PCA girls fall in title game

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As heavy underdogs against the state’s top-ranked team, the Palmetto Christian girls’ basketball team nearly pulled off a major upset.

In the end, however, favored Hilton Head Christian was able to hold off the Eagles, winning, 68-60, on Saturday afternoon at the Sumter Civic Center to claim the SCISA Class AA state championship.

Palmetto Christian caps its best season in school history with a 19-9 record, playing in its first-ever state title game.

“I am very proud of our girls,” said sixth-year coach Miranda Stanley. “We left it all out on the floor today and I could not ask for any more effort from them. We just ran into a really good team today. Hilton Head Christian is a very good shooting team and they hit a lot of shots today. They’re a deserving champion for sure.”

Palmetto Christian senior guard Corey Caulder closes out a remarkable career with a 35-point scoring effort in her final game. The Region 2-AAA Player of the Year also had six rebounds and six assists.

Fellow senior Annie Pascutti had her best game of the season as well, scoring 17 points and adding five rebounds.

During the regular season, Palmetto Christian participated as a flex member in Region 2-AAA and moved down to AA during the playoffs. The region included state AAA title contenders Northwood, Pinewood Prep, Porter-Gaud and First Baptist.

Stanley says playing in a tough region prepared her team well for an extended playoff run.

“It definitely helped us, especially mentally because we played so many quality teams,” the coach said. “We were able to develop as a team as the season went along and we played really good basketball in the playoffs. This has been a fun team to coach and it was definitely a fun season.”