By R. Alan Richardson
In typical Jamond Sims humble fashion, he didn’t even let the cat out of the bag about his 200th win with his team until after the “W”. He said, “I didn’t want to tell them because I was more focused on our performance instead of the importance of the outcome.” The 43-year-old Head Coach, in his 11th season at the helm, got the milestone after taking down AAAAAA opponent Gainesville High School at the North Georgia University Showcase Tournament this past weekend 55-49. If your calculator works as well as mine does, that’s 20 wins per season over that span. Morgan County is blessed and fortunate to have a coach and man/mentor of his caliber leading our boys. Simply put, he’s a class act. Congratulations Coach!
The showcase at North Georgia was played in both their new 3000 seat convocation center and gymnasium, and also the old facility. Sims estimated that around 24-30 teams were invited to play before a host of in-state and out-of-state scouts that included the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Charleston Southern, Faulkner, and many others. Games began around 9:30 and extended into the early evening hours.
Sims talked about the win, “It was a win for the good guys, but not necessarily our best performance this season. We didn’t string together four strong quarters like we would have been pleased with. Sometimes it’s hard to tell teenagers not to play down to your competition. I’ve had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that we bring our A-game against quote/unquote better teams like inner city kids and play to another level while not doing that against lesser competition. As coaches, we try to get them to realize that at any given time you can be beat if you don’t show up like you should.”
According to the head man, Morgan came out extremely sluggish in the opening minutes and found themselves trailing by an 8-0 score before waking up. When asked who played well for the Dogs, Sims responded, “Well, that’s sort of a loaded question.” In the background, you could hear point guard Stevin Greene say, “Nobody,” to the laughter from his coach. “We did get some great minutes and play off the bench from AJ (Brown). It was definitely one of his better games. He rebounded well and was more aggressive in transition.” 6-8 transfer Nolan Causey also got his feet wet for the first time after gaining his eligibility. Sims was positive about his first minutes at North Georgia saying that he “Did well for his first rodeo. He’s coming along.”
The Dogs will travel to Franklin this week (last Tuesday) to take on the Lions in their first Region 8-AAA contest. According to Sims, that team is returning four or five players who started at some point in the season. “They will be in the conversation for one of the better teams in the Region this year.” Rankings on the MaxPreps website have Franklin at number 13 in AAA while Morgan is at number 5. (Morgan’s ranking is a head scratcher). But, as Sims said, “I’d rather you remember me at the end than in the beginning.”
Saturday, MOCO will travel to Huntsville, Alabama to match up against a Wenonah High School team that took Grayson (ranked seventh in Class 7A) to the wire losing 49-42. The Bragging Rights Showcase will feature some of the premier teams in both Georgia and Alabama. “They’re gonna be pretty good,” said Sims.
Morgan’s first home contest is scheduled for November 11 where the Dogs will again face off in a rematch with Franklin County. Girls JV will tipoff at 5:00 with varsity games to follow.