The Augusta Christian School track season got off to a good start last weekend, but there was a sad ending for the AC boys basketball team.
The Lions began the Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA state basketball tournament Thursday with a 62-52 win against Riverside Military Academy. That set up a showdown in Macon Saturday with top-ranked Deerfield Windsor.
Deerfield Windsor held a 5-0 lead two minutes into the game when AC senior Jordan Belcher attempted to pull down a rebound, but got undercut and fell head-first on the court.
As a blood spilled from a gash in his head, Belcher was motionless for more than five minutes. "He was lying there in a pool of blood. The whole team was in shock," AC coach Andrew Bryan said.
With Belcher en route to the hospital, the Lions fell behind 25-11 at the half. "The shots weren't falling, but we had just watched our best player carried off with his head drenched in blood," Bryan said.
While Bryan was making his halftime speech, Belcher returned. Midway through the third quarter, he told Bryan, "Coach, I want to go in."
Belcher proceeded to pour in 16 points to help trim a 21-point deficit to five, but Deerfield managed to hang on and end AC's season.
"The last half of basketball really showed what kind of heart Jordan Belcher has," Bryan said. "The team as a whole rallied back from that tragedy. If nothing else, it was a great effort by our guys."
Meanwhile, the Augusta Christian track season started Saturday in Columbia, S.C. at the University of South Carolina Invitational.
"This was an opportunity to take our kids to run in an environment they ordinarily would not be a part of," Augusta Christian coach Bruce Lane said. "It was an open meet that featured some college athletes, so it was a good day for our kids to see what college track and field was about."
Sarah Madebach led the Lady Lions with wins in two events (3,000-meter run and the mile run). Annie Kim was sixth in the mile and fifth in the 800-meter run, Rebekah Madebach was second in the 800. Crystin Cromer placed 10th in the shot-put event to top all high school competitors.
Augusta Christian boys and their finishes were: 55-meter run - Cole Rabun (48th, top high school placer); Marcus Paschal (49th); Robert Banks (55th); Dwight Banks (57th); and, Justin Fearneyhough (58th). 400-meter run - Ryan Bates (14th, top high school placer); Danny Dickinson (17th); Andrew Fisher (18th); Brandon Ford (18th); Chris Wise (23rd); and, Andrew Fields (24th). 110-meter hurdles - Howard Walls (14th).
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.