Westside Patriots claim 2nd state basketball title in a row

Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 8:17 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2023 at 4:56 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Westside High School Patriots headed to the state championship against Providence Christian Academy at the Macon Coliseum Thursday.

The game was a nail-bitter, but through four minutes of overtime, Westside was able to pull away for an 89-81 victory.

The boys were down by 11 in the third quarter before mounting that comeback, never losing hope.

Westside Senior Guard AuMauri Tillman finished with 36 points.

“The tears that you saw were just from this being my last game, not from winning the state championship. That really kicked in when that buzzer went off you saw where I went. I went to the other sideline, hugged them, and told them I respected them so much. I’ve been there. I’ve been there. We could’ve been there. We were down 11. We could’ve been there. God, my grandad is on my wrist. God. I feel like my family members watching me from above man. It doesn’t feel real. None of it feels real,” he said.

It’s hard enough to do it once, but they did it twice in back-to-back years. The Westside High School Patriots are going to bed the same way they woke up as reigning state 2A basketball champs.

Westside High takes home win!
Westside High takes home win!(WRDW)

Khalon Hudson said, “Just to come back and fight to the end and just end out on top that’s such a wonderful feeling.”

Head Coach Jerry Hunter said, “Our thing was getting ourselves together on defense. We knew the points would come eventually. We’ve just got to make the stops so composure was the most important thing. Those guys showed high character today, but most importantly man, they showed some composure during times of adversity.”

This is Hunter’s third state title. One with Laney in 2012, and now two in back-to-back years with Westside.

We were live at Westside where fans welcomed their champions home.

The energy was high at Westside High from the moment the players walked off of the bus as they brought the state title home to Augusta.

We caught up with one proud parent, and she’s already excited to see where they go next year.

“I was very excited for him. With him being a ninth grader, it was a great experience,” said Latoya Atwell. “I think it gives them the strength to want to just keep moving and know that ‘I gotta work harder’ because now I want it three times in a row.”