The Rockmart High School Yellow Jackets basketball team is looking to continue their magical postseason run on Wednesday when they travel five hours to Savannah to face Johnson-Savannah at 6 p.m.
The journey to Savannah will mark the third straight year the Yellow Jackets have visited the historic city. Rockmart participated in the Savannah Holiday Classic basketball tournament in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Not only are the Yellow Jackets familiar with the route to Savannah, but they are also familiar with their opponent. Last season, Rockmart played Johnson-Savannah in the Classic tournament, losing 72-52.
Rockmart, the No. 3 seed from Region 4-AAA, enters the state playoff game with plenty of momentum.
After posting an 8-16 regular season record, the Yellow Jackets downed the B.E.S.T Academy and Central-Carroll in the Region 4-AAA tournament to qualify for the state playoffs. After losing to Douglass High School by three points in the region semifinals, Rockmart (11-17) bounced back to knock off Chapel Hill and claim the No. 3 seed.
Rockmart, who is back in the state playoffs for the third time in four seasons, will face a Johnson-Savannah team that enters the game with a 20-6 record.
The Atom Smashers finished second in Region 1-AAA, losing to rival Savannah High School 67-58 in the region championship game.
Johnson-Savannah is led by guard Tim Quarterman. The 6-foot-5 player had 15 college scholarship offers before choosing to sign with LSU. Some of the other bigger schools to offer Quarterman were Georgia, Georgia Tech, Texas, Memphis, George Mason, Mississippi State and Oklahoma.
Rockmart will also have to defend Greg Mortimer and Rico Bonds, who are two explosive guards for the Atom Smashers as well.
The Yellow Jackets, who have only defeated one team with a winning record this season, will face a Johnson-Savannah squad that has had early exits from the state tournament in recent years.
Johnson-Savannah has been eliminated in the first round four of the past five years. The only state playoff win during the past five years came in 2010 when they defeated Redan, but lost in round two to Westlake.
If Rockmart wins, they will play the winner of the Carver-Columbus/Swainsboro game this weekend. If Rockmart and Carver-Columbus win, the Yellow Jackets will be back on the road for round two. If Rockmart and Swainsboro both win, the Yellow Jackets would host the second round playoff game.