By R. Alan Richardson
It was a night to honor Morgan County’s six girls’ senior basketball players. However, Taylor Wilson, Tamia Benford, Neshay Cobb, Kourtney Elder, and Arkisha Williams (inj) were disappointed in the outcome of a senior night loss to Jones County by the score of 66-54. The score wasn’t indicative of the game. Morgan missed some late free throws while watching the Lady Grayhounds go 6-6 from the line in the waning moments for the win. This coming against a number three-ranked Jones County team that is 20-3 on the season that whipped the Lady Dogs a week ago by 25. Morgan and the seniors played well on their recognition night.
Tuesday’s matchup with the number two team in AAA gave Coach Timothy Roop cause for positivity. A slow start out of the gate doomed the Dogs as they trailed 19-5 after the first period. Over the final three periods MOCO outscored the Lady Dragons 44-43.
Trailing 32-19 at halftime, Morgan cut the lead to 10 in the third period when Benford reeled off 13 of her team-high 20 points for Morgan. They then cut the lead to seven at 43-36 on an inside offensive rebound and put back by Cobb. It was 48-38 at the end of three quarters of play.
The Dragons scored the first six of the final period to push the lead to 16 and it proved too much for the team to recover from. The loss between the top two teams in 8-AAA moved Morgan’s record to 6-4 in Region play.
Morgan got back in the win column by defeating Jackson County Friday 42-23 in one of their best defensive efforts of the season. The Lady Panthers never scored in double digits in any quarter of the lopsided win. They stand at 7-4 now with one remaining game on the schedule with Monroe Area as of this writing. That game was played Tuesday after the Morgan County Citizen deadline.
When the Dogs finally got to Saturday’s final game of the week, they went up against another tough opponent. Jones got the win to move Morgan’s overall season record to 11-13. Leading the charge were Benford with 24 points, Shay Brown with 15, and Cobb with eight. Jones County’s freshman sensation Jada Morgan led the scoring with 26.
Roop talked about the week like this, “I am not sure that any coach would say this after going 1-2 during a week, but my goodness I absolutely love the way we are playing right now. If you watch film from game one until now we are a completely different team! This week we stood toe to toe with the “big dogs” from AAA and AAAAA. With one or two more shots falling we could have had a 3-0 week. This group of girls will be more than battle tested. They are hungry and see no reason why we can’t play for the region championship and beyond.”