After consecutive tournament wins, Rock Hill ready for 5A state championship
Manning Sloop says there is a “prank plan” already in place for the state tournament.
Sloop and the Rock Hill Bearcats head into the May 13-14 5A boys’ golf state championship as most folks’ favorite to bring home the title. They won the prestigious Southern Cross Tournament and the 5A Upper State qualifier in back to back weeks, giving them a buzz of momentum headed into next week’s finale at the Country Club of Lexington.
There may be pressure on the Bearcats, but not enough to prevent a “prank plan” from being put into place first.
“We won’t mention that yet,” said Sloop. “Maybe there is a certain person that is the recipient. But everybody gets their fair share.”
Matthew Bell’s team gets along very well, a product of growing up together and playing in the same junior golf events since they were kids. Bell is in his 10th year as Rock Hill’s coach and he watched this group grow from children into talented young men. Their chemistry is something that, even in an individual sport, is helpful in a team state tournament setting.
“We have trust in each other that we can perform on that stage,” said Sloop.
Also helpful: having three Division I golfers. Bell can lean on Nick Mayfield, the team’s lone senior, who signed with the University of South Carolina last December, Sloop, a junior, who is committed to the Gamecocks, and fellow 11th grader Zach Reuland, who is being recruited by High Point, James Madison, Virginia Commonwealth, West Virginia and Mississippi State. Mayfield and Reuland can crush the ball off the tee, while Sloop is the team’s short game technician.
Sure, there will be teams at next week’s state championship event that have a Division I-caliber player, and maybe there will be a few teams with two. No team besides Rock Hill will have three future D-I kids expecting to shoot below 70 both days. And the team’s No. 4 and 5 players, Hinson Perry and Jackson Berry, are also solid contributors, so there isn’t a huge drop-off after the three standouts.
“My 4 and 5 guys are still some of the best players in the state,” said Bell. “Those 4 and 5 guys have been the key to us playing so well. They’ve really stepped up their games and worked hard, and it’s made a huge impact.”
Rock Hill won the Upper State tournament last weekend by five strokes, after winning the Southern Cross Tournament at Palmetto Golf Club, also by five strokes. At the Southern Cross, the Bearcats topped a 22-team field that included some of the state’s top private schools, and beat the next highest finishing 5A school, Dorman, by 13 strokes.
“I hope we didn’t peak too soon,” Bell said, laughing. “I knew the boys had the talent to do it. We struggled doing it all at once, all of them playing well at one time. And all of the sudden, just something clicked this year. Pretty much every match, every tournament we played in, we dominated.”
Rock Hill finished third at last year’s state tournament and the Bearcats have experienced loads of individual success in junior golf tournaments across the Carolinas the past several summers. Mayfield, Sloop and Reuland take pressure off each other, because if one plays a bad round, the other two will pick him up. And they drive each other, too.
“I definitely want to beat them,” Reuland said, grinning. “I’m mad when I don’t beat them.”
“It’s always good to have them to humble you,” said Sloop.
That’s true whether it’s a superior round of golf, or a good prank.
Indian Land 6, Pendleton 2
The Warriors battered Pendleton in the 3A Upper State boys’ soccer championship game, advancing to the 3A state final this weekend. Adam Cole’s Indian Land side will face May River, which knocked off Bishop England 3-2 thanks to two goals in the final three minutes.
The Warriors and Sharks will square off at 2:30 p.m. May 11 at Irmo High School’s W.C. Hawkins Stadium.
J. L. Mann 1, Clover 0
J. L. Mann scored the only goal of the game in the first half and edged the Clover Blue Eagles 1-0 to win the 5A Upper State Championship Tuesday night at J. L. Mann.
The Blue Eagles completed the season with an overall mark of 26-2.
All-State teams announced
The South Carolina High School Soccer Coaches Association has released its All-State teams, and five players from the area have been selected.
In 5A, Brandon Malcolm, Dawson Malcolm, and Ethan Stevenson from Clover were chosen. Carson Guest from Northwestern also made the team. In 3A, Gavin Dunlop from Indian Land was selected.
J. L. Mann 2, Clover 1
J. L. Mann broke a 1-1 halftime tie and edged the Clover Blue Eagles 2-1 in the 5A Upper State finals Monday night at J. L. Mann.
Clover finished the season with an overall record of 18-3-1.
All-State teams released
The South Carolina High School Soccer Coaches Association has announced its All-State teams, and five local players have been selected.
In 5A, Janae Massey and Angelica Castro from Clover were chosen. Annika Ford and Izzy Giarizzi from Fort Mill were also tabbed. In 4A, Haylee Myrup from York was selected.
Broome 5, Indian Land 1
Broome toppled the Indian Land Warriors 5-1 in the second round of the 3A Upper State Tournament Monday night at Indian Land.
The Warriors are 19-5 overall and will host Union County on Wednesday in an elimination game.
J. L. Mann 18, Fort Mill 7
J. L. Mann pounded out 15 hits and defeated the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets in an elimination game in the 5A Upper State Tournament Monday night at J. L. Mann.
Both teams had big first innings, and when it was complete, J. L. Mann led 4-3. Fort Mill scored two in the top of the second, but Mann countered with three in the bottom of the frame for a 7-5 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to 7-6 with a run in the top of the fifth, but Mann exploded for six runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 13-6 lead. Fort Mill got one in the sixth, but Mann rallied for six more in the bottom of the inning to put the game away.
J. T. Marr led Fort Mill with two hits. Carson Jones added one hit and drove in two runs.
The Yellow Jackets finished the season with an overall record of 27-4.
TRACK AND FIELD
Qualifying completed in three divisions
The qualifying for 5A, 4A, and 2A was completed on Monday and numerous individuals and relay teams earned a spot in the State Championship Meet on Saturday in Columbia.
The top eight finishers in each event are listed below:
100 - 1. Haley Bishop (Nation Ford) 11.88, 3. Imani Rivas (Clover) 11.96, 5. Camryn Lorick (Nation Ford) 11.96, 6. Tierra Frasier (Rock Hill) 11.96; 200 - 1. Tierra Frasier (Rock Hill) 24.59, 4. Haley Bishop (Nation Ford) 24.73, 8. Imani Rivas (Clover) 25.17; 400 - 3. Jada Jones (Rock Hill) 56.25; 800 - 1. Jada Jones (Rock Hill) 2:19.24, 2. Katie Pou (Nation Ford) 2:20.75, 3. Ansley Archuleta (Nation Ford) 2:22.08; 1600 - 1. Morgan Werner (Nation Ford) 5:09.84, 2. Katie Pou (Nation Ford) 5:11.73; 3200 - 1. Morgan Werner (Nation Ford) 10:59.81, 2. Katie Pou (Nation Ford) 11:23.75; 100 Hurdles - 3. Ivanna McLamb (Northwestern) 14.83, 4. Amber Ferguson (Northwestern) 15.01, 7. Brooke Ferguson (Northwestern) 15.34; 4x100 Relay - 2. Nation Ford 46.94; 4x400 Relay - 4. Rock Hill 3:57.38, 5. Nation Ford 3:58.75; 4x800 Relay - 5. Rock Hill 9:53.72, 7. Fort Mill 10:04.22; High jump - 1. Ivanna McLamb (Northwestern) 5-06.00, 4. Camryn Lorick (Nation Ford) 5-04.00, 6. Brooke Ferguson (Northwestern) 5-02.00; Pole vault - 3. Sommer Isley (Nation Ford) 11-00.00, 6. Ansley Archuleta (Nation Ford) 10-00.00; Long jump - 2. Jasmine Hope (Nation Ford) 18-05.00, 6. Skylar Holmes (Nation Ford) 17-10.75; Triple jump - 3. Skylar Holmes (Nation Ford) 37-04.00; Shot put - 8. Ann Cromer (Northwestern) 34-04.00; Discus - 3. Ann Cromer (Northwestern) 114-07.00.
100 - 4. Fentrell Cypress (Northwestern) 10.89; 200 - 3. Simeon Richardson (Rock Hill) 21.80, 8. Gavin McFadden (Northwestern) 22.20; 400 - 1. Simeon Richardson (Rock Hill) 48.35; 800 - Isaiah Barnes (Rock Hill) 1:56.75; 1600 - 7. Dalton Jones (Fort Mill) 4:32.31; 110 Hurdles - 2. Dion Livingstone (Rock Hill) 15.10, 7. Narii Gaither (Rock Hill) 15.49, 8. Michael Stinson (Northwestern) 15.53; 400 Hurdles - 7. Donald Medley (Northwestern) 57.71, 8. Ahmad Miles (Northwestern) 56.35; 4x100 Relay - 7. Northwestern 42.27; 4x400 Relay - 1. Rock Hill 3:21.60; 4x800 Relay - 1. Fort Mill 8:06.20; High jump - 1. Jawan Strong (Northwestern) 6-08.00, 4. Channing Ferguson (Northwestern) 6-04.00; Long jump - 4. Fentrell Cypress (Northwestern ) 23-05.00; Shot put- Isaiah Farmer (Clover) 49-08.50.
4x100 Relay - 8. Lancaster 49.78; 4x400 Relay - 6. South Pointe 4:12.68; 1600 - 2. Raina Andrews (York) 5:36.56; 400 - Casey Douglas (South Pointe) 59.06; 800 - 4. Raina Andrews (York) 2:29.91; 200 - 7. Tierra Belk (Lancaster) 26.26; Triple jump - 4. Tierra Belk (Lancaster) 36-06.00; Discus - 2. Diamond Worthy (York) 113-07.00, 7. Indongesit Ekanem (South Pointe) 104-07.00; Shot put - 4. Indongesit Ekanem (South Pointe) 33-02.00.
100 Hurdles - 6. Antonio Mann (South Pointe) 15.21; High jump - 7. Morgan Galusha (South Pointe) 5-10.00; Pole vault - 1. Brandon Leuth (York) 11-00.00; Discus - Emmanuel Bush (Lancaster) 137-07.50.
Long jump - 3. Alaysia Gaston (Lewisville) 15-06.00; Triple jump - Alaysia Gaston (Lewisville) 33-11.05.
Triple jump - 5. Jashawn Jason (Lewisville) 43-08.00.