By R. Alan Richardson
What else is new for our girls’ basketball team? Winning Region Championships certainly is not. For the fourth straight season, Head Coach Josh Reeves took the Lady Dogs to the Promised Land. This trip was the road less traveled. In past years Morgan County has been the team to beat coming in as the number one seed. However, this season the girls didn’t quite put things together until it really counted. They were ranked number three going into the Region 8-AAA Tournament this past week and were the underDOGS for a change.
The girls took out East Jackson Tuesday in a lopsided 62-25 victory before dispatching of the number two Hart County Lady Bulldogs 50-43 in a tight game. One extracurricular seen after the Hart game came after Reeves promised his squad to take a dip in the pool if they pulled out the win. He pulled off a perfect back flip when he was pushed into the pool by one of his players. The splash assured the girls a shot at Franklin County in the finals for another Region Championship.
Nobody in the gym would have expected what happened in this one. It was total domination on the part of the Lady Dogs as they pulled off the 30 point win 57-27. The name of this game was DEFENSE. Morgan put on a defensive clinic by absolutely swarming Franklin’s All-Region selections. Their man-to-man and zone trap stifled Franklin and forced them into poor shot selection along with turnovers that led to easy shots and layups for Morgan.
Morgan jumped out to a 14-8 advantage after the first quarter and never looked back. All-Region selection Tot Davis hit two threes and Lou Reid hit one of her own as well as another basket that carried Morgan through the first period offensively.
It was a low-scoring affair through the half with the defense holding Franklin to a mere 12 points in the half behind Aris Hubbard’s tenacious play and Morgan’s size in the paint. Both teams looked nervous and the score showed it at 19-12 at the half.
The sleeping DOGS woke up after intermission when Davis and Hubbard took things into their own hands. Davis had nine and Hubbard four in the third quarter. The team scored 20 in the period while holding Franklin to only ten for the 39-22 lead. The score ballooned in the fourth quarter as it appeared the Lady Lions went into shock and really didn’t look like they were even trying to compete. Final score was 57-27.
The final score was an explanation point that made a statement for Morgan. “We are back and teams better watch out.” Many fans have felt that this game was the best defensive effort by the Lady Dogs all season. This time the entire squad and coaches dove into the pool to celebrate the fourth championship in a row for the Lady Hoop Dogs!
With the win the girls will now play the first round at home on either February 17 or 18. Times have not yet been posted on the GHSA website.