points over the final two quarters and Sarah Couch scored 8 straight points at one point in the second half. In the end we had had dug too deep a hole to get out of.” Archer led 20-5 after one quarter and although the Lady Dogs played the rest of the game on even terms it was too much to overcome.
Morgan County 60 – Miller Grove 45
Morgan County posted their first win of the young season over Miller Grove and Coach Reaves commented, “We did some things better as a team especially in our press. We turned Miller Grove multiple times and jumped out to a good lead by halftime. We still could have executed better but this is what the early season games are about.” Morgan County led 19-6 after one quarter, built a 32-14 lead by halftime and cruised in for the win from there. Tatyana Davis led the scoring with 16 points Aris Hubbard and Lou Reid accounted for 9 points each, Autumn Woodard tallied 7 and Salina Fortune chipped in 6 points.
Morgan County 58 – Southwest Atlanta Christian 31
On November 25th Morgan won their second game in a row by blowing out the Lady Warriors of SWAC 58-31. Reaves thought his team played their best game of the year to date and said, “Our ladies finally put together a great overall team effort. We shared and distributed the ball well and often passed up good shots for better ones.” Morgan County’s Aris Hubbard scored a career high 15 points and dominated the glass with 11 rebounds. Toledo commit Tatyana Davis had another stellar outing with 20 points and played outstanding overall. Sophomore Lou Reid added 10 more points in the win.
Coach Reaves added a few thoughts about the season’s first week and said, “These games have helped us determine more of our identity going forward. It’s always a process figuring out what works best for each team. I liked our growth and we really saw some things that worked well and also some things that didn’t work as well. We have another big week ahead with three more games.
The Lady Dogs played Jefferson at home on November 29th and are scheduled to visit Cedar Shoals on Friday, December 2nd before returning home to face rival Putnam County on Saturday, December 3rd. The MCHS boys’ team will be involved in all those games as well as their season gets started.