Lowcountry teams win state championship

AIKEN — Basketball teams from across the state, from Greenville to Myrtle Beach to Mount Pleasant to North Augusta, recently competed in the South Carolina State Catholic Youth Basketball tournament, which took place March 14 and 15 in Aiken.

Games began at 8 a.m. Saturday and concluded at 6 p.m. A Saturday evening Communal Mass was held at the USC Aiken Campus, followed by a pizza, dance and swim party for participants. Tournament games commenced Sunday at 8 a.m., with the championship games held that afternoon at the H. Odell Weeks Center.

In the girls senior championship game, St. Joseph’s of Charleston matched up against Blessed Sacrament School, also of the Holy City, with St. Joseph’s coming out on top. Members of the winning team included Katie Wagers, Mallory Smith, Lauren Smith, Abigail Ford, Katie McQueeney, Ashleigh Crites, Meghann Lynch, Amie Webb, Amanda Reinert, Jo Anne Lott, Elizabeth Woodall, Theresa Karr and Kassia Ishmael. Coaches for St. Joe’s are Reggie Smith and Desiree Runey.

The boys senior championship also featured Blessed Sacrament, this time taking on Cardinal Newman of Columbia. However, the Blessed Sacrament boys fared better in their contest, winning their division. Champion hoopsters were Andrew Crosby, Robert Gerken, John Sterling, Sean Frizelle, Wesley Smith, Brett Bendt, Jordan Burnett, Josh Motte, Andrew Albeuesius, Thomas Bailey, Daniel Seyle, William Bolchoz, Patrick Frizelle, Tradd Bastian, and Tripp Frye. They were coached by Tom Magee.

In the junior boys division, it was again Blessed Sacrament over another Columbia team, this time over St. John Neumann. The junior girls division showcased Christ Our King outscoring Summerville.

St. Mary Help of Christians in Aiken won the cheerleaders competition. Squad members include Tara Spencer, Ellen Majzlik, Franny Radford, Jenny Collins, Elizabeth Mastromonico, Brittany Sherman, Amanda Murphy, Kari Parks, and Amber Harrell. They are coached by Sally Radford.

Tournament organizers also awarded sportsmanship trophies at the end of the two-day marathon, the Virginia Wolff Award for the girls and the Walter T. Magee Award for the boys.

The state tournament will be leaving Aiken next year, as the championship now rotates between Aiken, Charleston, Greenville and Columbia, with Columbia being the site of action in 1999.