Dogs continue dominance in region play

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With wins over Hart County 56-38 and East Jackson 69-41, the Morgan County Bulldogs have extended their 8-AAA Region record to 8-0 with only two games remaining.  This past Tuesday the Dogs played Jackson County at home in their final regular season game on senior night (details not available at press time) and will finish up the regular season schedule with Monroe Area Friday, Feb. 2.  MOCO has wrapped up the number one seed going into the Region Tournament even before these two games are played.  They have also sewed up a spot in the State Playoffs regardless of tournament results.  The Region Tournament will be held again at Emmanuel College to determine seeding and Tournament Champions starting February 6.  Times for Morgan County games will not be determined until all regular season play has been completed.

This week Morgan waltzed through the second-place Bulldogs of Hart County with the usual cast of characters doing their thing.  Alec Woodard got 21 points while continuing his sharp-shooting from the outside.  He went 8-14 from the field and 3-for-5 from behind the three point line while grabbing eight rebounds and getting five steals.  Anthony Cooper had 12 to go along with his 10 boards and three assists while Tyrin Lawrence added 11 having to sit out some minutes due to foul trouble.

Many thought that Hart might give Morgan a run for their money Tuesday.  They ran into a very proud team coming off their first loss of the season to Newton who was out to prove a point.  They are still the team to beat in 8-AAA.  Morgan put on a defensive clinic in the first quarter holding their opponent scoreless taking a 12-0 lead after the first quarter.  Hart made a five point run in the second quarter to close the gap to 16-9 before Morgan called timeout and scored the next eight to take a 2­4-11 lead into the half.  Cooper, Woodard, and Lawrence carried the team offensively.  After KJ Wyatt hit two free throws to start the game, the trio scored the rest of the team’s 22 during the first 16 minutes of play.

Morgan continued to pour it on in the second half to lead by 30 after three quarters 56-36 before eventually winning by 18.  Morgan did not score in the fourth quarter as several substitute players cleaned up the action in the final mercy rule time-shortened period.

In the East Jackson game it was Lawrence leading in the scoring column with 20 points while also being honored for getting his 1000th career point.  He joined teammate Woodard in the 1000 point club after Woodard reached the plateau earlier in December.  Coach Jamond Sims said, “After watching Tyrin score his 1000th point, I reflect on how good this group really could be.  Having two players to reach this goal in the same season, and the same age literally about 20 days apart is unique.  Not to mention, collectively the players are all about winning.”  Woodard had 16 and Austin Hoopengardner had a great night with nine points going 3-5 from beyond the arc.

Sims added, “This coming week is an opportunity for us to check off one of our goals; finishing undefeated in region play.  Defensively, the guys have increased their focus and are getting close to being primed and ready.  More especially, we’ve seen our ball movement and offensive execution become more crisp over the last couple of outings.”

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