The 2023-24 basketball season is coming to a close and the Long County High School Blue Tide basketball teams both are looking to improve their seedings for the region tournament with the boys still in the race to host.
On Saturday, Feb 3, they hosted the Johnson Atomsmashers for senior night in a key region matchup. Both teams were looking to avenge losses from the previous Wednesday. The Lady Tide fell 43-41 but the Tide boys prevailed 83-76.
The Lady Tide, who lost to the Lady Smashers 60-22 in the first meeting, started off hot as they went on an 8-0 run to take an 8-2 lead in the first quarter. However, the Lady Smashers closed out on a 7-3 run as they trailed just 11-9 going into the second.
Johnson led 18-13 on a 9-2 run in the second quarter.
Makinzie Moody helped the Lady Tide tie the game again as she scored five straight points, going 5-of-7 from the free throw line. The Smashers went on another run, 6-0, to go up 24-18 as they led 24-20 at the break.
The Tide trailed 39-32 going into the fourth quarter, but the Tide decided to turn it on to open the quarter as they went on a 7-0 run to tie the game.
However, the Tide’s struggles from the free throw line finally caught up to them. After tying the game twice, the Tide found themselves down 43-41 with a minute left. Their five missed free throws in the quarter doomed them and they finished 13-of-26 from the line.
Moody and Imani Pouncey each had 12 points in the loss. The Lady Tide fell to 9-13 and 7-7 in the region.
The boys looked to avenge a 59-56 loss to the Atomsmashers while also improving their chances to host the region tournament. With wins in their final four games of the season, they likely would be able to host the region tournament.
Things looked good for the home team in the first quarter as they were up 21-8 with 90 seconds left. This came on the shooting of senior Roderick Randall, who hit all three of his 3-point shots.
The Tide were 4-of-5 from three as they led 23-11 going into the second quarter. The Smashers are usually a prolific three-point team but were 0-4 in the quarter.
Long County took a 39-25 lead into halftime and had a 58-43 lead after three quarters.
The Atomsmashers started to chip away at the Tide’s lead.
The Tide led 72-60 before three-point play at the 2:35 mark got Johnson back within 10 points. They held the Tide to just one point over the next 90 seconds while scoring seven, including two free throws to make it a one possession game.
Another Smashers 3-pointer made it a three-point game at 79-76, but Chuck Anderson hit two free throws to push the Tide’s lead out to five again.
Randall was 5-of-7 from 3-point range with 26 points and seven rebounds. Anderson added 22 points and six assists. Keshawn Smith added 15 points while Izaiah Brimlett’s 10 points in the fourth pushed his total out to a season-high 12.
With the win, the Tide move to 18-5 and 8-4 in the region.