The Long County Blue Tide boys basketball team hosted the Rutland Hurricanes out of Macon for the first round of the AAA state playoffs on Saturday, February 15. The Tide dominated the first half and never really looked back as they scored a 61-44 victory.
The Tide started off slow as they were locked in back-and-forth battle with the Hurricanes. Long County seemed to finally learn Rutland’s tendencies late in the first quarter as they went on an 8-2 run over the final two minutes to lead 18-10 going into the second quarter.
The second quarter was where the Tide completely took over. They opened the quarter on a 12-2 run to take a 30-12 lead. During the run, senior Trajan Weatherspoon and sophomore Cameryn Johnson each threw down some dunks to ignite the crowd. Johnson dazzled the home crowd with an electric dunk finish on an And-1 play.
The Tide led the Hurricanes 41-20 at the half. Johnson scored 12 points in the second quarter and went into halftime with 18 points and six rebounds.
The Hurricanes seemed to do a good job running the Tide all over the court to start the second half and held them scoreless for the first 3:26 of the third quarter. Despite not scoring for the first half of the period, the Tide still held a 49-32 lead at the end.
With a sizable lead in the final quarter, the Tide slowed things down and never really let the Hurricanes get back in the game. Weatherspoon scored seven of his 11 points in the quarter. The Tide held strong and moved on to a 61-44 win over the Hurricanes.
Weatherspoon finished the game with 11 points and 8 rebounds while Johnson, who was held scoreless in the second half, still finished with a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Long County now advances to the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in three years. The Tide now await the winner of Calhoun High School and Franklin County High School for their second round game. The game will played either Wednesday, February 19 or Thursday, February 20.