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Augusta Prep, Westminster meet in state semifinals

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Go ahead, pencil in Augusta in the state championship game. The team specifics can wait.

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Cavaliers senior Michael Downing (left) prepares to make a pass during practice at Augusta Prep on Tuesday. Augusta Prep and Westminster have split four games this year. Tonight's winner will play for the state title Saturday.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Cavaliers senior Michael Downing (left) prepares to make a pass during practice at Augusta Prep on Tuesday. Augusta Prep and Westminster have split four games this year. Tonight's winner will play for the state title Saturday.

With the Augusta Prep and West­minster boys basketball teams playing one another at 7 tonight in a GISA Class AAA state semifinal game at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., the area will be represented in the final.

“The one thing we do know: an Augusta team will be playing for a state championship,” Wildcats coach Mark Tebbs said. “So there’s consolation in that.”

Judging by recent results, either side could win the most important meeting of the season.

In splitting the four earlier showdowns, the two were separated by as little as two points.

Augusta Prep (19-8) is in the more unfamiliar spot. It is in the state semifinals for the first time since 1998.

Rival Westminster is a bit more used to the big stage – the Wildcats (17-10) made it this far just last season. But both programs are in pursuit of state title No. 1.

Both are well informed about the other.

“I’ve played them probably 20 times in my four years,” Augusta Prep senior Michael Downing said. “We know almost everything about them. I went to school with half the kids before I came here. So did a lot of others on the team.”

The winner of today’s game takes the season series 3-2 and moves on to Saturday night’s state championship.

It would be quite a step for either team.

“People have asked if this was a goal at the start of the year,” Cavaliers coach Mike Guthrie said. “Maybe it was a dream. I don’t think anybody sets a goal to get to the final four. But we’ve been very fortunate.”

TUESDAY’S GAMES

at Mercer University, Macon, Ga.

GISA Class A state semifinals

• Curtis Baptist vs. Dawson Street, 1 p.m.

GISA Class AAA state semifinals

• Augusta Prep vs. Westminster, 7


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