By R. Alan Richardson
Our JV basketball teams swept against long-time rival Monroe Area Friday winning both games in different scenarios. Brett Bell’s girls blasted the Purple Hurricanes 41-7 while Milfred Franklin’s boys took a 48-36 victory.
The girls pitched a shutout in the first quarter by outscoring Monroe 11-0 and the rout was on. The lead could have been even bigger if the Lady Dogs could have been more accurate at the free throw line. They went 5-10 in the period and had a balanced scoring attack throughout the period and the game.
Morgan’s offense went cold in the second quarter with the only points coming off a three-pointer by Taylor Wilson. It was 14-2 Morgan at the break.
The second half was all Bulldogs when Bell went into a half-court trap that created havoc for Monroe. The press created turnovers and easy layups that led to a 29-5 Morgan margin after three quarters. The Lady Dogs continued their offensive attack scoring the first ten points of the fourth period that led to the final of 41-7.
Contributing for MOCO were Wilson, Tamia Benford, Kourtney Elder, Neshay Cobb, Victoria Chapman, Tiana Adams, Arkisha Williams, Kayce Kimsey, and Macie Brown.
Tough defense and free throws were the name of the game for the boys’ matchup. Morgan stuck with an aggressive 2-3 zone while Monroe Area played man-to-man. The defenses kept the scoring low in the first quarter and the Dogs trailed 6-4 after eight minutes.
However, Morgan picked things up in the second period and took an 18-11 advantage at the half. With the score at 27-13 in the third quarter, Monroe went to the full court “Hack-a-Shaq” game. If you don’t what that strategy is here’s the skinny. When Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) was playing in college and the NBA, it was common to simply foul the “Big Fella” when he got the ball instead of letting him get a dunk. He was an awful free throw shooter and teams preferred to put him on the line.
Monroe’s strategy resulted in a free throw shooting contest for the entire fourth quarter. Morgan did not make a field goal until less than four minutes were on the clock. The Dogs shot 21 free throws making 14 of those attempts that were enough to seal the deal and the win 48-36. In all there were 51 total free throws shot by both teams combined with Morgan going 20-33.
Next up for the teams will be a home game against Franklin County on Friday, January 18. Start time is 4:15 for the girls and 5:30 for the boys.