The Augusta boys basketball team defeated Clearwater at home by a score of 64-46 on Wednesday night to advance to the 4A sub-state championship game.
The Orioles dominated the first quarter and led 18-8 after the first eight minutes. Augusta held on to the lead throughout the second quarter, as Zac Burton led the Orioles with 14 first-half points.
The Orioles continued to hold off the Indians, and ended the third quarter with all the momentum. With five seconds remaining in the third quarter, Jarin Jackson drained a three from the corner. The Orioles slowed it down and executed the designed play perfectly. Clearwater tried to quickly inbound the ball for a last-second shot attempt, but Augusta’s Corbin Parker had other ideas. Parker was able to get a quick steal, and barely beat the buzzer with his jump shot to give the Orioles a 50-32 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“I thought our defense was really solid for the most part,” said Sims.
“I thought we did a good job of competing and waiting for our time. Our time came at the end of the third quarter with a big five-point push with four seconds to go. That kind of blew the game open.”
The Orioles carried that momentum into the fourth quarter, where they were able to cruise to a first-round victory.
Augusta senior Zac Burton led the Orioles with 21 points. Jarin Jackson knocked down three three-pointers and finished with 16 points. Zach Davidson was also in double figures with 11 points.
The Orioles will travel to Abilene (17-3) on Friday to take on the Cowboys. Back in early December, the Orioles defeated Abilene at home by a score of 68-55. The two teams will meet again on Friday with a trip to the 4A state tournament on the line.
“You just have to prepare yourself for any type of game,” said Augusta head coach Jake Sims.
“They’ll want a slower game and we want to get out and go, so we just have to be patient. Rebounding the first shot is key for us, so that’s something we’ll be focusing on.”