As has been the case in recent years, John Milledge Academy is once again playing host to the GISA Region 4-AAA basketball tournament.
The semifinal and final rounds are set for Thursday and Friday nights inside the Trojan Center where the John Milledge basketball teams are hoping for a repeat of last year that saw both the Lady Trojans and Trojans win the boys and girls titles.
Both John Milledge hoops teams have guaranteed their spots in the 2020 GISA AAA state playoffs. Their seeding will be determined by how they finish in this week’s region tournament.
The JMA girls (14-3 overall, 5-1 region) enter the region tournament as the top seed and on a two-game win streak. They are matched up against fourth-seeded Bethlehem Christian in Thursday’s semifinal round. The Lady Trojans swept the Lady Knights of Bethlehem this regular season, winning the two bouts 43-29 and more recently 69-49 just last week in what wound up being John Milledge’s last game of the regular season. On the other side of the girls bracket are second-seeded Augusta Prep and third-place Westminster of Augusta. Prep handed the Lady Trojans their only region loss this season in the second of two ballgames between the two teams. John Milledge narrowly escaped its away game at Westminster with a 45-42 double overtime loss Jan. 28, so although the Lady Trojans hold the top seed, the girls region title is anything but in the bag. Augusta Prep and Westminster will play 4 p.m. Thursday inside the Trojan Center while the JMA and Bethlehem girls are slated to hit the same floor at 7 p.m. Winners will meet 7 p.m. Friday for the region championship while the losers will fight for playoff seeding in the consolation game at 4 p.m.
The John Milledge boys (13-4 overall, 6-2 region) hold the second seed in the bracket. The top seed honor went to Loganville Christian, the team that handed the Trojans both their region losses this season. In order to possibly get a third shot at defeating the Lions of Loganville, JMA will have to first fight through Bethlehem Christian in the 5:30 p.m. Thursday semifinal. The Trojans beat Bethlehem handily on the road 53-30 back in mid-January then out-dueled the Knights 76-62 last week. That second meeting saw JMA senior Parker Blenk go off for a school record 47 points after hitting 15 three-pointers on the night. Westminster and Augusta Prep, the region fourth and fifth seeds respectively, were set to meet in a play-in game Tuesday for the right to face Loganville in the Thursday 8:30 p.m. semifinal. Semifinal winners will square off 8:30 p.m. Friday with the region title on the line while the losers will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the consolation game.