By Tom White
The Morgan County High School Lady Dogs basketball team spent the week on the road and brought back two region victories, knocking off Hephzibah on Thursday and Thomson on Saturday.
In a game that had two of the MCHS scorers, Precious Benford and Shay Brown, back in the line-up, the Lady Dogs showed poise as they were down 10 points to take a 44-41 region win.
The Lady Dogs were slow out of the gate and the Hephzibah 2-3 zone kept the Dogs on their heels all night and kept them off the scoreboard for the first two minutes of the game. The first period ended with Hephzibah leading 17-11. A slow second quarter had the teams trying to find momentum and Morgan County got back into the game only trailing by two at the half, 24-26.
The Lady Dogs used a man defense to confound the Lady Rebels in the third quarter. Unfortunately for Morgan County, they could not capitalize on the turnovers they created and Hepzhibah used a late quarter run to get a 10-point lead headed into the fourth.
The Lady Dogs’ speed and power paid off in the fourth period as the Hephzibah Lady Rebels started to get into foul trouble with three fouling out before the end of the game. With just over 4:30 left in the game, the Lady Dogs defense jumped up and shut down the Lady Rebels at 44 points. The Lady Dogs used free throws to their advantage as they made six free throws in the final 30 seconds to take the 46-44 win.
Morgan County was led by Shay Brown with 23 points, 12 from the free throw line, Miracle Hunter with seven, and Sidda Outlaw with six.
Saturday, the Lady Dogs finally got to play their game at Thomson High School after a couple of postponements. The Lady Dogs used strong defense and patience with the ball to walk away with another region win, 45-27. The Lady Dogs were led in scoring by Shay Brown who had 23 points including 12 from the free throw line. She was followed by Miracle Hunter who had seven points, all from the charity stripe, and Sidda Outlaw with six.
The MCHS zone press worked well to start the game with the Lady Dogs holding Thomson off the scoreboard for the first two minutes of the game. Miracle Hunter was a presence under the basket on both ends snatching rebounds. Thompson used a late three pointer to close the first period with a 5-7 lead. In the second quarter, the Lady Dogs transitioned into a man defense that gave Thomson fits. Shay Brown snagged two steals from Thomson to start the game but Morgan County could not separate themselves due to missed shots and turnovers of their own. The Lady Dogs got a little lead headed into the half as Brown hit a baseline jumper in the final seconds to extend the Morgan County lead to five, 17-12.
Taylor Frederick opened the second half with a three from the corner. Thomson’s speedy front court kept Morgan County on the ropes and committing fouls on most possessions as evidenced by the 13 free throw attempts in the third period alone. For Thomson though, the free throws were not a gift but instead missing 11 straight of those 13 did them no good. The Lady Dogs of Morgan County worked the ball well on the offensive side and got quality shots. Lady Dogs Head Coach, Tim Roop, commanded the team to “work the ball” and “get what we want.” The Lady Dogs extended the lead 38-17 at the end of the third period and cruised to the 45-27 win with Precious Benford putting the final nail in the coffin with a basket and free throw with 21 seconds to go in the game.
Scoring leaders for the Lady Dogs were Shay Brown and Miracle Hunter with 12 points each.
The Lady Dogs take to the road again on Friday to battle a tough Cross Creek team to attempt to avenge the Jan. 15 loss at home.