The Bishop England girls basketball team had a dream season last winter, posting a 28-0 record to win its first state title in school history. The Bishops didn’t just win, they dominated in capturing the Class AA title. They outscored opponents 1,987 to 963, and the games were usually settled early. The Bishops outscored foes by an average 21-7 in the first quarter.
PMB’s Top 10
PMB’s Top 10Here’s how The Post and Courier’s Phil Bowman ranks the top 10 high school football teams in the Lowcountry:Rk Last Team Comment 1. 1. Goose Creek Gators waiting to see if their season is over 2. 5. Stratford Don’t be surprised if Knights beat Gaffney3. 3. Timberland Wolves look like the real deal in Division II-AA 4. 4. Bluffton Bobcats have to play physical against Gators 5. 2. Wando Warriors’ season still a memorable one 6. 6. Hanahan Hawks get another playoff game at home 7. 7. Bishop England Bishop QB Herbst playing very well right now 8. 8. Summerville McKissick preparing for his 62nd season in 2013 9. 9. Cross Trojans have the ability to win on the road10. 10. Cane Bay Cobras’ season ended by potent South Pointe team
Coach Paul Runey’s team begins the season at No. 1 in the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association’s preseason poll, and Runey knows the Bishops’ march to another state title won’t be as easy.
The team lost two all-state players in Katelyn Grisillo and Amber Corbett, and another two who logged considerable playing time.
“Part of the ranking goes back to last year,” Runey said. “Obviously, last year has something to do with us being No. 1. But if everything goes well, we will be in the hunt. We just have to tweak some things and stay healthy.”
The Bishops begin the season this weekend playing in the Charleston School of Math and Science’s Riptide Invitational. But the Bishops will be without three players — Ellie James is in the North-South All-Star volleyball games, Eran Artigues is in a travel league softball tournament and Michelle Lussier is attending a youth government convention.
The Bishops will have Michele Boykin and Mary Harriet Moore in the lineup.
Boykin led the team with 13.7 points per game last season. She had some memorable performances in the playoffs — 25 points and 12 rebounds against Lake City; and 18 points, eight rebounds in a 43-41 victory over Columbia in the title game.
Moore, an all-state selection in volleyball, averaged 12 points and was the team’s top rebounder and shot blocker.
The Bishops are the only local team — girls or boys — to hold down a top spot in the preseason polls.
Dutch Fork is the No. 1 team in girls’ Class AAAA. West Ashley is fifth, Colleton County seventh and Goose Creek ninth.
Two local Class AAAA players received individual recognition. West Ashley’s Dekeiya Cohen is on the elite team despite being only a junior, and Goose Creek’s Ashley Fields is one of the top five seniors in Class AAAA.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson is the No. 1 girls team in Class AAA, and Timmonsville is No. 1 in Class A.
Irmo is No. 1 in boys Class AAAA, with West Ashley at No. 8.
Hartsville is No. 1 in Class AAA. Lake Marion is the top-ranked team in Class AA, while Woodland is No. 8.
Great Falls heads up the Class A poll.
You can visit www.hometeamsonline.com and search South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association to check out the complete preseason polls and honorees.
Region 7-AAAA stars
The Region 7-AAAA all-conference teams have been released for volleyball and girls tennis.
Members of the tennis team are:
Emily Kuester, Alexandra Hickey and Tyler Kirk, Wando; Dakota Brown and Ashley Robinson, Cane Bay; Lauran Hudson and Chrisia Class, Stratford; Alese Brown and Alaina Gilliard, West Ashley; and Hayley Marchant and Vania Ibanez, Goose Creek.
Bentli Jones of Goose Creek is the coach of the year.
Members of the volleyball team are:
Natalie Tucker, Britney Vallez and Mackenzie Lesemann, Wando; Brett Pitcher and Allie Norris, Cane Bay; Ashlyn Ryan and Chiquita Rivers, Goose Creek; Alyssa Marion and Megan Johnson, Stratford; and Dekeiya Cohen and Sara Vincilli, West Ashley.
Jay Watterworth of Goose creek and Alexis Glover of Wando are co-coaches of the year.
Pinewood Prep will have six athletes sign national letters of intent as the early signing period begins today.
Katelyn Dambaugh, who helped the boys’ golf team win three straight SCISA Class AAA state titles, will sign with the University of South Carolina. She had a 35.87 average.
Maria Corella, Raygon Hedrix and Jenifer Rhodes, who helped the Panthers girls’ basketball team win the Class AAA state title, will sign with Wofford College, the Air Force Academy and Elon University, respectively.
Joel Roberts will sign a tennis scholarship to play for Presbyterian College and baseball player J.D. Waite will sign with Lander University.
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pancphil