The Morgan County Lady Dogs got a 67-54 home victory to move them to only one game behind Hart County for second place this week. It was a game that the girls needed to win and that’s what they did. It was also a game where tempers flared and five players were ejected (four from Hart and one from Morgan) making them ineligible for play for the next two games. The win gives the girls some confidence going into the tournament should these two teams meet in the semifinals.
The first quarter showed the strength of the Lady Bulldogs in orange. Their inside game. Hart’s inside presence was impressive with players at center and strong forward that dwarfed Morgan’s inside players. Aris Hubbard, Jamie Puckett, and Neshay Cobb put up a fight, but it was tough going early on as the period ended 13-10 in favor of Hart. Miranda Powell had six of those.
MOCO took the lead in the second quarter with junior Lou Reid scoring six and Powell hitting a huge three with eight seconds remaining in the half. It was 21-10 at intermission.
The second half was a marathon; partially because the officials let things get a little out of hand in the first half. In the third period, after a number of physical plays led to some pushing and shoving on the part of both teams, those five players were ejected. This led to nothing more than a free throw and jump ball contest the rest of the way as the refs tried to regain control. It was too late at that point. There were 48 free throws shot AFTER the scuffle.
However, Morgan hit 20-30 of their free throws to get the win. Hubbard ended the third scoring five straight, three of those coming on a three-point play with 2.1 seconds to take a 44-38 advantage going into the final period.
Powell was superb in the final quarter. She, along with Taylor Wilson accounted for 17 of Morgan’s final 35 points in the victory. The final was 67-54. Hart still has a remaining game with undefeated and region-leading Franklin County Friday. Should Morgan win out in their remaining schedule and Hart lose to Franklin, it would give the Lady Dogs sole possession of second place going into the tournament and an automatic bid into the State Tournament.
The Lady Dogs took on East Jackson Friday coming away with another region win 44-29 to up their record to 5-3 in 8-AAA play and 9-13 for the season.
Coach Josh Reeves commented on the week’s action, “We struggled a bit Friday without Lou (Reid) due to the suspension and Jamie (Puckett) with the flu. All of the girls stepped up and filled the gaps. Tamia Benford and Taylor Wilson scored 11 each against East Jackson and Aris (Hubbard) was dominant on the boards. Morgan Walker and Kourtney Elder also played very well Friday. Hopefully we can get a couple of wins here going into Region Tournament play.”
Next up for the Lady Dogs is the final regular season game at Monroe Area on February 2. Details on Tuesday’s senior night contest vs Jackson County will be in next week’s issue.