The Long County Blue Tide basketball teams’ seasons have reached their midway point and they are both now at critical points of their region schedules. On Tuesday, January 10, they hosted the Johnson Atomsmashers in a big matchup.
The games were tagged with a 30-minute delay as the Lady Atomsmashers had an issue with their bus. Once they finally tipped off, it was all Lady Tide in a 73-46 win.
Senior Adryanna Harley and junior Amiyah Simpkins led the way in the first quarter. Each had six points in the period with Harley hitting two of her three 3-point attempts as the Lady Tide led 18-10 at the end of the first.
Opening the second quarter on a 9-2 run, the Lady Tide led by 15 as Simpkins hit her first 3 of the night. They rolled to a big 40-22 lead at the half, with Simpkins leading with 12 points and Harley scoring 11.
Senior Jada Young got more involved in the second half, scoring six of her 12 points in the third and recording four blocks. With a 63-36 lead with just seconds left in the quarter, sophomore Makinzie Moody hit a long two to make it a 29-point game and just missing the 30-point mercy rule mark.
Harley added 10 more points in the third to bring her total to 21 points while hitting four 3s in the contest. Simpkins scored another four to bring her total to 16.
With the win, the Long County girls moved to 8-5 overall and 4-2 in the region.
The boys knew they had a tough task ahead of them as they welcomed in the third-ranked Atomsmashers. Johnson played like one of the best teams in the state early on in a 69-59 win.
The Atomsmashers scored the first 10 points, hitting their first two 3-point attempts and Antonio Baker connecting on a fast-break dunk.
The Tide were held scoreless for the first 3:17 of the quarter before finally getting on the board. They got a little life as they outscored Johnson 11-7 down the stretch to trail by only six going into the second.
The Atomsmashers shook off the Tide’s momentum to open the second on a 7-0 run to go up 24-11, their biggest lead of the game. The Tide cut into the lead, but still trailed by nine at the half, 32-23.
The Tide have been a second half team for most of the season and they proved that in the third quarter as they scored 24 points.
They opened the third on a 7-0 run to get within one point with 6:00 left. The Atomsmashers built another eight-point lead late in the quarter as the Tide brought in freshman Zyi Holt to give them a boost.
He did exactly that as he hit his first 3-point attempt to cut the Smashers’ lead to just four. With chants from the Johnson faithful raining down on him after a missed free throw, Holt quieted the crowd as he hit a three at the buzzer to tie the game at 47-47.
Twenty seconds into the fourth, the Tide took their first lead of the game as they went up 49-47. Unfortunately, this was the only lead they got.
The Smashers scored the next eight points to go up 55-49 and never looked back. They went on to score 22 points in the fourth and came away with a 69-59 win.
Senior Jamel Brimlett had one of his best games of the season for the Tide as he scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
With the loss, the Tide are now 8-7 and 2-3 in the region. They will have another tough test Friday, January 13 as they travel to play the Beach Bulldogs, currently ranked second in the state.