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Tide basketball ready to rock 2019-2020 season
Basketball through hoop

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 charity line.

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 expected.

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. 

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