Over the past few years, it seems that the Long County Lady Blue Tide basketball team has just been on the precipice of breaking through and making huge strides to being a competitor in region play. The team hopes that the 2020-2021 season is the year they will finally break out and with an alumnus now running the show, success could be just around the corner.
The girls are currently 1-2 after losing to Pierce County 57-42 on Saturday, November 21 and defeating Jeff Davis 45-25 on Monday, November 23. In the game Monday, sophomore Jada Young went for 22 points and 11 rebounds. Both of these games were part of the Hugh McBride Classic in Hazlehurst. They lost to Savannah Christian on Tuesday, November 24 53-41 in the Calvary Day Classic in Savannah.
Dwayne Reviere, who played for the Blue Tide in the 80s and has been an assistant coach with the boys’ team the last two years, took over for Bragg Thompson, who went 8-44 the last two seasons with a core group of young girls.
Most of those young players are now upperclassmen and Reviere seems to be excited for the team’s chances to make a run at a state playoff appearance, something the Lady Tide has not had since 2018. Despite losing Akiara Garland and Breyahn Maddox to graduation and Region 2-AAA First Team selection Ceci Burke to a military transfer, the team should have good group of players to lead them.
“We have six seniors returning year, only one of which was a regular starter (Tiniyah Smith),” Reviere said. “It’s hard to replace three starters of their magnitude, but we have junior Makayla Raimer back, as well as Jada Young, who saw extensive time last year as a freshman.”
Reviere is a gritty coach who focuses heavily on stout defense and being in great conditioned shape, but this is his first head coaching job at the varsity level. Despite this, he feels his assistant coaching experience and the ground laid by Thompson will lead to the team competing this year.
“In my first year, I want our girls basketball program to continue on what Coach Thompson started,” Reviere said. “He did a great job the past two years and I’m fortunate to be a recipient of the hard work he and the returning players committed themselves to. Another plus for the Lady Tide this year is now having a full staff of Long County alumni as assistant coaches Caela LaRochester and Shelby Mock both return for their third seasons as coaches for the Lady Tide.
With this, Reviere looks forward to the girls just working hard and trying to get better with every game.
“My expectations for this year are that these incredible young ladies, who I have the honor of coaching, will work hard to be the best that they can be,” Reviere said. “At the end of the season, when we look back at the games played, we can know in our hearts that we left it all on the floor.”
In the team’s scrimmage game on Tuesday, November 11 against Bryan County, a perennial power in girls’ basketball, the Lady Tide rolled to a 51-37 victory. In the game, Young led with 20 points and 12 rebounds while senior Rebekah Gordon added 10 points and seven rebounds of her own.