The Long County Blue Tide basketball wrapped up their regular seasons on Friday, February 12 as they hosted the Tattnall County Battle Creek Warriors. The girls fell short after a tough first half while the boys were able to rally and pull away late in the game.
The Lady Tide went into their season finale knowing that an upset win would put them in the driver’s seat to clinch a state playoff berth for the first time since 2018. They seemingly had the four-time region champions on the ropes in the early goings of the game as they trailed 9-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Down just 16-14 late in the first half, it looked like the Lady Tide had a big opportunity to avenge their 63-32 loss to the Warriors from earlier in the season. However, the Warriors were able to pull away in the waning minutes of the second quarter thanks to some impressive three-point shooting as they went on an 11-2 run to lead 27-16 at the half.
The Lady Tide came out fighting in the second half as they opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run to cut Tattnall County’s lead to six points with just under four minutes left in the quarter.
The Warriors, however, continued to live by the three point shot as they hit two straight J’s to increase their lead to 35-23 just over a minute later.
Despite another impressive outing by sophomore forward Jada Young, who had another double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds, the Lady Tide could not cut into the Warriors’ lead as Tattnall County pulled away with a 55-38 win.
The Lady Tide fall to 5-11 and 3-5 to close out the regular season. The Tide boys looked to shake off two straight 20-point losses as they took on the Warriors in the last game of the night. They already clinched a playoff spot, but wanted to close out the regular season on a strong note and did that as they pulled away late in the game.
The Warriors pulled out to an early 7-2 lead thanks to their effective three point shot. However, senior Tostadas Pouncey hit a big shot to cut into the Warriors lead. Sophomore Jamel Brimlett followed that up with a tough And-1 play to tie the game at 10 with 3:15 left in the quarter.
The Tide took a 16-13 lead thanks to a 9-3 run, but the Warriors were able to hit a buzzer-beating three point shot to tie the game up going into the second period.
The second quarter was hotly contested again as both teams went back and forth, but the Tide never gave up the lead for the remainder of the first half. They led 28-25 at the half as Dwayne Rowe and Cameryn Johnson both led with eight points apiece. This was Rowe’s first start at home this season and he stepped up in a big way.
The Tide opened the second half with a 9-0 run to get up 37-25, their biggest lead of the game. This run was paced by Brimlett’s two big three-point shots.
The Warriors seemed to live and die by the three point shot in the third quarter, but it finally started to pay off for them. They went on an 8-2 run to cut the Tide’s lead to 39-33 with 3:40 left in the quarter.
They eventually turned that run into a 13-4 run to take the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter as they went up 45-43 with 21 seconds left in the quarter. They led 47-46 going into the final period despite Pouncey being fouled on a last second three pointer and getting three free throws.
The Tide burst out in the fourth quarter as they went on a 15-3 run to open the quarter to jump out to a 61-50 lead with just 2:16 left in the game. This run included two three pointers by Pouncey. With this large of a lead, the Tide never looked back as they pulled away for the 66-58 win.
Four players finished with double-digit points on the night as Brimlett was 2-4 from three point range with 13 points, Pouncey was 3-8 from three with 14 points, Rowe finished with a season-high 17 points, and Johnson had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
With the win, the Tide finish the season 9-6 and 5-3 in the region. They will face off against Pierce County in the semi-finals of the Region 1-AAA tournament in Tattnall County on Wednesday, February 17.
A win would clinch them a home game in the first round of the state playoffs and spot in the region championship on Friday, February 19. Either way, the Tide have clinched their sixth straight state playoff appearance dating back to 2016.
The Long County Lady Blue Tide basketball team’s 2020-21 season has come to end. The team looked to make the state playoffs for the first time since 2018 as they took on the Appling County Lady Pirates in the first round of the Region 1-AAA tournament on Monday, February 15, but fell short 35-34.
The Lady Tide hosted the first round game as the four seed in the tournament and looked complete the 3-0 season sweep of the Lady Pirates after defeating them 57-26 and 40-25 in the regular season. They got off to a good start in the first quarter.
It was a back-and-forth slugfest in the opening minutes as both teams were evenly matched from the jump. The Tide seemed to rely on the three-point shot in the early going, but it didn’t work out for them as they hit only two of their seven attempts in the first quarter.
Despite this, the Lady Tide closed out the first quarter on a 10-3 run to take the 17-9 lead into the second period. The Lady Tide struggled to get much going offensively as they were held scoreless for the first three minutes of the period.
The Tide could not penetrate the Pirates’ zone and had to settle for the long ball, missing all eight attempts from three in the second quarter. The Tide finally got something going late in the quarter as they scored six points in the final 1:30 of the quarter as they led 25-16 going into the locker room.
The Lady Tide offense could not get much going in the second half as they once again came out sluggish, not being able to score for the first 5:30 of the third quarter. The Lady Tide made up for their offense on defense with some impressive play, keeping the Lady Pirates to just six points in the quarter as they led 29-22 going into the final period.
The Pirates finally got back to within one possession as they hit two straight buckets to make the score 29-26 with 6:15 left in the game. They tied the game with a free throw midway through the quarter and took a 32-31 lead with another free throw on the following possession.
Sophomore Jada Young, who has been leading the Lady Tide all season, hit a shot late in the quarter to put her team up 34-33 with just 45 seconds left on the clock.
The Tide had a chance to further their lead with a few trips to the free throw line, but they failed to convert any shots. The Pirates took advantage of this as they went down and hit a layup to go up 35-34.
Junior guard Makayla Raimer’s two free throws with just a few ticks left on the clock fell short as the Lady Tide could not hit another shot as they fell 35-34. She led the Lady Tide with another double-double, recording 15 points and 11 rebounds while again falling short of a triple-double by recording eight blocks.
The Lady Tide lose five seniors, including lead guard Tiniya Smith and forward Rebekah Gordon, but return a host of underclassmen like Young and sophomore guard Adryanna Harley, as well as promising freshman Kyleigh Sizemore.
The Lady Tide’s season comes to a close with a 5-12 record. Young will look to turn her sophomore season success into another great season next year.