Wando, Bishop England lacrosse teams meet again for boys, girls lower state titles

Bishop England beat Wando, 9-7, in last year’s girls lower state lacrosse championship match. The teams meet again for the lower state title Tuesday at Bishop England. (File/Wade Spees/Staff)

The high school lacrosse lower state boys and girls championships will be settled on Tuesday night between familiar foes with Wando and Bishop England in both games.

In the boys lower state final, defending state champion Wando, ranked No. 1 in the state with a 16-2 record, will host third-ranked Bishop England, which is 14-2, at 7 p.m.

The teams met earlier this season with Wando claiming a 14-7 victory.

Wando is seeking its fourth state title in the last five years while a veteran Bishop England squad is seeking to make the state final for the first time in school history.

Juniors Connor Malark, Andrew Pizzo and Michael Gaffney lead Bishop England, which has won seven straight games. The Bishops’ other loss this season was against Clover.

Both of Wando’s losses came to out-of-state teams and the Warriors have rarely been challenged against in-state competition. Anchoring Wando’s efforts are seniors Thomas Gribben and Zach Bauer, juniors Sam Weis, Ian Kennedy and Jack Davies, and sophomore scoring sensation Riley Seay.

Bishop England’s girls are the defending lower state champions, having beaten Wando in the lower state final last season. This is the fourth consecutive year the two teams will have met in the lower state finals with Wando winning in 2014. Tuesday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at Bishop England.

Bishop England is ranked No. 1 in South Carolina with a 14-1 record. Sophomore Emma Pizzo scored seven goals in a 25-1 win over Bluffton last week.

Wando, ranked seventh in the state, advanced with an 11-10 win over Chapin last week.

Bishop England and Wando met on March 16 with the Bishops winning, 11-9. Several of the most recent contests between the two programs have been decided by two goals or less.

Competing in the upper state boys’ final are Fort Mill and Nation Ford, while defending state champion J.L. Mann plays Nation Ford in the upper state girls’ final. The state championships will be decided on Saturday at Chapin High School.

A 2-0 win over previously unbeaten Bishop England last week has propelled the Academic Magnet girls soccer team to the No. 2 spot in Class AA.

The Raptors, ranked third last week in the South Carolina Soccer Coaches Association’s poll, switched places with Bishop England this week. The two lower state powers split games during the season with Bishop England winning, 3-2, in March. A third matchup in the lower state AA playoffs is highly likely.

The Wando boys soccer team remains the top-ranked team in AAAA, despite suffering its only loss of the season last week to Bishop England. Wando (22-1) bounced back from that defeat with a 3-1 win over River Bluff over the weekend. It was the first loss of the season for second-ranked River Bluff, the team considered the biggest threat to Wando in the upcoming state playoffs.

Ashley Ridge is the other local team ranked in AAAA, listed at 14th. The Wando girls are ranked fourth in AAAA, followed by Fort Dorchester (sixth) and James Island (10th). Hanahan’s boys are ranked 10th in AAA while the Hanahan girls are ranked 13th.

Academic Magnet and Bishop England remain one-two in the boys’ AA rankings. Porter-Gaud remains ranked second in the SCISA AAA rankings while 12-0 Northwood Academy moves into the No. 1 spot in the SCISA AA/A boys’ rankings.

Porter-Gaud’s girls hold on to the top spot in SCISA AAA, with Pinewood Prep moving into fourth this week. Northwood Academy’s girls are third in SCISA AA/A.

Six local regions will decide their champions in track and field this week. The region meets serve as lower state qualifiers in the four classifications.

Region 6-A held their meet on Monday at Cross High School while Summerville hosted the region 8-AAAA meet on Tuesday. Bishop England hosts the region 6-AA meet on Wednesday while Timberland hosts the region 7-AA meet on Wednesday as well. Berkeley hosts the 8-AAA meet on Wednesday and West Ashley hosts the 7-AAAA championships on Wednesday and Thursday.

If the recent success of the Summerville junior varsity baseball program is any indication of what’s in store over the next few years, the Green Wave should remain a state title contender once the program is reclassified to the 5A level next year.

Summerville’s jayvee team just completed a perfect 22-0 season, which included the championship of the Hanahan Invitational junior varsity tournament earlier this month. This year’s success comes on the heels of last year’s 19-0 season, giving Summerville a 41-game winning streak over the last two seasons.