Well, basketball season is finally over. The Greenbrier girls have gone further than any other basketball team in Columbia County history ... or have they?
In the private school world, the Augusta Prep boys basketball team made a trip to the Georgia Independent Schools Association State Tournament Final Four in 1998, according to athletic director Tom Holodak.
Augusta Christian grabbed two boys basketball state championships in 1996 and 1999 (and a state runner-up finish in 1997).
The Lady Lions reached the state semifinals this season in the South Carolina Independent Schools Association.
Before this year, the Augusta Christian girls basketball program had won one state tournament game in its 29-year history.
All private school play aside, the Greenbrier girls have gone further in the state playoffs than any other basketball team in the county, right?
Let's go back. Way back.
Back to the 1960-61 basketball season, when shorts were short and a free-throw shot looked like a game of horse gone wild.
The 1960-61 Harlem boy's basketball team was coached by Tom Whitfield.
Harlem put up a 29-4 record and reached the Class C State Tournament Semifinals in Macon, Ga.
Seniors Phillip Kelley, Lindsey Howard and Buddy Harrison led the Bulldogs, along with Hardy King, to win the State Area Tournament in Warrenton and State 6C Region Tournament in Wrens.
Harlem defeated West Bainbridge and Macon County in the state tournament before losing to West Side High School, from Rocky Face, Ga., in the semifinals.
These boys were no pushovers. They outscored their opponents by an average of almost 17 points per game. They averaged more than 60 points per game and won the CSRA Tournament two years in a row.
It was only the beginning.
From 1959 to 1969, the Bulldogs went to the state tournament eight times, including state semifinals appearances in 1961, 1963 and 1969.
Some say basketball isn't the best sport this county has to offer, but it does have its history.
Sure, it took the county 37 years to get back to the state semifinals.
However, with four of Greenbrier's five starters returning next year, I'm confident we won't have to wait another 37 years for another trip to the Final Four.
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