(Photo Courtesy of Lucy Beckham Lacrosse/Steve Slack Images)
In many states in the South, the regular season is coming to an end or has already ended. That means, it’s tournament time.
The South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) 4A and 5A State Tournaments will get underway on Wednesday April 20th and wrap up the following Saturday on April 30th.
4A State Tournament
In the Class 4A tournament, Lucy Beckham (14-1) is the No. 1 seed. The newest school in the Lowcountry, having just opened in the spring of 2020, Lucy Beckham has become a strong player in lacrosse through their first two seasons. After a 12-3 campaign that ended with a quarterfinal loss to state power Oceanside Collegiate last spring, the Bengals have taken the Palmetto State by storm this spring with an undefeated record against South Carolina teams, which includes an 8-7 overtime win over the team that ended their season a year ago as well as two wins over defending 4A champion Bishop England.
The Bengals have no upperclassmen on their roster, so naturally they are led by a younger core than most. That especially shows on its offense, which is fairly deep as five players have 20-plus goals and six players have notched over 20 points. Junior Grant Bushey leads the way with 46 points off 25 goals and 21 assists. Sophomores Austin Constable and Web Perry are the team’s top goal-scorers with each having put home 26 thus far. Constable as also dished out 17 assists for 43 points as the Bengal’s second-leading point-getter. On the back end its a pair of brothers, Grant and Connor Coombs leading the way at close. Region Player of The year Ryan Weis (67% save percentage) anchors things in cage.
Christ Church Episcopal (11-4) is the No. 2 seed in the 4A tournament. Three of their losses came early in the year as they fell to a trio of North Carolina powers (Christ School, Marvin Ridge, and Weddington) in a row. Their only in-state loss came by way of a 14-13 defeat against Porter-Gaud. The Cavaliers, who have been led by freshman phenom Hudson McCarthy (55G/22A), come into the state tournament on an eight-game winning streak.
5A State Tournament
Undefeated, 16-0, Nation Ford comes into the 5A tournament as having been the best and most dominant team in the Palmetto State all season long. After a campaign a season ago that saw them go 4-11 overall and end their season with a first round exit in the state tournament to Fort Mill, 11-10, in double overtime, the Falcons have flipped things around in 2022. Their undefeated record includes includes two wins over the team that ended their season a year ago, as well as an 11-10 victory over a strong North Carolina program in Charlotte Country Day.
The Falcons are led on the offensive end by a pair of natural goal-scorers in freshman Josh Ameo (42G/27A) and junior Ashton Tauzin (41G/22A). The pair have carried the bulk of the load for an offense that has eight different double-digit point-getters. On the other end, goalie junior goalie Owen Collette highlights the action. The goalkeeper has made 148 saves with a 66% save percentage, and has only allowed an average of 4.6 goals per game all season.
J.L. Mann (9-3) and Wando (10-3) are two other teams to keep an eye on in the 5A tournament, also gaining No. 1 seeds as district winners. Mann won the 5A title last season, defeating Palmetto State powerhouse Wando 8-5 in the title game. Junior Jacob Watt (Air Force commit) helps highlight the Patriots’ roster while the Warriors have seen a number of seniors lead the way, including leading-scorer Sam Goss (39G/34). In their meeting this season, Wando won 18-4.
Five Players to Watch
Hudson McCarthy, A, Christ Church Episcopal (Fr.) – 4A
Jacob Watt, A, J.L. Mann (Jr., Air Force commit) – 5A
Peter Foulke, D, Wando (Sr, Wooster commit) – 5A
Amare Ford, D, Hilton Head Island (Sr., Hampton commit) – 4A
Ryan Weis, G, Lucy Beckham (So.) – 4A