The Blue Tide boys played their second key region game in the matter of three days and needed their A-game as they were down two important players. They overcame the adversity to pull away from the Pierce County Bears 63-51.
The Tide started off hot as senior Tostadas Pouncey hit a big three point shot to get the scoring going for the Tide. Despite them missing their next six three point attempts, the Tide raced out to a big lead in the first quarter.
Long County went on two separate 7-0 runs to jump out to a 14-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game. Junior Cameryn Johnson added five points with a big drop-step dunk and then an And-1 play on the next position.
With a 16-8 lead going into the second quarter, the home team went on their third 7-0 run of the game and eventually turned it into a 13-2 run to go up 29-12 with two minutes left in the first half. The Bears, however, fought back to close their deficit to just ten points with a 7-0 run of their own.
The Bears got within double digits for the first time since the start of the second quarter as they extended their run to 9-0 in the early goings of the second half. The third quarter ended up being back-and-forth as the Tide pushed back out to a 10-point lead.
The third quarter saw both teams score 15 points each as the score stood at 44-34. The Bears got themselves within six points as they hit their first two three-point shots at the start of the fourth quarter.
With a 46-40 lead, the Tide began to pull away and never let the Bears get within eight points again. It was tough defense and some good keepaway on offense that allowed the Tide to come away with the 63-51 win.
Johnson led the team with 16 points and seven rebounds. Pouncey was 50 percent from three-point range and scored 15 points. Senior Josh Valenbrum bounced back from his Tuesday night showing to score 11 points with a big three point shot in the fourth quarter.
The Tide have now won their sixth straight game to get to 7-3 and 3-0 in Region 1-AAA. The Tide now take over sole first place in the region and with only region games left in the regular season, every game is important.
Long County will host Appling County next Friday in a huge game. The girls will be eligible to return to play on Monday, January 25 as they will host Brantley County.