A big fourth quarter allowed Vidalia to come from behind Tuesday and beat Long County 76-65.
Playing in Ludowici, the Blue Tide came out hot and took an 8-1 lead over the Indians. Long County continued to play well and led 36-32 at the half and 55-50 after three quarters.
But in the fourth quarter, the wheels fell off the Blue Tide’s wagon. Struggling at the free-throw line and with several turnovers, the Indians outscored the home team 26-10 to win the key Region 2-AA showdown.
Despite losing the game, Long County head coach Deshon Brock said there were several positives that he took from the game.
“I loved the way we competed from the opening tip until the final buzzer,” he said. “Mistakes at the end cost us. But the way played really good man-to-man defense — something that we struggle with at times — but we were effective out of it. We just have to close out the ballgame.”
Brock also said that when a team has a tough loss like this, there are always things that a team can learn from them.
“We learned that we have to finish the game,” he said. “You can’t wait until the final three minutes of a ballgame and lose focus after playing a great game up to that point. We also learned that we are just as good, if not better than, one of the top four teams in the state.”
The leading scorers for the Blue Tide were Henry Blair with 16 points and Perrell Brisbane, who led all players with 26 points. The leading scorer for Vidalia was Wil Chambliss, who had 19 points.
With the loss, Long County fell to 13-4 overall and 6-2 in the region, while Vidalia improved to 15-2 and 8-0.
On Friday, Long County traveled to Pembroke and beat Bryan County 65-53. The Blue Tide improved to 14-4 overall and 7-2 in the region, while the Redskins fell to 9-7 and 5-4. Stats were not immediately available. On Saturday, the Blue Tide were back at home to take on Ware County (6-10) in a non-region game. Look for more details from both of these games will be in Wednesday’s Courier.
On Tuesday, the Tide will be back at home again for another region game against Jeff Davis (8-9 and 3-4). Tipoff for that game is at 7:30 p.m.