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MAHS boys and girls basketball shining despite school's uncertain future

Shelby County Schools announced Memphis Academy of Health Sciences Middle and High Schools would close at the end of the academic year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — MAHS basketball has never been better, in what may be their final season.

"We want to go in style," boys basketball head coach Vernard Watkins said. "If we're going to go out, we want to go out on a positive note with the school."

Last month, Shelby County Schools announced that Memphis Academy of Health Sciences Middle and High Schools would close at the end of this academic year. While an appeal process runs its course, basketball continues on.

"I tell them, live in the moment," Watkins said. "Make the best of it and keep rolling."

The boys (21-4) and girls (22-3) are both among the Top-ranked 1A teams in Tennessee, and earlier this month, both won city championships.

"I think it's very important," Senior Serenity Echols said. "Because everyone is like 'Their school is closing, they don't matter.' But I think we do matter because we've done a lot of good things that a lot of people haven't really seen."

While they can't control the fate of their school, both squads hope to forever etch MAHS in the history books by hoisting a gold ball in Murfreesboro.

"We can only do what we can out there," girls head coach and former Memphis Tiger Cheyenne Gibson said. "But in here, we can do a whole lot. So we try to use it as motivation and go out with a serious bang."

The boys and girls will play in the regional semifinals next week. The girls host the winner of Booker T. Washington and Bluff City. The boys play at Westwood Tuesday. 

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