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Long makes Sweet 16, downing Jefferson Co.
The Tide play in the Sweet 16. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle

The Blue Tide basketball team beat Jefferson County High School in Louisville on Friday in the first round of the Georgia High School Association State Championship. The 90-86 win advanced the Long County boys to the Sweet 16.

The Warriors came into the game having won six of their last seven games, and were the runners-up in the Region 3A-AA Tournament, so the Tide knew the game wouldn’t be easy.

But Tide players had their outside shot working as well as it has all season.

With 31 points by Norman Thompson and 28 from Justin Boyd, the Tide had control of the game all night. The seniors also had a good defensive outing as Thompson had seven steals and Boyd added six.

With the win, Long County moved into the next round round of the state tournament where the match-ups get harder.

On Tuesday, the Blue Tide traveled to McDonough to face Henry County High School. The Warhawks came into the game riding a six-game winning streak, including winning their 4-AA Region Championship over tough Northeast Macon High School.

The Henry County team also had an impressive debut in the state tournament as they easily defeated Fitzgerald High School 80-54. So they went into yesterday’s game battle tested and ready.

But the Long County team also went in riding high, as they had won five of their last six games, and their impressive win over the Warriors only boosted their confidence.

On paper, the Long/Henry match-up appeared pretty even. The Tide averaged 65 points on offense, while the Warhawks averaged 64. On defense the Hawks were doing a little better, allowing 59 points, while the Blue Tide was allowing 63.

The winner from yesterday’s game will move into the Elite 8 round and will play either Friday or Saturday.

Results from the Long County/Henry County game will be in Friday’s Courier.

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