Lady Bishops end season with third round playoff loss
The Bishop England girls’ basketball team’s four-year reign as state champions came to an end Monday night as Ridgeland-Hardeeville posted a 66-41 home court victory in the third round of the Class AAA playoffs.
The Lady Bishops, who finished the season with an 18-5 record, were seeking their fifth straight title and sixth in seven years. But the Jaguars were too much and Bishop England’s 22-game postseason winning streak was cut short.
The Bishops are only one of six teams in state history to win four consecutive state titles. They will begin the 2018-19 season with 169 victories in the last 188 games and 30 playoff victories in their last 32 games.
Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 17-3, advances to Saturday’s Lower State championship against Swansea. Tipoff is 2 p.m. at the Florence Civic Center.
Bishop England owned Ridgeland-Hardeeville in recent postseason play. The Bishops defeated the Jaguars in last year’s Lower State championship and also overpowered the team in the same competition in 2015.
The winners led 15-8 at the end of the first period and extended the lead to 31-20 at halftime. The Jaguars led by 18 points after three stops.
All-state guard Que Drayton led the Jaguars to victory, scoring a game-high 30 points.
The Bishop England boys were scheduled to play at Ridgeland-Hardeeville Tuesday night in a third-round Class AAA playoff game.
Three local high school players were named to the all-state team by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association: Leo Albano and Katie Brooks of Bishop England and Jalen Gibbs of Hanahan.
Albano, who has been named all-state in football and baseball during his stellar career at BE, has averaged 17.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Bishops, who owned a 13-9 record heading into Tuesday’s third-round Class AAA playoff game against Ridgeland-Hardeeville. He also averages 2.7 steal and 2.7 assists per game. Brooks helped the Bishops post an 18-5 record. She averaged 11.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for the Bishops, who were eliminated in the playoffs Monday night, losing to Ridgeland-Hardeeville.
Brooks also collected 3.1 steals and 2.0 assists per game.
Gibbs averaged 17.2 points for the Hawks, who finished the season with a 14-12 record. He averaged 2.4 steals and 2.4 assists per game.
BE set for IPBC
Bishop England, the defending Class AAA state baseball champ, will compete in the prestigious International Paper Baseball Classic, which will commence March 1 in Georgetown.
The 28th annual tournament features the top baseball teams in the Palmetto State. Joining BE in this year’s events are host Georgetown, Hartsville, T.L. Hanna, Summerville, Blythewood, Florence and Blythewood. Blythewood won the tourney last spring.
Bishop England will play Hartsville on March 1 and battles T.L. Hanna the following day. The Bishops will play Summerville on March 3. The consolation and championship games will take place March 4.