By R. Alan Richardson
In a week that saw the Morgan County Middle School basketball teams take wins over Carson Middle School (Greene County) and Youth Middle School in Walton County, the teams walked away with a perfect 4-0 mark. Both games were played at home.
Wednesday the girls took a 44-29 win that was sparked by a 20-0 third quarter run. In that quarter, Destiny Hunter, Precious Benford, Tameria Smith, and Kamora Smith combined to score all 24 points as they put the game away.
Morgan trailed 7-5 after the first quarter of play, but tied things up at the half 16-16. An all-out blitz from their full court pressure in the second half turned the tide for the Lady Dogs. Hunter led the scoring with 14 followed by Benford’s 10 and T. Smith’s nine. Smith’s defense in the second half was also key as Coach Brian Cousins employed a box-and-one defense on Greene’s top scorer.
The boys also got the win over the Tigers 46-26. Antavious Elder had his way in the first quarter and throughout the game by muscling up six points to put the Dogs up 14-6. Reggie Ross was also instrumental in the lead with four points of his own. Ross continued his hot shooting in the second period with seven points including a three-pointer to give MOCO a 22-10 halftime lead that they would not relinquish. Christian Johnson also had five in the second.
The lead swelled to 14 after three periods of play 32-18 before the Dogs turned on the jets for the 20-point victory. Ross ended the night with 17 and Elder with eight. Little Jalen Elder, always a crowd favorite, got a bucket late in the game as did Noah Young to add to the final score.
Coach Bo Larkins seemed highly pleased with his team’s progress thus far. He said, “We had our best week of the season so far, getting two home wins against Greene and Youth. In both games we set the tone early by bringing defensive intensity. The team defense led to easy baskets on the other end. Both wins were truly a team effort as our guards kept guys out of the paint and our bigs rebounded the basketball well. The guys are buying in to doing the small things it takes to win games. I am very proud of the strides our guys have made throughout the season.”
Both teams took wins over Youth on Friday. The boys won 43-38. The girls took a 37-16 victory.
Next up the teams will travel to Monticello on Jan. 23 and Carver on Jan. 25. Both sets of games will begin at 4:30 for the girls with the boys games slated for 5:45 p.m.