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Lions heading west for tournament

Participating teams

Posted: December 4, 2013 - 1:09am
Ashton Grant (left) and the Augusta Christian Lions will be flying to Arizona to play in the third annual Christian Cup.  File photo by Jim Blaylock
File photo by Jim Blaylock
Ashton Grant (left) and the Augusta Christian Lions will be flying to Arizona to play in the third annual Christian Cup.

Twitter @ScottRouch

Hours after their Tuesday night game at Fox Creek, the Augusta Christian boys basketball team will be winging its way westward.

The Lions (2-1) are headed to Gilbert, Ariz., where they’ll take part in the third annual Christian Cup on the campus of Arizona Christian University from Thursday to Saturday.

Tournament organizers were looking for a Christian school and reached out to the Lions in April following their run to the South Carolina Independent School Association Class AAA state semifinals.

In addition to the Lions, the eight-team tournament features schools from Arizona and California, including state champions in Gilbert Christian, Horizon Christian and Joy Christian.

“We’re thrilled to get the opportunity to play at a college and get the exposure of playing different cultures of teams from California and Arizona.” said Lions first-year head coach John Harris.

After arriving, the Lions will take part in a Wednesday night banquet. If time permits Harris is hoping to get some sight-seeing in during the week, especially with Phoenix just 20 miles away.

The Lions will open with Brookside Christian (Stockton, Calif.) on Thursday, with brackets to be determined at the conclusion of play each day.

A trip to Charleston, S.C. for a game with Charleston Collegiate last week may have paid dividends in advance.

‘‘We experienced staying the night and everything and hopefully that helped prepare us for Arizona,” Harris said.

Harris wasn’t sure how many of his players have traveled by plane before, but he was definitely looking forward to the trip.

“I’ve never been that far west, I’m excited as well,” Harris said.

Participating teams

Augusta Christian, Martinez, Ga.

• Brookside Christian, Stockton, Calif.

• Gilbert Christian, Gilbert, Ariz.

• Horizon Christian, San Diego, Calif.

• Joy Christian, Glendale, Ariz.

• Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, Calif.

• Westwood, Mesa, Ariz.

• Woodland Christian, Woodland, Calif.

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