It wasn’t easy, but when all was said and done, the Long County High School boys’ basketball team did enough Friday to win a third straight game by defeating Toombs County 51-50.
The first period was about as close as it could be with the Bulldogs having a 12-11 lead at the end of the one. The Bulldogs held the lead until midway through the period when Robert Reed hit a 3-pointer to put the Tide on top 19-16. But the Dogs fought back and at the end of the half, they were back in front 26-24.
When the third period began, the Long County team couldn’t keep the ball, and the team from Lyons went on an 8-2 run to go up 34-26. But the Blue Tide continued to fight, narrowing the gap to 39-34 at the end of three periods.
After the break between the quarters, the Tide came out determined, putting together a 10-5 run to tie the game at 44. With 2:30 left in the game, Jamal Posey nailed a 3-pointer to give the Ludowici team a 47-44 lead. But with 1:40 left in the contest, Toombs County’s Malcolm Burley sunk his own long 3 to tie the game at 49.
When the Tide got the ball, they turned it over to the Dogs and fouled Burley. The Toombs player went to the line but only coverted one of two, giving the Lyons team a 50-49 lead with 20 seconds left.
The blue and white took the ball in, and moved down the court with the seconds ticking away. Henry Peoples managed to get under the basket with the ball, turned to his left and scored,
giving the Tide a 51-50 lead with 2 seconds in the game.
When the Bulldogs took the ball in, they passed it to Tomon Hampton who shot the jumper. When the ball left his hands it looked like it was going in, but instead bounced off the rim, giving the Tide the 51-50 win.
Leading the Tide in scoring was Jamal Anderson who had 11 points, followed by Henry Peoples who had 9, and then Jaylan Futch, Robert Reed and Yusuf Gooding, who each had 6. The leading scorer for the Bulldogs was Burley, who had 22 points.
"Earlier in the season [when we fell behind, the team] would have started arguing and fell apart. Now we’re keeping our head in the game and staying focused," Long County head coach, Deshon Brock said.
"A game like this helps our maturity as a team, makes us grow up faster so that when the playoffs get here we’ve had some positive experience in dealing with adversity," Brock said.
With the win, the Blue Tide’s overall record improves to 4-5, but in the games that really count — the region games — their record is 3-1. Long County has a break now, with their next game scheduled for Jan. 4 when they take on the Tattnall County Battle Creek Warriors.