Basketball, wrestling championships highlight huge weekend of high school sports

Timberland’s J. Alston chases the ball in a game against Porter-Gaud during the Modie Risher Tournament played in December at Burke High School. Timberland plays in the Class AA lower state title game against Ridgeland-Hardeeville on Saturday. Wade Spees/Staff/File

This weekend is the busiest of all weekends for the prep winter sports season.

State basketball titles will be decided in SCISA with several area teams vying for championships. Individual wrestling championships are on the line at the two-day event in Anderson, while the S.C. High School League basketball playoffs decide its state finalists on Friday night and Saturday.

The Goose Creek girls reached the lower state finals with a win over Summerville on Monday night. The Gators (21-6) will face Irmo (23-4) on Friday night at the Florence Civic Center. The two teams met earlier this season in a showcase game at the Carolina Invitational Tournament in Charleston with Irmo winning, 43-38.

Also playing on Friday night in Florence will be the James Island boys, who will play Sumter in the AAAA lower state title game at 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the Burke boys team will play in the Class A lower state title game against Hannah-Pamplico. The defending state champion Bishop England girls will play Dillon in the AA lower state bout. The game is a rematch of last year’s lower state final.

Timberland’s boys team will play in the AA lower state title game against Ridgeland-Hardeeville.

In SCISA, the AAA girls semifinals take place on Friday night at the Sumter Civic Center and two of the four teams remaining are from the area. Northwood Academy will face Wilson Hall in one semifinal while First Baptist faces Hammond School. First Baptist beat Hammond earlier this season but Hammond has been a top three ranked team in AAA all season.

Northwood Academy’s boys team will play Wilson Hall in the AAA boys semifinals while Pinewood Prep’s boys take on Hammond in the other semifinal matchup.

The Class A boys state championship will be decided on Saturday in Sumter and two area teams could meet in the finals.

Cathedral Academy’s boys team reached the semifinals with an impressive win over Dorchester Academy on Tuesday night. The 21-4 Generals faced Laurens Academy on Thursday night for the right to play for Saturday’s state title.

Also reaching the boys’ Class A semis is Charleston Collegiate, who played Curtis Baptist on Thursday night. The Sun Devils beat Holly Hill Academy to reach the semifinals.

Palmetto Christian’s girls team also was in the AA semifinals, facing Spartanburg Day on Thursday with the finals set for Saturday in Sumter.

The South Carolina High School League will hold the individual state wrestling tournament on Friday and Saturday in Anderson.

Wrestlers from around the state qualified last week in their respective upper and lower state tournaments, trimming the list to eight in each classification and each weight category.

A total of 50 lowcountry grapplers advanced to the state finals in the three classifications. Classes AA and A wrestle as one classification.

The AAAA wrestling finals will include 30 athletes from the tri-county area, led by defending state champions Matt Rudy (195) of Cane Bay, James Sass (113) of Summerville and Anthony Collins (170) of Summerville.

Also qualifying from Cane Bay was Jacob D’Ambrosio (120). Earning the trip from Summerville are Julian Gibbs (220) and Jamal Lucas (160).

Ashley Ridge qualified four wrestlers — Ben Whitney (120), Ty Jamieson (113) Coltyn Remeika (182) and Tanner Trephan (132).

Defending lower state duals champion Fort Dorchester qualified Tyre Wright (126), Drew Parker (132), Jonathan Parker (138) AJ Alford (160), Quandre Chisolm (220) and John Simpson (285). Alford is undefeated this season and is the state favorite in his weight class.

Goose Creek state qualifiers include Allen Moran (106), Dylan Wheat (132), Christian Rubin (152) and Caleb Rubin (160). Wando qualified Darren Scott (106), Alex Cullen (126), Zola Davis (195) and Ross Cary (285).

Stratford state qualifiers include Billy Ackerman (138), Kemp Shider (145), JD Harrelson (160) and TJ Deveaux (182). West Ashley’s Brandon Trollinger qualified at 170 pounds.

In class AAA, area qualifiers included Dominick Gadsden (138), Bryan Jackson (120) and Charlie Anderson (113) of Berkeley; Kevin Moorcroft (160) of Stall; and Tyler Talacko (120) and Dalton Coker (138) of Hanahan.

In the AA/A finals, North Charleston is represented by Alex Ramirez (132) and Antwan Frazier (160). Bishop England qualifiers include Andrew Collins (113), Jack Grooms (120) and Taylor Smith (152).

Burke’s Santarion Frasier (145) and Kobe Brown (285) qualified, as did Tyler Legare (285) and Jordan Hammond (220) from St. John’s. Malik Drayton of Garrett qualified at 220.

Timberland qualified the most athletes from the area for the AA/A finals. Keenan Williams (120), Greg Horne (132), Matthew Rembert (170) and David Mitchum (195).