The Long County High School Blue Tide basketball season is in full swing and both teams continued their run Tuesday, Nov. 27, against 5A New Hampstead. The Lady Blue Tide continued their late-game struggles while the boys erased a halftime deficit and topped the Phoenix in the final seconds.
The Lady Tide seemed to be in control early in the first quarter against the Phoenix. They had a 5-4 lead going into the second period and they seemed to dominate the boards with Breyahn Maddox and CiCi Burke each recording three rebounds.
There was an odd stretch in the second quarter where there was an inadvertent whistle that briefly stopped play and gave the Phoenix a wide open layup. Another possession where the Phoenix seemingly committed a traveling violation, which was called by an official and then waved off by another, led to a three-point bucket for New Hampstead. That swing was the difference in the first half as the Phoenix led 19-12 at the break.
With a seven-point lead, New Hampstead kept pushing in the second half and the Lady Tide’s lack of experience and depth caught up to them. The Phoenix pushed out to a 35-21 lead in the third quarter and maintained control in the fourth as they ended the game with a 41-26 win over Long County.
The Lady Tide fall to 0-3 on the year, but have continued to show progress throughout the season even with several freshmen and sophomores getting ample play.
The boys’ team had a lot more luck against the Phoenix in what turned out to be a thrilling dog fight. The offense struggled to get much going in the first half as the Blue Tide could not sink their shots. The team was 0-3 from behind the three-point line and went into the second quarter trailing 9-2.
New Hampstead maintained its lead in the second quarter, but the Blue Tide finally started nailing some shots. Trajan Weatherspoon recorded six of his 12 rebounds and eight of his 18 points in the second quarter and the Tide went into halftime trailing 20-14.
The third quarter was a lot back-and-forth action between the Blue Tide and Phoenix. The Tide opened up the quarter with an 8-2 run to tie the game at 22 and later went on a second 8-2 run to take a 30-24 lead, their biggest of the game, and led 32-28 at the end of the third.
New Hampstead did not lay down however as their 10-4 scoring run stretched from the end of the third and into the fourth and tied the game at 34. It was a brawl between the two teams late in the fourth and the Tide seemed to be in trouble with less than a minute left.
The Phoenix led 41-39 and the Tide were looking to just even up the score. However, Tostadas Pouncey got an open look and already the hot hand as he sunk his third three-point shot of the night to give his team a 42-41 lead. Weatherspoon sunk two free throws to give his team a 44-41 lead with 30 seconds left on the clock.
The Phoenix found a hole in the Tide’s defense on the opposite end of the court and were able to sink a three of their own to tie the game at 44. It seemed as though the Tide and Phoenix would be giving the crowd some free basketball, but seniors Nathan Francis and Khy Collins had something to say about it.
With 4.6 seconds left on the clock, Francis heaved a half-court inbounds pass to Collins and he zipped all the way to the basket to make the game-winning layup at the buzzer to give his team the 46-44 win.
With the win, the Tide move to 2-1 on the year. Both teams were back in action Friday, Nov 30 against Richmond Hill and Saturday, Dec 1 against Wayne County. Scores were not available at press time.
The teams will host McIntosh County Academy on Tuesday, Dec 4.