The Long County Blue Tide basketball teams are looking to have successful seasons this year and they gave their home crowd a preview of things to come on Tuesday, November 12. They hosted Bryan County for their scrimmage game and the girls fell 49-41 in a great game while the boys dominated 76-36.
The Lady Blue Tide were very young last season
and struggled under first-year head coach Bragg Thompson. But the team only
graduated two seniors and return a large majority of their core talent from the
2018-19 season. The team went just 3-23 last season and only scored over 40
points throughout the entire season.
They knew they had a tough task ahead of them
with playing the Lady Redskins, who have been a perennial powerhouse in AA the
last few years. Bryan County made the Final Four in 2018 and just missed making
the semi-finals for a second straight year in 2019.
The Tide did not look like the same team from
last year as they played tough against the Redskins, but things did not start
off great for them. Senior Breyahn Maddox made the first two points of the game
on a layup, but the Redskins ripped off 10 unanswered points, thanks in part to
six turnovers in the first quarter by the Tide.
The Lady Tide got a spark from senior Akiarra
Garland as she hit a big three pointer as the first quarter came to a close
with the Redskins up 14-8. Long County got a boost from freshman Jada Young in
the second quarter as she recorded three big rebounds and Garland found her
stroke, hitting two more three pointers.
The Tide trailed 23-20 at the half as Garland
led with 13 points. The only big negative for the Tide after their slow start
was them going 1-7 from the free throw line in the first half.
The second half started off great for the Lady
Tide as sophomore Makayla Raimer converted a big And-1 play to give her team a
24-23 lead. They held the lead for the remainder of the quarter as they led
31-30 going into the fourth.
The Redskins seemed to turn the corner in the
fourth quarter as they built a 48-37 lead late in the game, despite a ferocious
spark from sophomore CiCi Burke, who recorded six of her eight points in the
final period. The Lady Tide fell 49-41 with Garland going 5-7 from three point
range and finishing with 19 points.
Despite the loss, Thompson seemed excited for
his team and their future after the game.
“This is one of the best games I have seen
them play since I have been here,” he said. “They took at least four charges
and gave great effort. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The boys took the court next and they
dominated from the opening tip. They opened up with a 14-4 run over the
Redskins and never looked back. Junior Tostadas Pouncey scored 10 points in the
first quarter as they led 23-9 at the end of the first period, but the score
could have been much more lopsided if not for the Tide going 3-7 from the
Senior Dederick Stewart ignited the Ludowici
crowd with a huge dunk in the early goings of the second quarter, giving his
team a 27-9 lead. The Tide got some big plays from young guys coming off the
bench as they led 46-19 going into half time.
The Blue Tide took advantage of the hot hand
from the three point range, but it was not from someone the crowd would have
Senior Ethan Williams, who missed the entire
2018-19 season due to a life-threatening sickness, made his debut for the Tide
and went 2-3 from three point range in the third quarter. He helped lead the
Tide to a 68-27 lead going into the fourth quarter and finished 3-6 from three
with nine points.
The Tide let off the gas in the time-shortened
fourth quarter as they cruised to a 76-36 victory. Stewart finished with 10
points and seven rebounds while Pouncey led with 12 points.
The basketball teams will open the regular
season on Tuesday, November 19 as they host the New Hampstead Phoenix.