Every team has its own version of celebrating the loss of their graduates. Morgan County Middle School’s basketball, cheerleading, and step team members who will be headed to MCHS next year were honored between games Monday in the final home game of the regular season. The honorees celebrated in winning fashion by taking two games against visiting Carver Middle School from Monroe. The girls stayed undefeated with a 42-18 lopsided win while the boys pulled away in the second half to win 44-23.
MOCO’s girls continue their stellar play with little resistance along their way this season and Monday’s game was more of the same. However, this one started out a little slow for the Lady Pups as Carver hung around for the first quarter. The score was close and Morgan even trailed 4-0 before they got things going in the second quarter. After six minutes of play Morgan had pulled ahead, but two late free throws by the Lady Wildcats brought them closer at 11-8. After the break the full court pressure from Morgan led to some takeaways and easy layups that resulted in an 11-1 run. It was over from that point on as the girls put Carver in their rear view mirror and coasted to the easy victory. At halftime it was 29-11 and after three quarters the team led 42-11 holding Carver scoreless in the period. The fourth quarter was shortened to four minutes in mercy-rule fashion with all the substitutes getting into the game. The game ended 42-18.
Morgan’s boys started a little slow as well but still led after one quarter 9-4. The second quarter belong to the Dogs who took a 21-11 advantage into halftime. Marquavious Wright had a brilliant third quarter after being coupled with two fouls in the opening two minutes of the contest and sitting out the remainder of the first half. His explosiveness off the dribble and on the offensive glass started a 14-point surge for MOCO that put Carver away. He had six straight points during that barrage of scoring. Reggie Ross was also impressive in his substitute role in the second half. Morgan doubled the score to 38-19 after three quarters that led to the 44-23 final tally.
Morgan’s boys finished off last week with two big conference wins over Youth 44-28 and Greene 41-24. Coach Bo Larkins talked about the week of games, “We finished the week strong getting two wins heading into the most important week of the season with the playoffs right around the corner. Our guys are buying into their roles more and more every game. We are getting comfortable and the team is embracing our team identity.” Larkins will have his hands full next year as the Middle School team will graduate 14 of 16 eighth graders. This group will be another one to watch as they progress to the high school and varsity action. It is a talented group of athletes that will be fun to watch mature as the Bulldogs continue to reload.
The Piedmont Athletic Conference basketball tournament will begin this Saturday, Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. at MCHS and continue through Tuesday at MCMS with the girls’ semifinals, Wednesday at MCHS for the boys’ semifinals, and finish up with the championship games to be held at MCHS February 10. Brackets have been published, but seeding will not be completed until all regular season games for all teams are finalized.