High School Sports

Bishop England, Gilbert clash in 2A finale

A Bishop England victory over Gilbert in today's Class 2A state championship would give the Bishops some nice round numbers - and another piece of championship hardware.

A victory today would give the Bishops 50 consecutive postseason playoff victories, 10 consecutive state championships and 20 overall since the High School League sanctioned the sport in the 1970s.

The Bishops take on Gilbert at 1:30 p.m. at White Knoll High School. It's a rematch of last year's championship when the Bishops swept Gilbert in three games.

"We played them last year, so we know a little more about them that we did last year," Bishop England coach Cindy Baggott said. "Last year, they were a little scrappy team who put up a tough fight and tested us. We know we have our work cut out for us."

The Bishops have sailed smoothly in the playoffs, including a 25-12, 25-5, 25-12 Lower State championship victory at Waccamaw on Thursday. The Bishops went into a hostile environment and came out unscathed.

"The gym was packed. Even in the third game, the crowd was very vocal," Baggott said. "We played well in a hostile environment and that should help us (today)."

The Bishops have blend of youth and experience and have been through the playoff wars. Still, emotions could play a role early in the match.

"I know last year that their fans were a big factor," Baggott said. "They had a huge crowd and winning that first game was critical because of the crowd. Regardless of who you play in a state championship, even for your seasoned players, a case of the nerves is going to set in."