Saturday, March 01, 2008

East Laurens has little trouble with Long Co.

SAVANNAH, GA -- In case you were wondering, East Laurens is really, really good. The Falcons certainly proved that with a message-sending 79-53 win over Long County in the AA state tournament on Friday night.

East Laurens opened up the third quarter with a 20-4 run and never looked back. The Falcons played near flawless basketball in the second half, particularly in the third quarter and broke the game open with a 26-point lead. East Laurens led by seven at halftime.

The trio of senior Jimmy Williams, Jr., senior Ken Taylor and junior Terrance Lewis proved to be too much as they combined for 57 of East Laurens's 79 points.

"I told our guys that in order to beat a team like Long County, you can't led them get the ball and run and don't let them beat us on the offensive glass," East Laurens head coach Jimmy Williams, Sr. said. "Once we got that figured out, we set the tone on how we wanted to play. I was really happy with the way we got the ball and sent three to four guys at them as soon as we got the rebound."

Williams wasn't kidding. As soon as East Laurens grabbed the rebound, it took a blink of an eye to get across the halfcourt line and from there, the Falcons knew what to do with it.

Taylor scored 12 of his 18 points in the first quarter while Williams was involved in nearly every play throughout the game. If he wasn't powering to the basket both to the left and right to score, he was grabbing rebounds (he finished with 10), making a pass (he had five assits) or making a steal (he recorded five).

Lewis, a tight end on the football team, was relentless inside and seemed to score at will inside. The 6-foot-3 junior scored 18 points.

Long County could never find a rhythm in the game. The team's top player, Jimmy Bacon, scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds but fouled out late in the third quarter after receiving a technical foul.

Sophomore guard Justin Boyd took over the offensive responsibility in the fourth and finished with a team high 21 points.

East Laurens will play the winner of the Lovett-Coosa game on Thursday, March 6 at the Macon Centreplex at 8:30 p.m.