Liberty County and Long County renewed their neighboring-county boys’ basketball rivalry Tuesday in Ludowici.
But whereas most of the past games went down to the final buzzer, Tuesday’s game had little drama as the host Blue Tide simply weren’t able to keep pace with the Panthers. Liberty won, 80-41.
Early on, Long County kept it competitive. The Tide were down 10-6 at the end of the first period. However, in the second period, Liberty County outscored Long, 27-6, to take a 37-12 halftime lead and fuel the decisive win.
Liberty County’s Freddie McSwain led all scorers with 24 points. Conner Bailey added 17 points for the Panthers, while Richard LeCounte scored 11 points. For the Blue Tide, James Francis had 17 points and Vanda Vereen Jr. had 10 points.
Long County head coach Deshon Brock said that he did not feel his team was overmatched in the contest, but that it just didn’t execute and didn’t compete against Liberty. Brock also said that early in the game, he was pleased with the efforts of Danaron Anderson, James Francis and Mike Abram.
With the win, Liberty County improved its overall record to 11-4 and remained 1-0 in the 3A-AAAA, while Long County fell to 4-9 overall and stayed 2-2 in the 2B-AA standings.
Tonight, the Blue Tide has a big region game when they travel to Pearson to face Atkinson County (5-6); that game begins at 7:30. Also, Liberty hosts South Effingham at 8. On Saturday, the Tide face Wayne County (2-10) in Jesup and the Panthers host McIntosh County Academy. Long County tips off at 7:30 p.m., and Liberty plays at 5:30 p.m.
Liberty — 10/27/28/15: 80
Long — 6/6/6/23: 41