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Tide girls lose, boys win last-second thriller
Basketball through hoop
The high-school basketball season kicks into gear Friday with crosstown rivals Liberty County and Bradwell Institute going head to head at Bradwell.

The Long County Blue Tide basketball teams opened the 2019-2020 season on Tuesday, November 12 as they hosted the New Hampstead Phoenix for Community Night. The fans were treated to two exciting finishes as the girls fell in the last second while the boys pulled out the win at the buzzer.

The Lady Tide started off slow on offense as they were 0-6 from the field and could not get much going. Luckily, the Lady Phoenix struggled on offense as well. Makayla Raimer finally got the Tide going as she was 2-3 on shots in the first quarter while fellow sophomore CiCi Burke was a big rebounding threat, grabbing five boards, as the Tide led 5-3 at the end of the period.

The Tide opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run, which included a big And 1 play by Burke, to build a 13-5 lead, their biggest of the night. The Lady Tide led 13-7 at the half.

Long County’s offense once again struggled to get much going in the third quarter, but the Phoenix found their stride. They opened up with a 7-0 run to take a 14-13 lead with 3:40 left in the period. The last half of the third quarter saw the teams flip flop leads as New Hampstead led 20-19 going into the fourth.

The game was back and forth for the rest of the contest and with five seconds left, the game was tied at 23. The Phoenix inbounded the ball and Ashleigh Fears, who scored 19 points for New Hampstead, hit a shot from the free throw line, giving her team the 25-23 win.

Burke finished the game with five points and 12 rebounds, while Raimer scored six points and recorded four assists.

The boys found themselves in the middle of a back-and-forth contest with the Phoenix, much like last year’s contest that the Blue Tide won 46-44 on a last second lay up by then-senior Khy Collins. This year’s game again came down to a last second lay up by another Tide senior.

The Tide opened up with Trajan Weatherspoon hitting a shot from just past the free throw line seconds into the game and then Dederick Stewart hitting a big three point shot to give his team a 5-0 lead thirty seconds into the game.

However, the Phoenix went on a big run, scoring 14 unanswered points and holding the Tide scoreless for over six minutes. Senior Ethan Williams hit a three point shot to break their drought, which was mostly due to the Tide going 2-9 from three-point range in the first quarter. Long County went on an 8-5 run to close the quarter as they trailed 19-13.

The Tide made a furious comeback in the second quarter, which was started by Williams’s second three-point shot. Samuel Turner also made a big difference for the Blue Tide as he recorded seven points and five rebounds. The Tide led the Phoenix 33-31 going into the locker room at halftime.

The Blue Tide and Phoenix had an incredible back and forth battle in the second half with DeAndre Smart taking the lead for New Hampstead. They led 50-48 at the end of the third quarter.

The Tide were down 60-59 late in the game when the Phoenix were hit with a costly technical foul. Pouncey, however, hit just one of his three free throws and was only able to tie the game at 60. Cameryn Johnson made an impressive lay up over a defender as they took a 62-60 lead.

The Phoenix work their way back into the lead as they were up 65-64 with 12 seconds left. Xavier Carlton went up for a lay up and it rimmed out, but Weatherspoon was there for the putback to give his team the 66-65 lead and win.

Pouncey led his team with 13 points, while Weatherspoon had eight points and five rebounds. Turner finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Tide basketball teams will be back in action on Friday as they host South Effingham. 

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