The Long County Blue Tide basketball teams tipped off their home set of games on Tuesday, Nov. 21 as they hosted next county rivals Wayne County. The Lady Tide had a lead late into the third quarter but fell 31-23 on a late rally while the boys had an early lead and never looked back in a 64-49 victory.
The girls, now led by new head coach Jay Hires - son of legendary Richmond Hill coach Jimmy Hires and brother of Wayne girls coach Kala Hobbs, looked to get their early loss to the Wildcats the previous Friday out of their mouths.
It was a low-scoring affair, especially in the first quarter. The Tide took a 7-5 lead on Imani Pouncey’s 3-pointer but the Lady Tide missed their next six shots from behind the arc.
With losing rebounding machine Jada Young to graduation, the Tide needed another big in the middle to replace her. Insert Illinois transfer Cici Powe.
In the first quarter, the University of South Carolina-Beaufort soccer commit pulled down three rebounds and went on to pull down 11 on the night.
The Lady Tide looked to have a near double-digit lead at the half, but the Jackets used a late 5-1 run to make the score 16-12 going into the locker room.
Wayne County kept it going in the third quarter as the Lady Yellow Jackets opened on a 9-2 run, pushing their second quarter run out to 14-3 as they took 21-18 lead.
The Tide went 4-of-6 at the free throw line down the stretch to regain a 22-21 lead, led by senior Kyleigh Sizemore’s three makes from the stripe. The Jackets took the lead back on Tailin Ward’s 3 at the buzzer.
The Jackets then never looked back in the final period as they opened on a 6-0 run to go up 30-22 and held the Tide scoreless until less than a minute left in the quarter, scoring just one point in the frame.
The Lady Tide fell to 0-2 with the loss.
The boys, ranked No. 7 in the state by Sandy’s Spiel, opened their game with a 13-0 run, paced by 11 combined points from senior guards Chuck Anderson and Keshawn Smith.
The Tide led 20-8 going into the second quarter as they held the Jackets scoreless for the first 5:30 of the game.
Smith hit a tough layup for a three-point play to open the second quarter and start a 7-0 run to put the Tide up 27-10 three minutes into the second.
After making just one of their 10 attempted 3-point shots through the first two quarters, the Tide made their last two shots, including Roderick Randall’s buzzer-beating 3 to put the Tide up 37-20 going into the locker room.
The Tide made five of their next seven attempts, with Randall going 4-of-5 after missing his first five shots. He ended his night in the third quarter with 26 points.
Just six points off the mercy rule, 6-minute fourth quarter, the Tide led 59-35 going into the final period. They made slow switches to their bench players as the Tide rolled to a 64-49 victory.
Joining Randall in the double-digit club was Smith, who finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and six assists.
The Tide are now 2-0 on the year. Both teams will have 10 days off before they travel to Savannah to play the Groves Rebels in the first 3-AAA region game of the season.