The Long County Blue Tide boys basketball team went into the Region 2-AAA tournament as the regular season champion and host. On Saturday, February 8, the Tide wrapped up the tournament with a 52-45 win over the Pierce County Bears to clinch the region championship.
In the earlier games, the Liberty County Lady Panthers fell to Brantley County 52-29 in the girls’ consolation game while Appling County upset Tattnall County 74-69 in the boys’ consolation game. The Tattnall County Lady Warriors won their fourth straight region championship with a 48-35 win over Pierce County.
The Blue Tide advanced to the region championship game after a dominant 83-61 win over Tattnall County in the semi-finals on Friday. They looked to win their first region title since 2016, but got off to a slow start against the Bears.
Pierce County hit a three-point shot after the Tide went up with a layup. The Tide could not get much going from deep as Tostadas Pouncey with 0-3 from three point range. Sophomore Cam Johnson played well for the Tide as he had four points and three rebounds at the end of the first as his team led 12-11 in a tight game.
The second quarter was just as tight, but Pouncey finally found his mark. He hit two huge three point shots in the quarter. Senior Trajan Weatherspoon also took over down low as he scored six points and the Tide took a 27-25 lead into the locker room at the half.
Senior Samuel Turner was not able to get on the board in the first half, but he completely took over in the third quarter. He ended up scoring 10 of his 12 points and pulling seven rebounds. The Tide opened up their biggest lead as they led 42-33 going into the fourth quarter.
The Tide never really looked back as the closest Pierce County ever got to the Tide was five points late in the game. With just seconds left on the clock, Weatherspoon stole a pass and hammered down a nail-in-the-coffin dunk to finish the game. The Tide moved to a 52-45 win to clinch the region tournament championship.
This is the Tide’s first region championship since 2016, when they last hosted the region tournament. Weatherspoon finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Turner scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Tide will now host the Rutland Hurricanes next weekend in the first round of the AAA state playoffs.