Lady Bishops basketball team off to a fast start
The Bishop England girls’ basketball team once again has a spot in the state coaches’ association top-10 preseason poll. And, the Bishops also have motivation for the 2018-19 season.
The Lady Bishops begin the season ranked No. 6 in the coaches’ poll of Class AAA teams in the Palmetto State. Coach Paul Runey’s team has been a regular in the rankings and a regular at the state tournament – until last winter.
The Bishops four-year reign as state champs ended last February when Ridgeland-Hardeville sidetracked the Bishops’ dreams in the third round of the playoffs. The loss snapped the Bishops’ 22-game postseason winning streak.
Runey says the state ranking is based on past performance, potential and even what opposing coaches remember about the preceding season.
“It’s also based on what you have established over the years,” said Runey. The Bishops are only one of six teams in state history to win four consecutive state titles.
The Bishops began the 2018-19 season with 169 victories in the last 188 games and 30 playoff victories in their last 32 games.
The Bishops are off to a fast start with victories over Garrett Tech and Academic Magnet. Both games weren’t even close as the Bishops took a 30-2 lead over Garrett Tech after one period. It was even more impressive against Academic Magnet as the Bishops took a 30-0 lead at the end of the first start.
The Bishops hope to get back to the state championship in Columbia in March. Revenge could be a factor.
“You hope that’s the mindset,” Runey said. “But as a coach, you have to remember these are teenagers. Up until last year, we had been there for six straight years. This group wants to be there, but I don’t know if they live and breathe that.”
The Bishops are led by Katie Brooks, a talented senior who was recently selected as one of the top five Class AAA seniors in the state.
Brooks helped the Bishops post an 18-5 record last season. She averaged 11.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for the Bishops. She also averaged 3.1 steals and 2.0 assists per game.
The Bishop boys’ team also showed up in the state preseason poll. The Bishops were 1-1 heading into this week’s action.
VOLLEYBALL STANDOUT KELSEY STIEBY HONORED
Bishop England senior Kelsey Stieby was recently named the Class AAA state volleyball player of the year by the South Carolina Coaches Association of Women’s Sports (CAWS).
She led the Bishops to the state championship match as the Bishops finished second in the state to Powdersville.
Stieby, who finished her career with more than 2,000 assists, and classmate Madeline White earned CAWS all-state honors. The dynamic duo also played in the annual North-South All-Star Games, which were held at Erskine College. Hanahan’s Jillian Courtney also played in the all-star game. Philip Simmon’s Jay Watterworth was the coach of the South team.