The Long County Blue Tide basketball teams will have a few weeks away from home following their loss to Wayne County on Tuesday, Dec. 14. The two games were hotly contested and saw two rallies give the home teams losses in the rivalry matchup.
The Lady Tide took the court and much like their first meeting, it was a low-scoring affair to begin the game. There was only six total points scored in the first 6:30 of the game with the Tide up 4-2.
The Tide took a 5-4 late in the quarter on a free throw, but the Lady Yellow Jackets took a 7-5 lead on Carsyn Ward’s three pointer with two seconds on the clock. One thing that helped keep the Lady Tide in the game early on was the foul situation.
The Tide did not commit a foul until the 5:16 mark of the second quarter while the Jackets committed seven in that same stretch.
Sophomore Amiyah Simpkins has starred for the Lady Tide in the early part of the season and continued to play well against the Jackets as she connected on a smooth fast break to give her team the 8-7 lead.
The last five minutes of the half were back and forth again as the Lady Jackets outscored the Tide 10-6 to lead 17-14 going into the break.
In their first meeting, the Lady Tide led Wayne 15-10 at the half but were outscored 23-6 in the second half to lost 33-21. This game did not go much differently.
The Jackets quickly jumped out to a 26-16 lead after a 9-0 run as the Lady Tide called a timeout with 3:56 left in the quarter.
The Tide cut the lead within double digits again, but another 11-0 run, capped off by an And-1 play, made the score 37-18 for the Lady Jackets going into the final quarter.
The Lady Tide have been in this position many times this season but have fought back every time. However, they never got within ten points again as they fell for the seventh time this year by a score of 45-33.
In the game, Simpkins led with 15 points while Jada Young added 10 points, six rebounds and seven blocks.
The Lady Tide are now 0-7 on the year and will look to get their first win as they take on Claxton Thursday, Dec. 16 and Southeast Bulloch Friday, Dec. 17 in a Christmas tournament at Wayne County.
The boys took the court next, looking to avenge their 51-44 loss from earlier in the year in which they only scored 12 points in the first half.
This game started much differently for the Tide with one big reason being the return of senior Cam Johnson. He injured his ankle a few weeks back and has only just returned recently.
Tuesday was his first home game since the injury and he made his presence felt early, scoring the first six points for the Tide.
The Yellow Jackets quickly showed what their game is, shooting early and often from three. They hit back-to-back three’s early to go up 6-2, but the Tide turned it around and went on a 10-2 run to go up 12-8 with 3:40 left on the clock.
The run was capped off by sophomore Khaleel Anderson’s three pointer. Anderson got his first start of his career Tuesday and took advantage of his opportunity.
The Tide led 16-13 going into the second quarter and quickly took off on a 9-0 run to go up 25-13. In that same stretch, the Yellow Jackets were 0-6 from three since hitting their first two shots of the night.
The Jackets finally got going a little late in the half, ending on a 6-0 run to go down only 27-22 at the break. They extended that run to 8-0 to make it a one-possession game
Despite this, the Tide started to pull away again, led by Dwayne Rowe’s seven points. They closed the quarter on a 5-0 run to go up 41-31 going into the final quarter.
It was back-and-forth early in the quarter, but Anderson connected on an And-1 play to make the score 44-33 with 6:45 left in the game.
However, the Jackets seemed to turn it on even harder being down double-digits. They were able to outscore the Tide 22-6 over the last six minutes of the game.
They opened on a 7-0 run to make the score 44-40 with 5:15 left. Down 51-48, the Jackets hit a big three to tie the game with two minutes left.
The Jackets followed that up with a lay-up to go up 53-51 with 45 seconds left. The Tide called a timeout at the 16-second mark but turned the ball over on a double-dribble.
A charging call against Wayne County gave the Tide the ball back as Johnson was fouled at the hoop but made only one to make the score 53-52.
The Jackets then connected on both free throws of a one-and-one as the Tide missed a three at the buzzer to fall 55-52.
The Tide have now lost three of their last four and are 4-4 on the year. They will take next week off before participating in the annual Paul Thigpen Classic in Vidalia.
They will take on Glynn Academy on Monday, Dec. 27, Vidalia on Tuesday, Dec. 28, and ECI on Wednesday, Dec. 29.