The Franklin County Lions will travel to Ludowici for a second round state playoff game tonight at 6 p.m.
It’s a long way to Long County.
Nearly four and a half hours, in fact, from Franklin County High School.
But Long County is the next stop for the Franklin County Lions basketball team’s journey in the state tournament.
“We’ve been on the road before,” Coach Jason Shaver said after his team’s first-round win in Carnesville over Calhoun (see related story).
Last season, the Lions – who made the state tournament as a wild card – advanced to the state’s Elite Eight with all of their games on the road. The team last year started out in Macon by beating region champion Central Macon and then traveled to Savannah to defeat Beach in the second round.
The run ended closer to home in Dawsonville.
This year, as the No. 2 seed fro Region 8AAA, the Lions enjoyed their first game at home before today’s second-round matchup against the Long County Blue Tide in Ludowici. Tip off will be at 6 p.m.
Long is in the middle of a special season.
The Blue Tide come in with a 24-4 record as the champions of Region 2AAA. Long has a 12-1 home record.
The team is led by Region 2AAA co-Player of the Year Trajan Weatherspoon, a 6’4”, 225-pound senior forward.
Weatherspoon averaged more than 11 points per game this season, according to Long County’s Coastal Courier newspaper, with about 20 dunks this season. He is also a force rebounding.
The Blue Tide also had senior Samuel Turner, a 6’3”, 155-pound guard/forward and junior point guard Tostadas Pouncey, 5’10”, 145 pounds, on the region first team.
Sophomore forward/guard Cameryn Johnson (6’2”, 190 pounds) was named to the All-Region second-team.
Long advanced to the second round with a 61-44 win over Rutland in the first round.
The Blue Tide is ranked No. 8 in Class AAA by MaxPreps.com.
Franklin County, ranked No. 11 by MaxPreps, will come in having played the tougher schedule and in the tougher region.
Long County is one of just two teams from Region 2AAA to advance to the second round, while Franklin’s 8AAA had all four teams make the Sweet 16.
The winner of the Long/Franklin game will host a third-round game against either Johnson-Savannah or Cedar Grove next week.