The SCHSL Lower State boys tennis finals posed no worries for Bishop England, Wando and Philip Simmons on Monday as all three local teams advanced to Saturday's state finals.
BISHOP ENGLAND 6, ACADEMIC MAGNET 1
Bishop England (16-1) had little trouble in winning the Class AAA Lower State title with a 6-1 win over Academic Magnet at the Bishops' courts on Daniel Island.
Next up for coach Kristin Arnold Fleming's team will be Saturday's noon state championship match against Clinton or Camden. The Bishops will be going for a second straight title, having scored a 6-0 win over Clinton a year ago.
Magnet's only win came at No. 1 singles, where the Raptors' Cameron Dawson defeated BE junior Zach Dacuba.
"I think we are ready as a team," Dacuba said, looking ahead to the state final. "We have come together as a team. This is the closest we have been as a team in my three years on the team."
BE coach Kristin Fleming Arnold also said, "We're ready. The boys are excited to be back."
Junior Harrison Estey, who is in just his second year on the team, is glad to be playing singles in this year's state final after moving to doubles for last year's final when he came down with a virus.
"We are feeling good and excited out there," said Estey.
SINGLES: Carson Dawson (AM) def. Zach Dacuba, 6-3, 6-3; Hector Romero (BE) def. Vinod. Pandey, 6-2, 6-3; Harrison Estey (BE) def. Timothy Wilson, 6-2, 6-3; Lukas Gosselein (BE) def. Carson Moore, 6-0, 6-3; Rafe Flatchman (BE) def. Kyle Smith, 7-6, 6-1.
DOUBLES: Dacuba/Romero (BE) def. Dawson/Pandey; Rentas/French (BE) def. Davis/Sessoms, 8-5.
WANDO 5, LEXINGTON 1
Wando is headed to its second straight Class AAAAA state final after an impressive 5-1 romp past perennial power Lexington, which was playing at home in the Columbia area. The Warriors will oppose either T.L. Hanna or Spartanburg in Saturday's 10 a.m. state final.
Coach Winde Ellenberg's Wando team (16-3) swept all five singles matches, led by Luke Prendergast and Alex Shaw at the top two positions. Only No. 3 Will Bumgarner had to go to three sets in singles.
"Amazing tennis today," Ellenberg said. "Singles played strong, moving the ball around and taking charge of the points. Alex Shaw and Nick Heindel (No. 5) never let their opponents take the momentum away, and Jack Johnson (No. 4) played steady, smart tennis.
"Prendergast and Will Bumgarner battled to overcome their opponents but figured out their opponents' game and clinched the match. We are all super excited at another chance for the title."
SINGLES: Luke Prendergast (W) def. Patrick Cronin, 6-4, 6-0; Alex Shaw (W) def. Zach Howard, 6-2, 6-1; Will Bumgarner (W) def. Hampton Cope, 3-6, 6-2, 10-5; Jack Johnson (W) def. Daniel Mahoney, 6-1, 6-3; Nick Heindel (W) def. Mehul Jain, 6-2, 6-1.
DOUBLES: Henson/Fellers (L) def. Brahn/Davie, 6-1, 6-1.
PHILIP SIMMONS 6, OCEANSIDE COLLEGIATE 0
Philip Simmons (12-3) turned its highly ranked top four players loose on Oceanside Collegiate and produced a one-sided 6-0 victory in the Lower State Class AA title matchup at the PSHS courts in a night match.
Southern boys 18 No. 1 Coy Simon, Southern boys 16 No. 1 Max Smith, Southern boys 16 No. 4 Mitchell Deames and Southern boys 14 No. 13 Carson Baker all scored decisive victories for the Iron Horses to advance to Saturday's state final.
"I think we can win state," said Simon, a junior who has committed to Tennessee.
Coach Richard Schulz is proud of the Iron Horses' accomplishments.
"Led by the No. 1 player in the South, Coy Simon, we are a humble and hungry special group of 16 boys who have come together to play and bond with a goal to be the best team in the state of South Carolina," Schulz said.
SINGLES: Coy Simon (PS) def. Matthew Kirk, 6-0, 6-0; Matt Smith (PS) def. Haagan Williams, 6-2, 6-1; Mitchell Deames (PS) def. Sam Blount, 6-1, 6-2; Carson Baker (PS) def. Jack Hughes, 6-1, 6-1; Jake Smith (PS) def. Logan Grantal, 7-5, 6-4.
DOUBLES: JD Sutterlin/Garrett Brooker (PS) def. T.J. Ramey/ John Icoscendo, 6-4, 6-4.
The magical ride through the Class AAAA Lower State playoffs came to an end for the Summerville High baseball team Monday night.
Despite rallying from three runs down in the bottom of the seventh, the Green Wave dropped an 8-4 decision to visiting Dutch Fork in an elimination game of the Lower State final four bracket. Summerville’s season ends at 22-10 while Dutch Fork advances to the finals of the Lower State against River Bluff on Wednesday.
Prior to Monday’s loss, Summerville had won three straight games facing elimination. The magic wasn’t there on Monday. But, there was plenty of drama.
After Dutch Fork scored three runs in the top of the seventh to break a 1-1 tie, Summerville was able to knot the score at 4 on sophomore Cole Messina’s 12th home run of the season in the bottom of the frame.
Dutch Fork, however, rallied again in the eighth, scoring four times as Summerville ran out of pitching.
“That seventh inning was a microcosm of our season,” coach Bo Charpia said. “We got down early in the district bracket and we fought our way out of it. That’s just the fight we had in this team. The fight that these seniors have shown and their leadership. They’re the best. It just wasn’t our night, but I am so proud this group.”
Senior left-hander AC Heaton, who was gunning for his 10th win of the season, went 71/3 innings, allowing five hits and striking out seven.
Messina and senior Brodie Blanton each finished with three hits.
Bishop England and Oceanside Collegiate are the only Lowcountry baseball teams still alive in the SCHSL state playoffs. The Bishops host Strom Thurmond in Class AAA on Wednesday, needing one win in two games to clinch a spot in the state title series. Oceanside will host Gray Collegiate on Wednesday in Class AA.
Dorchester Academy and St. John’s Christian are playing a best-of-three series in the SCISA Class A semifinals. Dorchester took the opener 8-2, with game 2 slated for Tuesday night in Moncks Corner.
Several softball teams took losses in the playoffs. Ashley Ridge ended Cane Bay’s season with an 11-1 win in a Class AAAAA Lower State elimination game. Ashley Ridge will go to Lexington on Wednesday needing two wins to win the Lower State championship.
Timberland’s season ended in the AA playoffs with a 9-4 loss to Latta, while defending Class AAA state champion Hanahan dropped into the loser’s bracket after a 4-0 loss to Battery Creek. Hanahan will seek to stay alive with a home game against Aynor on Wednesday.
Palmetto Scholars Academy’s season ended with a 12-0 loss to Branchville.
In the girls soccer playoffs, Oceanside Collegiate defeated Gray Collegiate 5-2 to win the Class AA Lower State championship. They will play for the state championship on Friday at Irmo High School.
Wando’s unbeaten season continued with a Lower State championship game win at River Bluff, 2-1. Wando (24-0-1) will play for the Class AAAAA state championship on Saturday night in Irmo.
James Beck and David Shelton contributed to this report