By Doug Gorman
There must have been a time when many local high school basketball fans thought there was no way the Henry County Warhawks were going to make it to the Class AA tournament.
After all, Henry County entered the Region 4-AA tournament on the heels of a seven-game losing streak and simply not playing very good basketball.
Then the Warhawks decided to get hot. Henry County rolled off four straight victories in the Region 4-AA tournament, including a thrilling 70-66 overtime victory over Northeast Macon in the league title game.
Saturday night Henry County opened the first round of the state tournament with a 80-54 victory against visting Fitzgerald.
The victory improved Henry County's record to a 14-13.
Through it all, Henry County head coach Vincent Rosser never lost faith in his team.
"Finally in the last week or so, we have finally had everybody healthy" Rosser said. "It has made a big difference, especially because of the way we play. We sometimes get into foul trouble and it's good to have a deep bench."
The Warhawks stay at home for their second-round game against Long County today at 6 p.m.
Long County knocked off Jefferson 90-88 in the first-round game to improve to 15-13.
Saturday's victory turned into the Larrentis and Laricus Thomas show as the brothers took paced Henry County into the second round.
Larrentis finished the night with 19 points and older brother Laricus added 18.
Fitzgerald was led by Nick Williams added 24 points and Latravious Stewart finished with 18.
Larrentis scored the first six points of the game as Henry County jumped out a 6-0 lead.
The Warhawks built a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The game stayed close in the second period as Henry County only led 35-28 the break.
Two 3-point shots by Jeffery Weeks in the first half helped the Warhawks stay out front.
Kalawn Waits also added a 3-point shot in the second quarter.
The momentum shifted over to Henry County in the second half. The Warhawks built their first double-digit lead in the third quarter and led 49-35 heading into the fourth quarter.
In tonight's game against Long County, the Warhawks face a team that brings a 15-13 record into the contest. The Blue Tide have won five of their last six games.