Three local high school basketball teams guaranteed home-court playoff advantage
Forget March Madness.
There was too much going on, too much at stake, to look ahead to the postseason. Three local high school teams — the Philip Simmons High School girls’ team, along with both Bishop England squads — had a chance to win region titles on the final day of the regular season, which was Feb. 11 (after the paper went to print). If that wasn’t enough experience, all three squads could have one-game playoffs to determine the final standings.
All three teams earned home-court advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs, which commence next week.
The Iron Horses girls needed a win at Timberland on Feb. 11 to grab a share of the Region 6-AA title. The Iron Horses, who qualified for the playoffs for the second straight year, owned a 16-7 record, including 6-1 in Region 6-AA. The Lady Iron Horses’ only loss in league play was a 48-39 setback to North Charleston on Jan. 10. The girls extracted revenge against the Cougars 18 days later with a 49-47 road win. A victory over Timberland would be their seventh in a row.
A victory would set up a one-game playoffs against North Charleston either Thursday or Friday to determine the region champ.
“I think were playing good basketball at the right time,” PSHS coach Dustin Williams said. “We knew Burke and North Charleston were very competitive and we hoped to get four (victories) against the two schools. But we gave it our best shot. Playing teams like those give us confidence.”
Williams said the team needs to only focus on itself once the playoffs begin. The Iron Horses will be at home on Feb. 18 against a team yet to be determined.
“We just have to focus on what we do on the court,” Williams said. “The rest will take care of itself.”
The Philip Simmons boys went into the final game of regular-season play with a 9-15 record, including 1-6 in league play. The Iron Horses needed a victory to nail down fourth place and a No. 4 seed when they battled the Wolves.
The Bishop England girls’ team faced Manning on Feb. 11 with the Region 7-AAA championship on the line. The Bishops were 16-7 overall, and 9-0 in region play. The Bishops’ region mastery and 104-game winning streak were on the line against the Monarchs, a team the Bishops beat 54-47 at home on Jan. 24. A victory would give the BE girls the title. A loss would force a one-game playoff Friday against Manning.
The Bishop England boys had arguably one of the best seasons in the state this winter and one of the best seasons in school history. But the Bishops needed a victory over the Manning Monarchs to wrap up the Region 8-AAA title.
The Bishops were 23-2 overall, including 8-1 in the league play. The Bishops had a chance to clinch the title at Georgetown last week on Feb. 7, but dropped a 46-44 decision. A victory over Manning would give the Bishops the title. A loss would force a one-game playoff against Georgetown on Friday to determine the league champ.