By R. Alan Richardson
Morgan County’s Middle School basketball teams took on the Carver Middle School Wildcats this past Friday. The girls came away with a 34-23 win while the boys lost 45-36. The Piedmont Athletic Conference contest was played at MCMS to a near capacity and highly vocal crowd. This small venue makes for some exciting action with the compact seating putting the fans right on top of the game.
Coach Brian Cousins’ girls had to come from behind in the second half to get the victory by employing a full-court pressure defense that was the difference in the contest. Morgan’s poor free throw shooting in the first twelve minutes kept Carver in the game, but the second-half play of Destiny Hunter, Mya Smith, and Andrea Cooper proved too much in the end.
Hunter led all scorers with 14 followed by Cooper’s nine and Smith’s six to lead the charge.
After trailing 15-11 at halftime, the Lady Dogs put on the pressure and took the lead at 18-17 with a little over four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Smith’s bucket was the third straight layup that came off of turnovers to put Morgan in the driver’s seat. Morgan led 22-19 after three stanzas. The fourth quarter was all Dogs as they outscored the Lady Wildcats 12-4 over the final six minutes for the win. Cousins commented, “We started a little slow, but turned it around in the second half with some pressure defense. We really made some strides learning how to pressure the offense, which led to turnovers and layups. We still need to learn to make in-game adjustments, but are getting better daily.”
The young boys’ squad didn’t fare quite as well. After losing 14 eighth graders to graduation a year ago, the Bo Larkins coached team is still a work in progress. Carver jumped out to a 15-7 advantage after the first quarter and never looked back.
Morgan did play better in the second half after falling behind by 23 at intermission. Morgan outscored Carver 20-8 over the final two periods to make things interesting.
Scoring for the boys included: Harrison Peaster-4, TJ Thompson-12, Blake Gilbert-2, Maleek Nash-2, Mason Jackson-4, Scooter Richardson-4, Antavious Elder-5.
The next home game for the teams will be Friday against Social Circle with tipoff slated for 4:30 at Morgan County Middle School.