The Morgan County Bulldogs boys basketball team has taken their act south of the Georgia border to the Kingdom of The Sun basketball tournament hosted by Vanguard High School in Ocala, Florida.
Entering the tournament Morgan County was 6-2 on the young season with their only two losses coming to Berkmar in overtime and Greater Atlanta Christian.
The Bulldogs first opponent was Dr. Phillips (Orlando) in the first round. Morgan County advanced in the winners bracket after a 58-54 win. CJ Turman led Morgan County with 22 points while Tookie Brown scored 20 in the win. The Bulldogs used a 22 point second quarter to lead 32-30 at the half. Then the Bulldogs outscored Dr. Phillips 26-24 in the second half, only allowing eight points in the third quarter, to earn the win. RaShawn Powell led Dr. Phillips with 24 point and was 10-16 from the foul line.
“We’ve had a great visit so far and the competition has been outstanding and we are just really excited and honored to be able to participate in this tournament”, Morgan County Head Coach Charlemagne Gibbons said.
In the quarterfinals Morgan County went up against Ballard (Louisville, KY), who led Morgan County 27-23 at halftime after throwing what seemed like five alley oops in the first half. In the third quarter Ballard increased their lead with scoring in the post and on the perimeter and increased their lead to 12 at one point and led 49-39 at the end of the third quarter. Kalan Martin scored 13 of his team high 21 points in the third quarter for Ballard. Throughout the fourth quarter Ballard kept their lead between five and nine points and advanced to the semifinals with a 64-57 win.
Mike William and Tookie Brown both finished with 12 points to lead Morgan County in scoring while CJ Turman finished with 10 points.
“We played a great opponent tonight. We didn’t make some of the open looks that we had especially in the third quarter. We just didn’t convert enough of the opportunities we had and they did, they made a couple of big time shots down the stretch”, Morgan County Head Coach Charlemagne Gibbons said.
“We come to these tournaments because we feel we have a state championship caliber basketball team so you want to be pushed every night so that is why we come to events like this to try to get better. I feel better about my guys after this game than I did before this game because they showed a lot of fight to get back in the game and make it a war and that is what we want to do every night out and think that was step in the right direction and we just have to be ready to play tomorrow night”, Gibbons added.
Morgan County will play Vanguard in the losers bracket Friday evening. Ballard (KY) will play West Gadsen in the semifinals. In the other semifinal Deerfield Beach will play LaSalle (Cincinnati).