Bishop England girls basketball coach Paul Runey knew his postgame comments might end up on North Charleston's bulletin board. But the veteran coach spoke his mind while giving credit and praise to his opponent after the Bishops pulled off an important 60-56 Region 6-AA win on Friday at Father O'Brien Gymnasium.
The victory gave the Bishops a 15-4 record, including 8-1 in the region. North Charleston fell to 18-4, 7-1.
"This was a heck of a win for us," said Runey, whose team has three region games remaining on the schedule. "Talent-wise, they have more. But we have the better team. I know that's going to open some eyes, but we have a good team."
All season long, the Bishops have had numerous players step up on a given night. Friday, they had numerous players step up at critical stages of the game, and that's why the team was in a celebratory mood when the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Amber Corbett got the Bishops rolling with seven of her nine points in the first quarter. Elizabeth Works also had a big first half, with eight of her 14 points coming in the first 16 minutes of the game. Michele Boykin, who led the Bishops with 22 points, scored 10 points in the third quarter.
And then there was Katelyn Grisillo. She had a couple of turnovers in the fourth quarter, but settled down to score six points in the final period.
North Charleston cut the Bishops' nine-point lead, and closed the margin to two points, at 56-54. But Grisillo came up with steal and a bucket with 18 seconds left to make it a 58-54 game. North Charleston again cut the lead to two, but Grisillo hit a pair of free throws with four seconds left to give the Bishops the victory.
Lela Singleton led North Charleston with 20 points. She hit some big baskets down the stretch, but the Bishops' nine-point lead was too much to overcome. Aleena Feaster added 12 points, hitting 6 of 6 from the foul line.
North Charleston coach Jerald "Shake" Freeman expected a tough game even though his team entered the showdown with a 7-0 record on the road.
"We didn't expect to come in here and walk away with a victory," he said. "We knew we had to play our best game, and we had some stretches where we didn't. Bishop England has a tough team."
So does North Charleston.
"You look at their roster, and you see they have only eight players," Runey said. "You think you can run on them and wear them out. But I tell people you can play only five players at a time. After the game, you look at the stats and realize you played only eight players. To beat North Charleston you have to have a good team. Sometimes, you also need a little luck."
Bishop England (60): Grisillo 6, Breland 2, A. Corbett 9, James 1, Michelle Boykin 22, Moore 6, Elizabeth Works 14.
North Charleston (56): J. Singleton 6, Thompson 5, Aleena Feaster 12, Lelo Singleton 20.
Records: BE 15-4, 8-1; NC 18-4, 7-1. Next: BE at Hanahan, Tuesday. NC hosts Academic Magnet, Tuesday.