LUDOWICI -- The Long County Blue Tide basketball teams are back in action as they hosted the Tattnall County Battle Creek Warriors in their first region game of the season. The girls were able to pull off a huge upset while the boys saw their six-point halftime lead evaporate right in front of them.
The girls took the court and looked to get back on track. The team won three straight games after starting 0-7 but dropped their next three.
The game started off in favor of the Lady Warriors, who have won the region championship five years running, as they kept the Tide from even getting a shot off for the first two minutes of the game.
However, once the Tide did get a shot up, they were off and running. They built a 10-4 after the Warriors were up 2-0 early. They lead 15-7 going into the second quarter.
Senior Makayla Raimer connected on a big layup after a foul to push their lead to 11 points. However, the Warriors started to chip away at the Tide’s lead with back-to-back made three’s which capped a 7-0 run to make the score 18-14 with five minutes left in the half.
The Warriors hit another three to make the score 19-17 before Amiyah Simpkins connected on a shot as she was fouled. The Tide held onto their lead to go into the locker room up 25-23.
The Warriors opened the second half on another three-point shot to take their first lead of the game since they led 2-0. The Lady Tide did not let that deter them as Raimer and Simpkins both hit their own threes to pace an 8-0 run to give the Tide a 33-26 lead.
The Lady Tide led 39-37 going into the final quarter and that is where junior Jada Young reminded everyone why she is considered one of the best players in the region.
Young finished the night with 22 points and 11 rebounds and scored 14 of those points in the final quarter. That coupled with three Warrior starters fouling out led to the Tide’s 60-49 upset win over the Warriors.
Three Lady Tide players scored in double digits. Young had the double-double, Raimer scored 12 and Simpkins scored 13.
This was the Tide’s first win over Tattnall County since 2018 and their first time starting 1-0 in the region in a decade. This was also their first win at home this season. They are now 4-10 and 1-0 in region play.
The boys took the court and looked to get back over .500 with a key game in region play. It was a back-and-forth game to open up with the scored tied at 11 going into the second.
The Warriors have always been a team that likes to shoot from three-point range, while the Tide have struggled to do that this year. The Tide tried to go shot-for-shot with their region rival, leading to them going 0-6 from three-point range while the Warriors made five of their seven attempts in the first half.
The Tide finally settled down in the second quarter as they worked inside and fed seniors Cam Johnson and Dwayne Rowe.
The Tide were able to build a lead and led 26-20 going into halftime, but the third quarter saw the Tide begin a slow collapse.
They connected on a three to open the quarter as sophomore Chuck Anderson scored his only points of the night, but they missed on their next nine attempts. The Warriors were 6-9 from three in the third quarter.
The Warriors went on an 11-5 run in the third to tie the game at 31 and took the lead on a three with 3:35 left. They then ended the third on an 8-3 run to go up 42-36.
The Warriors eventually built as much as a 15-point lead in the fourth as it looked to be too late for the Tide to make a comeback.
However, with a minute left, they finally connected from three point range.
Down 57-43, they scored 10 points in the final minute. Junior Jamel Brimlett hit two big three point shots to cut the score to 57-49.
Rowe connected on a layup after a foul and Johnson grabbed the rebound on the free throw and scored while being fouled himself.
With 25 seconds left on the clock, Johnson’s free throw attempt rimmed out, but was rebound by CJ Glenn. His three attempt fell short as did Brimlett’s as the clock hit zero.
Rowe led the Tide with 11 points while Brimlett scored all 10 of his points in the fourth. The Tide fall to 6-7 and 0-1 in the region.
Their non-region matchup against Liberty County on Saturday was canceled. The Tide will begin a three-game road trip all against region opponents before returning home to face off against Ware County on January 25.