COLUMBIA—Bishop England High School can add girls’ basketball to its list of state championships.
The Lady Bishops basketball team won their first-ever state title in a 43-41 victory over the Columbia Capitols on March 3 in front of about 6,000 fans at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.
The girls finished with a 28-0 record and gave the school its 101st state title.
It was a hard-fought win. The Bishops trailed 21-17 at halftime and lagged just behind throughout the second half.
With just 1:32 left to go, and trailing by 3 points, Katelyn Grisillo hit for 2, followed by Michele Boykin with barely a minute left.
That bucket gave the Bishops their first lead of the game at 42-41, and Amber Corbett sealed the victory with a free throw with 7 seconds left.
Hoisting their championship trophy in the air, the girls chanted “101, 101!”
Coach Paul Runey credited the Capitols with tough defense, noting that the Bishops had a hard time getting their shooters free.
Coming down to the final minute and still trailing was nerve-wracking, Runey said, especially for a team that’s used to a solid margin of victory.
But, the coach, said the girls didn’t panic or get down, and kept telling themselves to stay focused.
“We were ecstatic that we were able to take the lead,” Runey said. “They were on Cloud 9.”
The 101st state championship came 49 years and one day after the Bishops won their first state title, when the boys’ basketball team beat Chapman, 49-42, on March 2, 1963, to win the Class AA title and cap a 23-1 season.
The girls were thrilled to be part of the school’s growing legend.
“It was crazy,” Boykin told the media after the game. “We never gave up. We were a little scared, but we didn’t quit. Right now it feels awesome. I don’t know how to describe it.”