By R. Alan Richardson
After playing six games and two tournaments in 10 days, the Morgan County High School boys’ team came away unscathed. They took home the bacon at the Palmetto Christmas Classic in South Carolina the first weekend and got another Championship win at their own Sweet South Classic Tournament this past Saturday night. The boys disposed of Apalachee in the first round 72-61, took down Greene County 91-56, and got the Championship win over Druid Hills 68-58. Tyrin Lawrence was named Tournament MVP and Stevin Greene got the nod for All-Tournament team for his three-game performance.
In the Palmetto Tournament, the Dogs snuck by Ridgeview in triple overtime 89-87 to get the first round win and held off a hot-shooting Holly Springs in the fourth quarter for another close victory 60-58. In the finals Morgan took on Blythewood to grab the Championship hardware 77-66. All three of these teams have winning records in AAAA or AAAAA and two were highly ranked within their classifications.
In the first round of the Sweet South Classic, Morgan took on Apalachee. The Big Three of Alec Woodard, Lawrence, and Greene started showing their stuff early scoring 12 of Morgan’s first 14 points. Jordan Huff came in off the bench and got a quick three points, but the Wildcats scratched their way to a 17-17 tie midway through the second period. The Dogs held a slim 33-27 margin at the break.
Lawrence came out on fire in the third quarter scoring 12 of his 18 points to push the lead to eleven at 53-42 going into the final period. The fourth was all Morgan. Desmond White, AJ Brown, and Trent Folds all nailed three-pointers as the lead swelled to 21. Nolan Causwell played big down the stretch with two dunks and Aaron Mullins got in on the action with a late basket.
Great crowds were seen throughout the tournament, but the biggest crowd came in Friday night to watch two old rivals renew their bonds on the hardcourt. A much-improved and top-10 ranked Greene County team was slated to faceoff with the Dogs for the first time since 2006. The Tigers came in with a new coach and a renewed swagger. That swagger quickly faded as MOCO put on a high-flying, three-point shooting performance that proved why they are ranked number one in AAA.
Greene came out shooting and Lawrence came out dunking in the first quarter to take a 19-12 first quarter advantage. Woodard joined his two amigos in the second to outscore Greene 27-14 to take a 46-26 lead into halftime. It was over at that point.
The highlight show continued in the second half. Morgan never took their foot off the gas until 2:49 remaining in the fourth leading 89-48. Causwell again had a nice game and is improving with every outing. Lawrence had 19 and both AJ Brown and Woodard had 13 in the win.
The Championship game Saturday night was a good one with AAAAA opponent Druid Hills. The Dogs got the 10-point victory and another trophy for their long week of work.
After an early 6-3 Red Devils lead, Morgan went on a 12-0 run sparked by Greene and Lawrence hitting back-to-back three’s. It was 17-13 after one quarter. The Dogs played well, but could never quite put the visitors away. They led by six at the half and 14 after three quarters of play. Druid Hills cut the lead to 10 in the fourth, but that was as close as they would get. The game ended with 32.7 seconds remaining when an altercation erupted behind the Red Devils’ bench. The final was 68-58.
Morgan will play again on Friday, January 4 at home vs. Monroe Area.