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Andrew Jackson faces Bishop England for the Class AA girls state championship on Saturday, March 8 in the Colonial Life Arena at 2 p.m.
AJ, the Class AA Upper State champion with a 23-3 record, advanced to the state title game after taking a 62-48 win over Newberry at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville on Saturday, March 1.
Bishop England, the Class AA Lower State champion with a 26-1 record, earned its third straight Class AA girls state title game berth with a 68-53 win over Dillon High School at the Florence Civic Center on Saturday, March 1.
In the final regular-season S.C. Basketball Coaches Association Class AA girls state poll on Feb. 3, Andrew Jackson was ranked No. 5 and Bishop England rated No. 1. The poll came out before the playoffs opened Feb. 20. A final state poll will be released after the state championship games Saturday.
From the Kershaw area, take U.S. 521 South to I-20 West toward Augusta. Follow I-20 West and merge onto S.C. 277 via exit 73A toward Columbia.
Follow S.C. 277 to Elmwood Avenue. Follow Elmwood and take a left on Assembly Street. Follow Assembly Street to Greene Street and turn right on Greene Street and follow to the arena. General parking is $5.
Tickets to the game are $10 and are good for the whole day on Saturday. If you leave, you must buy another ticket. Tickets are on sale today in the AJ High office from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fans are urged to purchase tickets in advance to avoid the lines Saturday at the Colonial Life Arena.
Funds raised through game ticket sales will remain at AJ High. On game day, children, age 5 and under, are admitted free.
Title game experience
State championship bids are aren’t new for the AJ High coaches, head coach Dennis Farmer, and chief assistant Kelly Phillips.
Farmer, as the boys coach at McBee High School before coming to AJ to lead the Lady Vols, took two MHS Panthers’ teams to the state title games in 1978 and 1984 when his MHS teams finished as the state runners-up.
Phillips, a former AJ Lady Vols’ player, was a member of the 1986-87 AJ team which fell to Allendale Fairfax for the state crown. The Lady Vols were led by then head coach Marti Tiller. That team was the last AJ girls basketball squad to earn a state title game berth.
Andrew Jackson and Bishop England have some recent postseason history.
Back last November, the Lady Vols and Lady Bishops met at White Knoll High School in Lexington County to play for the Class AA state volleyball title.
The Lady Bishops won the state volleyball crown, 3-0.
AJ has four players who were members of the 2013 Lady Vols’ volleyball team. The Lady Vols include Elizabeth Scott, Brantley Ussery, Brooke Brewer and Lauren Rowell.