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Augusta Christian to play host to tournament in Aiken

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It was time for others to take a trip.

After often traveling for tournaments in the past few years, Augusta Christian will serve as host of the Augusta Christian Christmas Classic, which runs today through Wednesday at the USC Aiken Convocation Center.

“We wanted to do something quality, and the convocation center is so nice and we’ve used it in the past,” Augusta Christian boys basketball coach Marty Griffin said. “We knew teams would like to play in it and we enjoy hosting it. We wanted to stay home for a tournament this year.”

Teams from six different states are scheduled to compete, with the Lions boys and girls teams and the Westminster boys team representing the area.

Visiting teams include Evangel Christian’s boys team from Alabama and Franklin Road Academy’s girls team from Tennessee. With this year’s collection of various teams, Griffin’s squad will see players and schools it won’t normally see.

He hopes this year’s tournament leads to even better ones down the road, as he wants to bring in powerful teams from all over.

“I wouldn’t mind being the Chaminade of the tournament,” said Griffin, referring to the Division II school that plays host to the yearly Maui Invitational that often features some of the best Division I programs.

Also this week, the Holiday Round Ball Classic, which includes area schools Aiken, Cross Creek, Hephzibah and Josey, will be held at Laney’s Norman Bonner Athletic Complex.

The Wildcats won both the boys and girls competition a year ago.

“It’s kind of like a city classic,” Laney boys coach Jerry Hunter said.

Holiday classic games begin today at 10 a.m.

All tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the door. Georgia High School Association and South Carolina High School League passes will be honored.

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