Long County’s Josh Berry led the way with 24 points as the Blue Tide defeated Metter, 62-54, Friday in Ludowici.
The Blue Tide tore off a 22-0 run in the first half en route to a 40-15 halftime lead. In the second half, Long County head coach Deshon Brock played some of his back-up players, which allowed the Tigers to claw back into the game and narrow the deficit to 10 points. However, the Blue Tide were able to keep Metter at arm’s length for the win.
Berry notched 15 of his points from the 3-point line. Jamaal Anderson had 16 points for Long County, and Clay Strickland chipped in seven points.
Trent Thomas led the with 22 points, 21 of which came in the second half.
When these two teams met earlier this season, the Blue Tide won by only three points. Brock said his team played much better Friday, and he also had one of his starters back on the court.
“When we played the first time, Vanda (Vereen) got hurt and that kind of took the air out of the gym on us,” Brock said. “Tonight, we were healthy. Last time, we also got into foul trouble, and that didn’t happen tonight.”
Brock said better free-throw shooting helped as well.
“During our practices, we are focusing on our free-throws for 25-35 minutes,” Brock said. “During our water breaks we’re shooting free-throws and all of the practice is paying off.”
With the win, the Blue Tide improved their overall record to 11-11 and their Region 2B-AA to 5-6, while the Tigers fell to 7-15 and 2-7, respectively.
Long County is back on the court Tuesday to host arch-rival Wayne County. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.
See Wednesday’s Coastal Courier to read about the players who were recognized Friday during the senior-night ceremony.