The Morgan County Lady Dogs continued region play last week with two games that were as opposite as possible. Tuesday night the Lady Dogs dominated the Academy of Richmond County Lady Musketeers by over 50 points then fell to the Lady Razorbacks of Cross Creek by 32 points.
Last Tuesday, the Morgan County Lady Bulldogs once again had to face a region opponent missing several key players. The Lady Musketeers of the Academy of Richmond County came knocking and the Lady Dogs gave them an unfriendly welcome. The Lady Dogs 3/4 court press worked flawlessly and they opened the game with a 21-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 26-5. The second quarter saw that lead double despite releasing the pressure. The Lady Dogs danced to the locker room with a 52-10 lead.
Normally only scoring six points in a quarter would cause a coach to go mad, but in this game, that wasn’t a big deal for the Lady Dogs as they matched the offensive output of ARC in the time-shortened third period. The fourth was more of the same as Lady Dogs Head Coach Tim Roop put in some of the less experienced players to give them the opportunity to gain some floor time. MCHS closed the night with a 76-24 win on the strength of 24 points from Shay Brown, 16 from Precious Benford, and 10 from Destiny Hunter.
Friday night, the Lady Dogs were on the road again. This time at Cross Creek to take on the No. 6 ranked Lady Razorbacks. The Lady Dogs were looking to avenge their Jan. 15 loss at home.
A bounce pass from Precious Benford to Destiny Hunter got the Lady Dogs on the board two minutes in. Cross Creek’s offense was clicking as they slashed across the lane to create mid range jumpers. MCHS tried a 3/4 court press to slow the Razorbacks with limited success as Cross Creek continued to hit jumpers at the free throw line. A late three from the Lady Razorbacks put them up 19 after the first period, 21-2.
The CCHS defense continued to keep MCHS off the scoreboard in the second quarter picking up a man-to-man defense before the top of the key. This caused the Lady Dogs to try to shoot themselves out of trouble but the shots weren’t falling. Cross Creek left for the locker room with a 32 point lead, 38-6, in a game where officials played a role on both ends of the court.
Peyten Spain’s three with six minutes left in the third got the Dogs rolling. On the next possession, Miracle Hunter got fouled on a turnaround jumper and hit the basket and the free throw to help match the scoring of the first half. The Lady Dogs moved the ball better in transition but could not stop the Lady Razorbacks offense. At the end of three, Cross Creek held on to a 30 point lead, 49-19.
The Lady Dogs continued to fight despite the score, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Precious Benford had a block on the defensive end then took a pass for a layup and got a foul. She made both free throws. MCHS is hitting free throws at a record pace at this point in the season. They shot 80 percent on the night. Peyten Spain played an amazing game on the defensive side both stopping the ball and altering Lady Razorback shots. The Lady Dogs fell 59-27 to a very athletic and fundamentally sound Cross Creek team.
After the game, MCHS Head Coach Tim Roop was blunt. “It was an ugly loss but that doesn’t change what we need to do… It’s got to come through this gym (Cross Creek) if we are going to do something in Region.”
Peyten Spain and Miracle Hunter led the Lady Dogs in scoring with seven followed by Shay Brown with five. The Lady Dogs continue region play Friday night at Harlem High School at 6 p.m. in the final game of regular season play.