So far, so good for the Philip Simmons High School boys basketball team.
The Iron Horses opened the 2023-24 season by winning the Riptide Preseason Tournament, which was held Nov. 17-18 and hosted by the Charleston School of Math and Science.
“We have high aspirations this year, and we wanted to get off on the right foot,” coach Garrett Campbell said. “Two years ago, we played in a preseason tournament in Georgetown and won it. That helped us early in the season, and so will this.”
The Iron Horses have talent, depth and coaching. Two players to watch this season are Robert Watson and Titus Pettersen. Watson averaged 16.5 points in the tourney while Pettersen scored 14.0.
The Iron Horses opened tourney play with a 73-60 victory over Bishop England and followed that up with a 55-45 victory over Wando.
The Iron Horses posted a 14-11 record last season, including 6-2 in Region 8-AAA, which was good for second place. Dreher beat Philip Simmons 34-20 in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
Both of Bishop England’s teams competed in the Riptide tourney. The girls team finished in second place and the boys claimed third place.
The Bishop England girls blasted Math and Science 81-25 in the first round, but dropped a 47-42 decision to Wando in the championship.
Lisse van de Erve led the Bishops in the championship game with 15 points.
The BE boys rebounded from the loss to Philip Simmons by topping Charleston Math and Science, 52-42.
Math and Science jumped to a 27-22 halftime lead, but the Bishops outscored the Riptides 18-4 in the third period. Ellis Rollins and Aidan Alexander both scored 10 points in the win over Math and Science.
Meanwhile, the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association released its preseason polls and the BE girls’ team is the only Daniel Island team ranked in the top 10. The Bishops check in at No. 4.
The association also released its top five seniors in every classification, and the Bishops’ Izzy Woods was one of the top five seniors in Class AA.
Woods averaged 12.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last winter.
Shrine Bowl Cross-Country
Bishop England and Philip Simmons both won girls’ state cross country championships and both programs will be represented in the prestigious Shrine Bowl Relay Run. The runners include Emmy Wood of Philip Simmons and the Bishops’ Madison Riley and Marlee Asmer.
Only 20 seniors from the Palmetto State made the team, and the event recognizes the top runners from the Class of 2024 while helping the Shriners raise funds for their hospital in Greenville.
The run was started in 1986 as part of the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas football game, which will be held Dec. 16.
The Shrine Bowl runners will be escorted by the South Carolina State Highway Patrol as they run the football across the Spartanburg-Greenville area and then into the stadium for the Shrine Bowl Football game.
The Shriners Hospitals for Children has received more than $51 million from Shrine Bowl football games across the country.