Sports

Wed
17
Jan

Bulldogs stay undefeated as season heads down the stretch

Morgan County junior Tyrin Lawrence makes a layup attempt despite a couple of Monroe Area defenders in his way.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Morgan County’s boys basketball team lost in last season’s state championship game back in March. It appears the Bulldogs have resolved to avenge the pain of that loss by never losing again.

The Bulldogs improved to 18-0 Monday by beating Class AAAAAAA foe Meadowcreek during the MLK Classic at Morehouse College, 50-44 in overtime.

Before that game, Morgan knocked off Region 8-AAA rival Monroe Area last Friday in Madison. The Bulldogs beat the Hurricanes, 68-47.

Friday’s game looked as if it could have been a runaway victory for Morgan. Instead, the Bulldogs had to grind out a win in the fourth quarter.

Wed
17
Jan

Lady Dogs pull away from Monroe Area to pick up big region win

Lady Dogs senior Jamie Puckett attempts a put-back after rebounding a missed shot by one of her teammates.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Prior to last week’s game against Monroe Area, the Morgan County girls basketball team played in six games decided by 8 or fewer points. Morgan lost all but one of them.

The Lady Dogs’ showdown with the Lady Hurricanes was an 8-point game entering the fourth quarter. This time, though, it was Morgan on the positive side of the scoreboard. And this time, the Lady Dogs came through in the clutch, pulling ahead in the fourth quarter to win, 55-39.

Morgan head coach Joshua Reeves said he noticed the tight score entering the final period and hoped his players could avoid another heartbreaking finish.

“You look at it and you say, 'We've been here before. Let's see if we do it right this time,'” Reeves said. “Eventually, it's got to go your way. Eventually, you've got to close the game.”

Wed
17
Jan

LOA boys get first win, girls drop heartbreakers

Sophomore Devin Phenix takes – and makes – an acrobatic shot while driving into the paint against Washington-Wilkes.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Last Tuesday at Washington-Wilkes, it appeared as if the Lake Oconee Academy boys basketball team would finally get its first win of the season. It didn’t happen then, but it set the tone for the week and the Titans broke through Saturday.

LOA (1-14) played at Glascock County this past Saturday and won, 59-51. Both of the LOA’s boys’ victories over the past two seasons came against the Panthers.

The Titans fought hard at Washington-Wilkes last Tuesday and trailed just 29-22 at halftime. Unfortunately for them, the Tigers had a much more disciplined approach in the second half and pulled away to win, 70-40.

The same can be said about LOA’s game against Greene County last Friday. The in-county matchup was tight through the first half. The Tigers extended their lead in the second half, though, to win, 85-45.

Wed
17
Jan

Greene County basketball on a roll

Tigers junior Justin Mallory battles heavy pressure from Taliaferro defenders to attempt a short-range shot during last Saturday’s game.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Both of Greene County’s basketball teams sputtered out of the gate earlier this season but the Lady Tigers and Tigers are starting to hit their strides.

Greene’s girls (8-8) had won five of their last six games as of Monday. The loss during that stretch came last Tuesday at Glascock County, 45-37. The Lady Tigers’ wins came against Aquinas (twice), Washington-Wilkes, Lincoln County and, most recently, Lake Oconee Academy.

With their hot stretch, the Lady Tigers were 7-2 in Region 7-A as of Monday. That was good enough for fourth place in the region.

Thu
11
Jan

Morgan boys overcome stiff challenge from Patriots

After catching an alley-oop pass from Tyrin Lawrence, Bulldogs senior Anthony Cooper slams home a dunk to help pad Morgan’s lead in the fourth quarter.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The Heritage High School boys basketball team traveled to Madison last Saturday night and gave the Morgan Bulldogs its best effort.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, their best effort just wasn’t enough for Morgan, which won 64-49 thanks in no small part to the work of dynamic juniors Alec Woodard and Tyrin Lawrence. The duo combined for 43 points and buoyed the Bulldogs when they needed it most.

“They came out and they tested us early,” Lawrence said. “I'm just glad we found a way at the end to stretch out the lead and get a win.”

Morgan’s contest with Heritage was tight throughout. As a matter of fact, the Patriots led 10-8 through the first quarter and, at times, forced unusual errors by the Bulldogs.

Thu
11
Jan

Georgia suffers crushing loss to end season

Following Georgia’s heartbreaking loss, the Bulldogs, including junior wide receiver Terry Godwin, solemnly make their way back to the locker room.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

A storybook season for the Georgia football team ended on a sour note Monday night as the Bulldogs fell to Alabama in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game, 26-23.

No. 3 Georgia (13-2) led No. 4 Alabama (13-1) 13-0 at halftime. The points came off field goals from Rodrigo Blankenship (41 yards and 27 yards) and a touchdown carry by Mecole Hardman. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, those field goals represented missed opportunities to help put away the Crimson Tide, who came charging back in the second half.

Thanks in large part to the play of true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who played the entire second half after Alabama head coach Nick Saban and his staff benched Jalen Hurts, the Tide were able to rattle off enough scoring drives to draw the game even.

Thu
11
Jan

Patriots fall at Briarwood

Patriots senior Will McCommons fights around a Briarwood defender to attempt a shot close to the goal.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The Nathanael Greene Academy boys basketball team dropped its 12th game of the season last Friday at Briarwood Academy, losing 77-39.

Briarwood did not jump on the Patriots out of the gate. The Runnin’ Bucs led NGA just 18-16 through the first quarter. They used a handful of crucial 3-pointers and turnovers, though, to build a 48-27 halftime lead.

Despite a commendable effort in the second half, the Patriots failed to match Briarwood’s scorers. NGA head coach Derrick Williams said the game went about as expected given Briarwood’s talent.

Thu
11
Jan

NGA girls drop close game at Briarwood

Nathanael Greene Academy eighth-grader Tate McCord picks up a loose ball and drives into the paint to lay up an easy shot against Briarwood Academy.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Nathanael Greene Academy’s girls basketball team lost a heartbreaker last Friday at Briarwood, falling 37-31.

The Lady Patriots kept things close throughout but after several missed shots in the fourth quarter and a few turnovers, the Lady Bucs pulled away. Lady Patriots head coach Derrick Williams said the game might have gone the other way if not for those crucial miscues.

“I think we played a pretty good game first three quarters,” Williams said. “There were a couple things that could've gone our way that didn't. Toward the end of the game, I think we panicked a little bit and we forced it. We lost but I think we played a pretty good game.”

Thu
11
Jan

Lady Dogs drop another close game

Lady Dogs junior guard Santaji “Lou” Reid pops out to the corner and shoots a 3-poitner during the first quarter last Saturday against Heritage.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Morgan County’s girls basketball team fell to 4-11 last Saturday with a 53-47 loss to Heritage.

The loss was the Lady Dogs’ fourth in a row. The losing streak followed up a two-game winning streak in the Sweet South Classic tournament two weeks ago.

The Lady Dogs and Lady Patriots traded blows throughout the game. Neither team was able to take a clear advantage during the first half, as the second quarter ended with Heritage ahead just 27-21.

Morgan kept Heritage within its reach throughout the second half, too. The Lady Dogs trailed by 3 entering the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately for Morgan, a couple of missed shots and turnovers proved costly during the final period. The Lady Patriots took advantage of the Lady Dogs’ miscues and pulled ahead just enough to clinch the victory.

Thu
04
Jan

Morgan boys roll to Sweet South Classic title

Alec Woodard, a junior for the Bulldogs, lays in an easy shot in the closing minutes of Morgan’s win over KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. The bucket gave Woodard 1,000 career points.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The Morgan County boys basketball team had a Christmas break to remember, as the Bulldogs dominated their way through the Sweet South Classic.

The annual holiday tournament, held at Morgan County High School the week after Christmas, brought together talented programs from across the state. They were no match for the Bulldogs.

Morgan improved 12-0 on the season by knocking off KIPP Atlanta Collegiate, Butler and Morrow during the three-day tournament played last Thursday through Saturday.

Bulldogs head coach Jamond Sims said although there were rough patches during the tournament, he liked the way the Bulldogs wrapped up the Sweet South Classic with a 76-60 win against Morrow High School.

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