The Blue Tide boys’ basketball team went 2-1 last weekend in the Hoopfest Tournament in Thomasville.
In their first game Thursday, the Tide were only able to put up 11 points in the first half as they were defeated, 57-47, by a solid Mitchell County team (10-2).
“I think the long bus ride was partly to blame, but we just didn’t play well and they beat us,” Long County head coach Deshone Brock said.
On Friday, the team fared much better as they man-handled Twiggs County (5-8) en route to a 70-48 win.
In that game, leading scorer Jamaal Anderson had 27 points and 14 rebounds. Also putting up respectable numbers for the Blue Tide were Josh Berry with 19 points; Vanda Vereen Jr. adding 9 points; David Gilmore with 8 points; and Chris LaRochester, who only had 4 points but who also had five blocks, five assists and 10 rebounds.
The Tide men had a much tougher game Saturday, as they faced the AAAA Redan Raiders (1-6) who are from Atlanta. The game went back and forth, but at the buzzer the Long County team had secured the win, 57-54. Anderson once again was the leading scorer with 21 points; Berry added 16; LaRochester put up 12, and Vereen contributed 8 points to the victory.
Several members of the Blue Tide team were not able to play in the tournament because it was held immediately after Christmas.
“We only took seven players to the tournament. Many of our team were out of town with family during the holidays,” Brock said. “Jamaal Anderson, Josh Berry, Deonte’ Ellis, James Francis, David Gilmore, Chris LaRochester and Vanda Vereen all had to play major minutes because we had no one else to turn to off of the bench.
“I am very proud of the way they played and conducted themselves while we were in Thomasville,” Brock added. “I thought we got better as a team.”
Going into the second half of the season, the Blue Tide stand at 6-6 overall and 2-2 in the 2B-AA Sub-region standings. Their next game is slated for 8 p.m. Friday, when they will travel to Metter to face the Tigers. According to GAPrepCountry.com, the Metter High School Tigers post a 3-7 record.
The Lady Tide (1-6) also plays on Friday and will face the Lady Tigers (0-7) at 6:30 p.m.