LUDOWICI -- The Long County Blue Tide basketball teams returned home after a three-game road stretch. They hosted the Ware County Gators in a non-region homecoming game on Tuesday, Jan. 25 with the girls falling behind early and the boys dominating from opening tip.
The Lady Gators came into the game with a 12-6 record while the hometown Lady Tide were 6-11 but sitting with a 3-1 region mark. The Gators showed why they are one of the better teams in 5A as they quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead, scoring on the opening tip and their next two possessions afterward.
The Lady Tide struggled to get much going in the first quarter as the Lady Gators added to their lead with a 7-0 run late in the quarter to go up 25-10 and lead by 13 going into the second.
They continued to pull away from the Tide with an 11-3 run to open the quarter as they lead 36-15 midway through the second. Only four points were scored between the two teams in the last half of the quarter as the Gators led 38-17 going into halftime.
Despite playing much better in the second half, the Lady Tide were not able to get back into the game and cut into the Gators’ lead. They did end the third quarter on an 8-2 run that included a big three point shot from Jada Young.
The Lady Tide held Ware County to just five points in the fourth quarter but being down 24 to start kept them from getting back into the game as they 58-39 to fall to 6-12 on the year.
Young had another good game for the Lady Tide, going for a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds in just three quarters of play.
The boys took the court after the homecoming festivities and immediately jumped on the Gators. It was an 8-7 game in favor of the Tide midway through the quarter, but they went on a run that lasted until nearly halftime.
They closed the first quarter on an 11-0 run to lead 19-7 going into the second. They built that run to 18-0 and were 26-7 and eventually 29-7 before the Gators finally got back on the board.
They scored their first points in over 10 minutes with two free throws at the 1:47 mark of the second quarter. The Gators eventually whittled the Tide’s lead down to 19 points, but sophomore Ka’leel Anderson hit a huge buzzer-beating three as he was falling to give them a 22-point lead at the half with the Tide up 37-15.
The second half did not start the way the Tide would have wanted as they were given a technical foul for dunking during warmups. Touching the rim during warmups is a technical foul in the GHSA rulebook.
Despite this mistake, the Tide continued their dominance in the third quarter. Senior Cameryn Johnson, who led with six points in the first half, added nine in the third with two coming off a huge wide-open dunk that got the crowd roaring.
The Tide kept their foot on the gas and eventually pulled away with a 65-41 win to get back on track with the second win in a row.
The team is now 8-9 with the win after Johnson led the Tide with 17 points. The Blue Tide will host Brantley County on Friday, Jan. 28 in a huge region matchup. At that game, Long County will honor former football star Jamin Davis by retiring his number 25 jersey.