Two players were ejected after they began fighting with seconds left in Long County’s 56-50 win Friday over visiting Brantley County.
The incident cleared both benches and administrators and coaches had to regain control.
The players who reportedly started the incident, Akeem Boyd of Long County and Brantley County’s Devon Blankenship, were tossed from the game.
Both Boyd and Blankenship and those on both teams who left the bench will be suspended for two games, Blue Tide coach Deshon Brock said.
That meant only four varsity players from Long County were eligible for Saturday night’s game at Bradwell and Tuesday’s contest against Tattnall County.
Brock said he would bring up members of the JV to fill the holes in his roster.
The fight marred a comeback win for the Blue Tide, who trailed 19-7 at the end of the first period after a 17-2 Brantley County run.
But Long County roared back in the second quarter. The Blue Tide tied the game at 23 with less than two minutes left to play.
A long 3-pointer from Jamal Anderson just before the buzzer put Long County up 28-24 at the break.
"We came out and had our minds more focused on the homecoming festivities than basketball. In the second quarter we got our heads back into the game and made some changes to our defensive scheme that worked well," Brock said. "In the second half we lost our focus a little bit but hit some big 3’s and made some free-throws and got a couple of breaks, and we were able to pull out the win."
Both teams played strong defense in the third period and after three quarters Long County held a slim 36-32 lead.
Brantley County opened the final period on an 8-2 run to claim a 40-38 advantage, but the Blue Tide fought back and with 3:40 left Boyd hit a 3-point shot to put the Tide up 45-41.
Over the next three and a half minutes, both teams fought tooth-and-nail with each other. Long County built a 55-50 margin before the fight between Boyd and Blankenship began with eight seconds left and added a final point on a technical foul shot.
Anderson scored a game-high 20 points for the Blue Tide while Boyd finished with 11 and Jarquez Payne had 10.
The win improved Long County’s record to 9-12 overall and 7-7 in Region 2-AA. The Blue Tide played at Bradwell on Saturday and face Tattnall County in Reidsville on Tuesday. Tipoff in both contests follow the girls’ games.