Augusta State’s season all comes down to today.
When the Jaguars play at 3:30 p.m. at Flagler in their regular season finale, they’ll be seeking to play at least one more game. The winner advances to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament next week. The loser begins preparing for next season.
“It’s as simple as this – we go down to Flagler and win, we play Montevallo at 7 o’clock on Friday,” Augusta State coach Dip Metress said about the tournament quarterfinal matchup. “That’s all we have to do. That’s the goal.”
After getting off to a 6-0 start, the Jaguars lost forward Howard Doby for the season after his January arrest on a gun charge.
Then, Metress kicked center Chad July off the team before giving backup guard Josh Samuels the boot. Lacking depth, Augusta State has dropped 12 of the past 19 games.
Now, the Jaguars (13-12 overall, 8-10 conference) hold a one-game lead over the Saints for fourth place in the division. But Flagler, which defeated Augusta State in January at Christenberry Fieldhouse, will hold the tiebreaker with a win today.
In the women’s game, Augusta State will claim the East Division outright with a win at Flagler. The teams meet at 1:30.
The Lady Jaguars have already claimed at least a share of the East Division title after defeating USC Aiken on Wednesday night. Augusta State has won four in a row, with leading scorer Jemimah Ashby getting back in the groove following her return from knee surgery two weeks ago. Ashby scored 20 points against the Lady Pacers.
The Lady Jaguars have come a long way since Ashby’s first season in 2010-11 – coach Nate Teymer’s first season with the team. That year, Augusta State finished last in the division at 8-18.
“Give hats off to the girls who have been here for three years and for the new players,” Teymer said. “These girls know how hard it is to get here. I think they’re enjoying it now and want to stay here.”