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McMinn Central girls' basketball coach Johnny Morgan, shown with his team during a state-tournament game last March, recently earned the 900th coaching victory in his 39-year career.

McMinn Central girls' basketball coach Johnny Morgan on Tuesday watched his 2016-17 team register the 900th coaching victory in his career. It was an 87-69 home win over rival McMinn County, with University of Tennessee at Chattanooga signee Jacobi Lynn leading the way with 42 points.

"A lot of our fans were excited about it. They wanted it to be against them," Morgan said, referring to the Lady Cherokees. "To me it was just another one. I don't care who we play, as long as it's another one."

Morgan played basketball at Tennesee Wesleyan for its legendary coach, Dwain Farmer.

"He had one goal, and that was to win every game," Morgan said. "Of course that's not possible, but you're always practicing to win."

Morgan's Chargerettes are 23-3 this year, District 5-AA regular-season champions and ranked No. 3 in the state in the most recent TSSAA Associated Press poll. He said the only season he's sure he'll want to coach beyond this one is the next one.

"I've done that for 39 years," Morgan said. "I'm going to do it as long as I enjoy it, and as long as I'm not a detriment to the program. Who knows how long that might last? I want to continue as long as I'm having fun and can contribute."

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Ooltewah's Aubbie Collake will be joining the UTC softball program as a preferred walk-on.

Collake to UTC

Ooltewah's Aubbie Collake has been offered preferred walk-on status with the UTC softball team and plans to sign a letter of intent next Thursday.

Collake said she attended a UTC hitting camp last winter and acknowledged the Mocs' coaches had shown some interest. However, she wasn't sure she wanted to stay that close to home for college. Then she noted that her grandfather, Danny Gray, who regularly attends her games, became ill and wouldn't be able to attend if she left home to go to school.

"One of the coaches actually contacted me and said they were super excited about me," Collake said. "Last Friday I went on a visit and realized it was the fit for me. I could tell right away."

Collake plays first base and, batting in the middle of the Lady Owls' lineup, has a .324 career batting average with 28 doubles, 13 home runs and 99 RBIs.

"I think she's plenty capable of playing at the college level, the way she can swing the bat," Ooltewah coach Jon Massey said. "She's a great kid and one of those who's serious about playing. I'm ready to see her senior year get started, and hopefully she'll get a lot of big hits for us."

Collake said UTC coach Frank Reed told her she would be able to compete for playing time like any other player, but there just wasn't any softball scholarship money currently available to offer. Regardless, Collake is expected to receive academic scholarship help as she majors in preprofessional biology.

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter @KelleySmiddie.

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