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Liberty tops Long in OT
Long County boys take one-point thriller from Liberty
Long Liberty girls 1
Liberty's Keyara Grant (4) battles Long County's Jada Young.

The Long County Blue Tide and Liberty County Panthers basketball teams faced off on Tuesday, January 17 in a big region matchup. Both games were intense contests with the Lady Panthers pulling out a 51-44 overtime victory and the Blue Tide boys locking up a one-point win, 55-54.

The girls game never took off until late in the game as both teams combined for 29 points in the first half. Usual Lady Panther star Destiny Grider was kept off the board until the second half while the Lady Tide tried to rely on the 3 ball and made just one of their first eight attempts.

With an 8-7 lead going into the second quarter, the Lady Tide soon found themselves behind 9-8. That did not last very long as the Lady Tide went on a 7-2 run to go up 15-11.

Tide senior Jada Young hit a buzzer beating layup as they went up 17-12 going into the locker room.

In the second half, the Tide were helped out by a technical foul midway through the third as Adryanna Harley hit both shots to put her team up 22-18. This, however, was what the Lady Panthers needed to get back in the game.

They soon went on a 10-4 run, aided by Lyric McIver’s six points, to take their first lead of the game at 28-26 with a minute left in the third. Harley hit a 3 to put the Tide back up as they led 31-29 going into the fourth.

It was another back-and-forth quarter as the Lady Panthers hit a 3 to go up 38-37 with 2:35 left in the game. The Tide took a 39-38 lead seconds later, but McIver’s three-point play put the Panthers back on top 41-39 with 2:00 remaining.

Makinzie Moody went to the line with just under 90 seconds left in the game and hit both foul shots to tie the game. But neither team scored again in regulation, sending the game into overtime.

The Lady Tide could not get their offense going in the overtime period as both Amiyah Simpkins and Young fouled out early. They did not hit a single field goal and scored just three points from the line while the Panthers were led by Grider, who scored all but two of their 10 points in the extra session.

Grider led Liberty with 17 points, all in the second half while McIver added 13 points. Harley paced the Lady Tide with 17 points while Young added 13 of her own. 

The Panthers are now 10-5 and 6-2 in the region while the Lady Tide are 9-6 and 5-3.

The boys took the floor and it was another low scoring contest from the jump.

Despite the 3-9 record, the Panthers have been in close games for majority of the season and this one was no different. They went up 10-5 in the first quarter, led by Jasean Phillips’ six points.

The Tide did not get on the board until 3:30 in the first quarter, thanks to Jamel Brimlett’s first of five made 3-pointers on the night.

The Panthers took a 17-10 lead in the second quarter, thanks to three big 3s from freshmen Elijiah Brown and Ja’Mere Martin. However, the Tide turned it around as they went on an 11-3 run, paced by a returning Christian Glenn’s seven points, to take their first lead of the game with 1:08 left in the half.

The Panthers scored the next five points as they led 25-21 at the half.

Another slow start put the Tide in an early hole in the third quarter as they didn’t score until 4:48 left with their first field goal coming at 3:26 left. The Panthers built an 11-point lead, thanks to two more 3 from Brown and another by junior Kordell Grant.

However, the Tide closed out the quarter on a 19-6 run to make the score 40-38 going into the fourth.

Since leading 21-20 in the second quarter, the Tide had not been able to get back ahead. However, a big Brimlett 3 gave the Tide a 41-40 lead.

It was a back-and-forth game from there, with the teams exchanging the lead five times over the next six minutes. The Tide went up 55-54 on a Brimlett layup with just under a minute remaining.

The Tide called a timeout with 28.4 left and the ball in their possession. The Panthers kept the Tide off the board and headed back down the court.

Lewis was fouled and went to the line with a chance to tie or give his team the lead with 5.1 left. Both his free throws rimmed out, but the Panthers grabbed the rebound and called a timeout with 3.1 seconds left.

With the ball under their own goal, the Panthers could not get a shot off as Glenn forced a turnover and the Tide moved on to the win.

Panthers were led by Brown’s five 3s and 18 points while the team as a whole connected on eight 3s. The Tide were led by Brimlett’s 17 points as he was 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Keshawn Smith added 13 points and six assists.

The Tide moved to 9-8 and 3-4 in region play with the win while the Panthers fell to 3-10 and 1-6.

The Panthers will be back in action on Friday, January 20 on the road against Savannah Country Day while the Tide will travel to Garden City to take on Groves on Friday as wel
Long Liberty girls 2
Liberty's Destiny Grider drives against Long County's Adryana Harley.
Long-Liberty girls 3
Long County's Jada Young defends against Liberty County's Lyric McIver (20).
Long Liberty boys 1
Long County's Christian Glenn (5) fires a 3-pointer against Liberty County on Tuesday night.
Long Liberty boys 2
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