Augusta Christian's best girls basketball season in school history came to an end Thursday night with a loss to Northwood in the South Carolina Independent Schools Association State Tournament Semifinals.
The loss ended the Lady Lions' season with a final record of 23-7. The mark is the best-ever for an Augusta Christian girls basketball team, and their run to the state final four is also a school record.
"We had a lot of goals set," Augusta Christian coach Keith Walton said. "We talked about wanting to get 20 wins, winning region and getting past the first round of the playoffs. We accomplished all of those goals."
Before this season, the girls basketball program had seen only one state tournament win in its 29-year history. The 2005-06 season brought two state tournament victories, including a quarterfinals win over Orangeburg Prep on Feb. 27.
Lady Lion leading scorer Jordan Little scored 13 points in the win and averaged 16.7 points per game in state tournament play. Junior forward Casey Brush led Augusta Christian with 21 points in the state quarterfinals.
Walton said a state championship would have been nice, but there's no denying the girls' success this year.
"What we needed to do was constantly improve every practice and every game," he said. "As long as we did that, we were going to be satisfied with whatever the outcome was. For the most part, that's what we did."
Four Augusta Christian seniors - Jordan Little, Sarah-Beth McKinney, Larrie Reece and Ashley Troxel - played in their final game Thursday night. However, for the rest of the Lady Lions, the end of the 2005-06 season is only the beginning.
"Our future's pretty good," Walton said. "To have an eighth-grader play in a final four game - she was an integral part in us even getting there."
Eighth-grade guard Elizabeth Alewine began the season on the bench, but eventually filled in as a starter midway through the season. Alewine will return next year with a group that includes junior forwards Casey Brush and Whitney Waters and junior guard Lynlee Satcher.
"Lynlee stepped up this year, and Casey Brush came out of nowhere," Walton said. "Everybody did their part."
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