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Martin, GAC among four Gwinnett teams in semis

With a vested interest in this week's ACC Basketball Tournament, Eddie Martin would love to be at the Georgia Dome this week if he had any free time.

But he hopes to be way too busy to watch three of his former Norcross players now in the ACC.

The first-year Greater Atlanta Christian boys basketball coach has a Class AA semifinal matchup with top-ranked Dublin on Thursday night in Macon, and he hopes to follow that up with a Saturday afternoon title game appearance.

"I hope we win Thursday," Martin said, "and if we win Thursday, I'm not even trying to get down there (for the ACC tourney) on Friday. I'll be working on Saturday."

Martin is one of four Gwinnett head coaches happy to still be working this week. The county has four teams remaining for this week's state Final Four round, including the GAC boys and the Buford girls in Class AA and the Wesleyan girls in Class A - all teams that play this week in Macon.

Only one Gwinnett Class AAAAA team remains for the semifinals this week at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The Parkview girls (30-1) take on undefeated and top-ranked Redan at 4 p.m. Thursday.

"With all of the good teams we still have playing, I don't think we are playing as much for Gwinnett AAAAA as much as we are trying to represent ourselves and our Parkview Community as well as we have all year long," Parkview girls coach Mike McCoy said. "These kids set out to do this and I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to help them in any way along their journey."

So is Martin.

After leading the Norcross boys to AAAAA state titles the past three seasons, he didn't know what to expect this season at GAC. He knew the Spartans went 26-4 in 2007-08, but not much else. He was lured more by the school and the job than the immediate wins potential.

As it turned out, he got those, too. The Spartans are 28-3 and in their first Final Four since 1992. They haven't won a state title since 1977, but are two wins away from that goal.

Martin has now won 18 straight state tournament games, but he'd like to make it an even 20. But first he has to get No. 19 Thursday against senior-laden Dublin (29-1).

"The kids have come a long way this year," said Martin, who has just one senior, Taylor Metzger, on the roster. "I'm pleased with where we're at. But I still want to play two more games."

The No. 1 Buford girls (30-1) play No. 3 Laney (25-3) in Thursday's AA semifinals.

In Class A, the defending champion Wesleyan girls (27-4) test their No. 1 ranking against sixth-ranked Randolph-Clay (27-4).

SideBar: State Tournament Basketball

WEDNESDAY

Class A

At the Macon Centreplex

4 p.m. - Wesleyan vs. Towns County girls

7 p.m. - Savannah Country Day vs. SW Atlanta Christian girls

Class AAAA

At the Arena at Gwinnett Center

4 p.m. - Bainbridge vs. SW DeKalb girls

5:30 p.m. - Bainbridge vs. Tucker boys

7 p.m. - Fayette County vs. Jonesboro girls

8:30 p.m. - Miller Grove vs. Richmond Academy boys

THURSDAY

Class AA

At the Macon Centreplex

4 p.m. - Henry County vs. Model girls

5:30 p.m. - Blessed Trinity vs. Greene County boys

7 p.m. - Buford vs. Laney girls

8:30 p.m. - GAC vs. Dublin boys

Class AAAAA

At the Arena at Gwinnett Center

4 p.m. - Parkview vs. Redan girls

5:30 p.m. - Milton vs. Newnan boys

7 p.m. - Beach vs. Marietta girls

8:30 p.m. - Westlake vs. Wheeler boys