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Justin Jarrett: LowCo Lights Spring Weekend | April 8, 2024 | LowCo Sports

The rest of the world caught up to the Palmetto State this weekend in realizing that as thrilling as the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament has been and as exciting as it is to watch uber-talented players like JuJu Watkins, Angel Reese, and of course, Caitlin Clark, no individual stars can hold a candle to a dominant team — and Dawn Staley had one for the ages this year.

Staley and the South Carolina Gamecocks completed an undefeated season and denied Clark the missing ring to cap off her legacy, recovering after allowing the Hawkeyes to race out to a 10-0 lead off the jump and rallying for an 87-75 victory with freshman guard Tessa Johnson pouring in 19 points and senior Kamilla Cardoso racking up 15 points and 17 rebounds to lead the way.

The Gamecocks finished 38-0 a year after losing all five starters off the team that lost to Clark and the Hawkeyes in the Final Four a year ago. Unreal.

It’s been an incredible journey for Whale Branch alum Nick Pringle, as well, but he and the Alabama Crimson Tide saw their run end in the national semifinals Saturday with a loss to Purdue. Boilermakers take on UConn for all the marbles tonight.

Speaking of national championships, a pair of Lowco wrestlers claimed All-America status this weekend at NHSCA High School Nationals in Virginia Beach. Two-time Bluffton Bobcats state champion Jada Lawrence placed fourth in the girls 138-pound class, finishing with a 5-2 record in the event, and May River’s Houston Rudisill, fresh off claiming a state title in his first high school season, placed fifth at 132 in the freshman boys division. Rudisill won six consecutive matches in the consolation bracket and finished 8-2 in the tournament.

Closer to home, we had a Lowco-on-Lowco girls soccer matchup with major playoff implications on tap Friday night in The Tank at May River, and Team Lowco’s Wes Kerr was on hand to see the Hilton Head Seahawks put on a masterful performance. The Sharks battled to keep it close, but Hilton Head handled itself exceptionally all night, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead on early goals from Andrea Tapia and Katie Russo and controlling possession to keep the Sharks at bay. Each time May River pulled one back, the Seahawks struck in the next two minutes to maintain the two-goal margin with senior captains Mia Castaldi and Annie Clewell pouncing to regain the momentum.

The Seahawks have won four straight and have winless Colleton County visiting The Nest on Tuesday while the Sharks look to bounce back at James Island.

One of the area’s longest-standing track meets went off Saturday on Lady’s Island with the annual running of the Beaufort Track Classic, and the host Eagles claimed the girls title with May River’s boys blazing to the boys crown. Freshman Yzeult Antia was the biggest star for the Eagles, winning the 800, 1600, and 3200, and she also contributed to the winning 4x800 relay, one of two relay crowns for Beaufort’s girls, who also took the 4x400.

The victorious Shark boys had three individual champs — Braxton Talley in the 800, Jackson Wright in the 1600, and Noah Wasserman in the 3200, and they claimed the 4x800 relay.

On the diamonds, the baseball teams from Bluffton, Hilton Head, and Bridges Prep all picked up wins on Friday to roll some momentum into region matchups this week, and both the USCB baseball and softball teams were in action on the road this weekend.

The Sand Shark softball squad picked up a series win against former NAIA rival Georgia Gwinnett, sandwiching a game 2 loss between a pair of 3-2 wins in stellar outings from Cierra Kinlaw. And the team got to take in a game at Truist Park. Gotta love that team bonding time.

It was another rough weekend for the Sand Shark baseball team, which was swept in a three-game Peach Belt Conference set at Columbus State. USCB let a 9-1 lead slip away in a 10-9 loss in Saturday’s game 2, and one pitch did in the Sand Sharks on Sunday when a two-run homer in the seventh accounted for the only scoring in the Cougars’ 2-0 win.

We’ll look back on the biggest headlines from the weekend and round up the results from a busy Monday night on the LowcoSports scene live at 10 p.m. on the LowcoSports Lowdown. Find it on the Lowco Media Network on YouTube or on our social media feeds.

Justin Jarrett, Lowco Sports
Last Night in the LowCo

WHHI Daily News Anchor: Bob Stevens

April 2024

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