BE boys' basketball team moves up in Class AAA ranking
The Bishop England boys’ basketball team is ranked No. 7 in the latest South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association’s poll of Class AAA teams.
But if you think the Bishops are celebrating, well, not so fast my friend.
“I tell the team, ‘Don’t get too excited,’” coach Bryan Grevey said. “There are two teams ranked ahead of us who are in our region: Georgetown and Manning.”
Grevey says Region 7-AAA, from top to bottom, is the toughest region in the state. In addition to the big three, Hanahan and Academic Magnet are coming off seasons that included the playoffs. Both schools can cause headaches.
“Every night will be tough when play begins,” Grevey said. “There are no easy games.”
The Bishops were ranked No. 8 in the preseason poll and have moved up a notch thanks to seven victories in their first nine games. The only losses were to SCISA powerhouse Heathwood Hall and High School League foe Wando, which competes at the Class AAAAA level.
The Bishops have had success despite fielding such a young, inexperienced team. There are only five lettermen on the 14-player roster and only three players have any practical varsity experience.
“For eight players, this is their first time on varsity,” Grevey said. “We’re going to have growing pains, but you expect that.”
Grevey says the team has great depth and all the players on the roster can make notable contributions.
“There isn’t a drop off of talent,” Grevey said. “All of the players get along and pull for each other. That makes it fun to coach, when you have a group like this.”
Grevey has been at the school for 14 years, including nine as the head coach. He has more than 100 career victories. He also has a team, like no other, at BE. The 2018-19 squad has height on its side.
Sophomores Tajon Simmons and Daniel Brooks both are 6-foot-6 while Cameron Costa, who also plays football, is 6-foot-4. He is a junior.
That height advantage has allowed the Bishops to rule the backboards. They are averaging nearly 33 rebounds per game to the opponents 24.
Aidan McCool, who was an all-region selection last winter, leads the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Ty Schaafsma has been a force on both ends of the court, averaging 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Simmons is averaging 10.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
The Bishops will compete in the three-day Seahawk Invitational, which is hosted by Hilton Head High School and commences Friday. Eight teams are in this year’s field. Teams from Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Alabama, Virginia, Kentucky and South Carolina will compete in the 32nd annual event.
The Bishops will play Martinsburg, W.Va. in the opening round.
Martinsburg, which won Class AAA West Virginia state championships in 2009 and 2013, began the season as the No. 3 team in the Associated Press preseason poll and is 2-0 this season.
The Bishops begin region play at Hanahan on Jan. 4 and then seek revenge against Wando the following night.