By R. Alan Richardson
Jamond Sims has never been one to back down from the competition. From Friday to this past Tuesday, his squad will have played four games in five days. Sounds more like an NBA-type schedule than a high school one. The brutal schedule actually started last Tuesday with a home game vs. Hart County, this week’s number four team in AAA. The weekend saw the Dogs take on East Jackson at home and Jones County on the road. Monday’s contest was played against Jonesboro in the MLK Day Dream Challenge. Jefferson’s Dragons came to town on Tuesday. This game was after the Morgan County Citizen deadline and the results were unavailable. It’s been some busy schedule for these guys.
Unfortunately, MOCO was unable to get over the hump in the four games through Monday. The latest contest in the Dream Challenge was a two-point 58-56 loss to Jonesboro. The final dagger came when the Cardinals hit a last-second shot with a mere 1.8 seconds remaining in the contest. It was another close loss for a team that is much better than their record indicates at 2-17. They have lost multiple games by single digits.
The Hart County game showed why the visiting Bulldogs are so highly ranked. They actually fell two spots this week from number two to number four after their first loss at the hands of super rival Franklin County. Many believe Hart will be in the hunt for another State Championship this year after losing to Morgan County in the Championship game in 2019.
Morgan held their own in the first half on the inside play of Malachi Hardy and took a one-point 14-13 lead with 5:25 remaining in the first half. It was then that Hart went on a 22-0 run to end the half and that was all it took. The final was 65-37.
In a game of dubious officiating that had fans and coaches alike questioning calls, Friday’s game ended with Morgan falling 66-58 to East Jackson. AJ Brown was on fire in the first quarter scoring 10 of the Dogs’ 18. Brown made a driving layup with 3:00 minutes remaining to give Morgan a 15-13 advantage before the Eagles outscored the home team 8-2 to end the period. It was 21-18 after East Jackson hit a short jumper at the horn.
Morgan opened the second quarter with a seven-point run of their own to take a 25-21 lead before a technical foul was called on the Dogs. The good guys continued some solid play to go up by six at 29-23, but the Eagles closed out the half scoring the final nine points of the half. The back-and-forth score became 34-31 at the half.
The Dogs tied the score at 37-37 on a Desmond Wright jumper with 5:30 in the third, but East Jackson led at the end of three quarters 52-47. Marquavious Wright came up big for Morgan in that period with nine points.
The visitors went up by 10 with 5:06 left in the contest, and Morgan could only cut the lead to eight before a poorly judged foul created a technical foul when a Morgan player slapped the floor in frustration. That’s not against the rules by the way. Sims was unhappy to say the least. It was a tough way to end a tough night. Saturday, the Dogs lost to Jones County in Gray 62-44.
Next up for the Dogs will be Friday’s road game at Jackson County starting at 7:30 p.m. and a second contest with Jones County at home Saturday. Tipoff is also at 7:30 p.m.