The Long County Blue Tide basketball teams are in the middle of their region schedule and both teams are looking to compete for a Region 3-AAA title and fight for playoff seeding. On Friday, Jan 19, the teams hosted the Groves Rebels in big region games for their homecoming, with the girls winning 44-20 and the boys holding on for an 85-81 win.
It was another struggle for the Lady Tide in the early goings of their game against the Lady Rebels, who the Tide defeated 52-29 in their first region game of the season in early December. It was Groves, however, who got the upper hand first in this contest.
Groves took an early 3-1 lead after connecting on a layup with a foul. It was the Lady Rebels’ only bucket of the first half.
The Lady Tide started 0-of-7 from the field, including missing their first four 3-point shots. Makinzie Moody hitting a 3 while getting fouled to give her team a 4-3 lead. It also sparked what a 21-0 run going into the second quarter.
Moody hit another 3 in the first quarter while Imani Pouncey hit two in the second quarter. The Rebels put one point on the board in the second quarter with just 41 seconds left to play in the half as the Lady Tide led 25-4 going into the locker room.
Head coach Jay Hires slowly started pulling his starters in the third quarter. However, the Lady Rebels went an 8-0 run in the quarter to cut the lead down to just 12 points and eventually 10 before Hires subbed his starters back in to preserve the lead.
The Tide led 32-18 going into the fourth quarter.
In the win, Moody led with 13 points and added five steals. This is the fourth straight win for the Lady Tide as they move to 7-8 overall and 6-2 in region play.
They will look to get back to .500 as they travel to Savannah twice next week against St. Vincent’s on Tuesday, Jan 23 and Johnson on Wednesday, Jan 24.
The boys looked to avenge an early-season loss to the Groves Rebels, their first before winning nine straight, as they took the court after homecoming festivities.
The last few games for the Tide have been low-scoring ones, but this was not the case against the Rebels. The teams showed off their offense and went back and forth early on.
Up 12-10 late in the quarter, the Tide went on a 7-2 run to close as they led 19-12 at the end of the first. Despite it being an offensive showdown, it was the defensive effort of Chris Hatfield that stood out as he went for six points and snagged four rebounds, helping him to his 11 on the night.
The Tide extended their run to 11-2 as they increased their lead to 11 points. At that point, the game eased back into its back-and-forth nature it had in the early half of the first quarter.
The Rebels went on a 7-2 run of their own to make the score 31-26 late in the half, but the Tide closed out to lead 35-28 at the half.
It was another 7-2 run to start the third quarter that gave the Tide a 42-30 lead with 6:45 left in the period. It seemed as though this was going to be too much for the Rebels as they never really cut into the Tide’s lead in the third quarter, despite hitting their first 3 after missing their first seven attempts.
The Tide led 63-54 going into the fourth quarter when the fans got treated to an absolute battle.
With a 70-63 lead with 4:35 left, Roderick Randall nailed a 3-point shot while being fouled to push the Tide’s lead back out to 11 points. The Rebels went on an 8-0 run to cut their deficit down to just three points with 2:00 left in the game.
A Tide layup and a Rebels 3 made the game a 78-76 difference with 1:35 left to play.
The Rebels couldn’t tie the game as the Tide hit some big free throws down the stretch as Chuck Anderson went 3-of-4 from the line to give the Tide a 83-78 lead with 30 seconds left.
The Rebels hit a big 3 to make the score 83-81 with 22 seconds left to play. The Tide kept the ball away as Randall was fouled and hit both free throws.
Three players scored in double digits as Anderson led with 24 points, Randall had 15, including the four-point play in the fourth, and Keshawn Smith scored 14 points, eight in the fourth quarter.
Hatfield finished one bucket shy of a double-double as he went for eight points and 11 rebounds.
With the win, the Tide are now 13-4 and 4-3 in the region. They will take on the region-leading Johnson Atomsmashers on Wednesday, Jan 24 in a makeup game from two weeks ago.