With solid wins over McIntosh and Appling counties, the Long County girls’ basketball team moved into the 10th spot in the AA state rankings, according to the recent MaxPreps/Power Poll.
Friday, the Lady Tide faced the Lady Buccaneers in Ludowici. In that game, Long County came out hot and took a 20-12 lead. But McIntosh County stormed back in the second period to narrow the gap to 28-24 at the break.
After defensive adjustments by head Coach Brian Todd, the Lady Tide outscored the visitors 24-12 in the third period en route to a 63-54 win.
“This was a big win,” Todd said. “I can’t remember the last time Long has defeated McIntosh County. We will enjoy this.”
He said that despite getting into early foul trouble, his team still found a way to win.
“Our depth played a huge role tonight. We had five different post players with two fouls before the half. So to be able to survive the first half and have the lead was huge,” Todd said.
Leading scorers for Long County were Katie Estill, who had 11 points, Ellexxis Wrighton with 12 and Mya Howard, who led all shooters with 21 points.
Though it may not show on the scoreboard, Todd also praised several players’ efforts coming off the bench.
“I thought Kat (Caitlin Wingate) gave us some good minutes off the bench. She rebounded well and played good defense, taking charge. Also, Anazha Kincaid also gave our guards a much-needed rest,” he said.
Saturday, the Lady Tide continued their winning ways, destroying Appling County in Baxley. Despite a good effort, the Lady Pirates were no match for Long County, falling 48-13. This victory extended the Lady Tide’s win streak to four games.
Todd said the Lady Tide were led by Mya Howard with 13 points and Jada Balsinger, who added 10. The coach said Trinity Hall had several key steals and blocks, bringing a lot of energy to the full-court press defense.
“Although we have won four games in a row, I still don’t think we’ve played our best basketball,” Todd said. “We are still looking for a complete game. Our next five games will be a good measuring stick for us.”
The two wins improved the Lady Tide’s overall record to 4-1 and their Region 2-AA mark to 2-0. This week, the Ludowici girls have two big region games. Tuesday, they faced No. 9 Vidalia (4-1 overall and 1-0 in the region). Results from that game will be in this Sunday’s paper.
Friday, the Lady Tide take on Bryan County (3-2 and 0-1) in Pembroke. That game begins at 6:30 p.m.