It’s a rite of autumn, winning and rivalry.
Porter-Gaud and Ashley Hall play today for the SCISA Class AAA state championship. SCISA’s two best teams are only miles apart, so the College of Charleston’s TD Arena will serve as the venue for the showdown. The match is slated for 7 p.m.
“It’s a unique and great rivalry,” Porter-Gaud coach Ashley Heidtke said. “You might have a family where the mom went to Ashley Hall and her son goes to Porter-Gaud. Or you might have a dad who went to Porter-Gaud and their daughter goes to Ashley Hall. It’s intense.”
Porter-Gaud has defeated Ashley Hall in the last two state championships and is 3-0 against the Cyclones this year. But Heidtke says that doesn’t make her team the favorite.
“It should be a great match,” she said. “Both teams are very good and there should be some long points. When Ashley Hall and Porter-Gaud play, it’s always a fun match. The atmosphere is so great, and to play in a place like the College of Charleston is fantastic.”
Ashley Hall is playing in its 14th straight state championship and is seeking its 12th state crown. Either Ashley Hall or Porter-Gaud has claimed the big schools crown since 2003, when Pinewood Prep claimed the championship with a win over the Panthers.
Cathedral Academy will play Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach in the Class A final. The match is set for 6 p.m. at Wilson Hall in Sumter.
Cathedral Academy is making its first appearance in the finals since 2005 and owns a 15-5 record.
“Outstanding. We have an outstanding group of girls,” Cathedral coach Kylie Roberts said of her team. “The girls have a lot of talent.”
Cathedral advanced to today’s final with wins over Cambridge Academy, Christian Academy and Wardlaw.
“Christian Academy is a super smart team,” Roberts said. “They have a core group who play well together. It should be a great match.”
Key players for Cathedral include Madison Laborite, Katie Schneider, Jordan McMahon, Mackey Laborer and Sara Brace.