Western Albemarle Prepares for First State Semifinals Appearance in 20 Years

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Western Albemarle head coach Darren Maynard Western Albemarle head coach Darren Maynard

The Western Albemarle basketball team ended a 20-year drought by beating Hidden Valley and advancing to the Class 3 State Semifinals Saturday.

The Warriors face undefeated Northside on Tuesday at the Salem Civic Center in the semifinals.

Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m.

Its Western's first appearance in the state semifinals, since 1998.

The Warriors are looking to advance to their first-ever state finals as they try to hand Northside (28-0) its first loss this year.

"It'd be awesome to be the one to finally beat them," says head coach Darren Maynard. "I know they're really good. Their scores haven't even been close for the most part. I like challenges and I hope the team gets that off of me and I hope they feel the same way."

"For sure," says senior Chris McGahren. "We respect them a ton. They're a great team. We think we can bring something to the table too in this game."

The Warriors believe their Jefferson District schedule and playing in close games this season, will provide an edge against Northside.

Maynard says, "I think they had one game that was a three-pointer and all the rest were 16 or more points spreads so, yeah we've been in all kinds of wars and I think the quality of our schedule really helps us. Playing Albemarle, Charlottesville, Louisa."

McGahren says, "As much as that hurt to lose to them that many times during the season, I think it has prepared us well, and I think we play in a great district that prepares us for the postseason."

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