Although they didn’t bring home another region title last week, the Long County High School boys basketball team did secure a spot in the state tournament by finishing third in the region contest.
On Friday, the Blue Tide faced arch-rival McIntosh County in the semi-finals. The Bucs came into the game as the No. 2 seed, having defeated Long County twice earlier in the season.
The Blue Tide’s Justin Boyd came out hot and found his three-point shot early. However, the Buccaneers were on top 39-31 at the half.
Both teams fought hard in the second half, but the Tide were unable to gain any ground. On the other side of the court, the Bucs were relentless. The five McIntosh starters all scored in the double digits, contributing to their squad’s 73-62 win over Long County.
For the Tide, Donte Brown had 14 points, and Justin Boyd had a tournament-high 30 points.
McIntosh’s top scorers were Mario Dixon with 24 points, Jackie Walthour with 18, James Jones with 11, and Kion Butler and Barry Deverger with 10 each.
On Saturday, the Blue Tide took on Pierce County to determine the tournament’s third- and fourth-place slots. During the regular season, the teams split wins, but, like the Tide, the Bears were coming off a disappointing loss to the Benedictine Cadets.
Long County defeated Pierce County 64-50 to secure the tournament’s No. 3 spot.
In the finals, McIntosh County took on Benedictine in what could be called a grudge match. During the regular season, the teams split their series, so last week’s game was up for grabs.
The Bucs came out strong and took a 14-point lead at the half. They never looked back. McIntosh County went on to win,69-53, for the Region 2-AA Title.
In the game, Buccaneers Dixon scored 20 points, Walthour put up 13 and Jones had 10. For the Cadets, Daniel Coursey had 14 points and Jibri Bryan added 18.
In the girls finals, Appling County won a 44-43 nail-biter over the Lady Bucs.
The Blue Tide move on to the state tournament this Friday. For more state tournament team and game information, see Friday’s Coastal Courier.