The Long County High School boys, aka the Cardiac-Kids, came from behind again Friday to pull out the win in the closing seconds against Jeff Davis High School.
The nail-biter was at the wire when the Blue Tide’s Josh Berry hit a free-throw with three seconds on the clock, giving the home team a 65-64 win.
Going in, Jeff Davis and Long County had played each other 12 times. The Yellow Jackets had never won.
Despite that history the Yellow Jackets came out strong Friday, taking a 16-8 lead. However in the second and third periods the Blue Tide reasserted its dominance and led 59-50 after three quarters.
In the final period, led by T.J. Kelly the Yellow Jackets put together a 13-0 run to go up 63-59 with 1:36 left. Finally, David Gilmore took it to the hoop for the Blue Tide.
The Yellow Jackets then turned the ball over, and Vanda Vereen Jr. went for a shot from under the goal and drew a foul. Vereen hit one of his free-throws tying the game with 1:13 left.
Yellow Jacket Joe McNeely drew a foul while shooting and he too went one for two giving the lead back to Jeff Davis, 64-63.The Tide’s Jamaal Anderson was then fouled and he also went one for two, retying the game.
With time running out, the Yellow Jackets brought the ball in and tried to set up a shot, but as they did they were called for a 3-second violation, turning the ball back over. With 27 seconds left, the Blue Tide brought the ball down the court and Josh Berry took it home. As he went up a foul was called on a Jeff Davis defender. Berry hit one of his free-throws giving the Tide the one-point lead with two seconds left. The Yellow Jackets brought the ball in and tried a half-court shot, but it fell short.
Scoring in double-digits for the Blue Tide were Berry who had 16 points, Anderson, 11 points, and James Francis, 14. The leading shooter for Jeff Davis was Kelly, who also had 16 points.
Long County coach Deshon Brock praised several of his players.
“James Francis had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and gave us a good spark when we needed it,” Brock said. “Richard Messer rebounded well, had a lot of energy that we needed and showed a lot of hustle on the court.”
With the win, the Blue Tide are 2-2 overall and 2-0 in Region 2B-AA.
Tuesday, the boys played McIntosh County (3-3) in another sub-region game in Ludowici. Results will be in Friday’s paper. Also Friday, Long County takes on Bacon County (2-2) in Alma. That game is at 7:30 p.m., with the Lady Tide playing at 6.
You can see more photos from Friday at www.community.coastalcourier.com.