LOCAL ROUNDUP: Bishop lacrosse, HPCA baseball, Westchester baseball fall in state finals
May 22—DURHAM — Bishop McGuinness, the top seed from the West, fell 10-7 against Croatan, the top seed from the East, in the first-ever NCHSAA 1A/2A/3A girls lacrosse championship Saturday afternoon at the Durham County Memorial Stadium.
Kate Dennen scored three goals for the Villains (16-4), making their first championship appearance. Ella Suire added two goals, while Sarah Pulliam and Kiersten Varner each had one goal.
Bishop led early with a score by Dennen just over a minute into the match. And goals by Suire and Pulliam gave the Villains a 3-1 lead five minutes in. But a run of four straight scores by the Cougars (19-2) gave them a two-goal lead with 10:28 left in the half.
Bishop clawed back even at 5-5 with seven minutes left, but Croatan's two goals in the final 4 1/2 minutes gave it a 7-5 lead into halftime and another two goals in the first three minutes of the second half extended its lead to 9-5. Goals by Suire with 15 minutes left and Varner with nine minutes left pulled the Villains within three.
But that was as close as Bishop got in the final minutes.
Lauren Hayden had four goals and four assists for the Cougars in earning MVP.
In the other championships, Lake Norman Charter defeated Northwood 19-8 in the 1A/2A/3A boys championship Saturday; and Cardinal Gibbons beat Charlotte Catholic twice in the 4A championships Friday — 15-11 in the 4A girls final and 12-10 in the 4A boys final.
HIGH POINT CHRISTIAN, HICKORY GROVE
HIGH POINT — High Point Christian gave itself a chance. But this time it just didn't work out.
The top-seeded Cougars rallied to even the series and force a winner-take-all third game. But second-seeded Hickory Grove Christian capitalized on a couple key chances and captured the NCISAA 3A baseball championship at Oak View Baptist Church.
The Lions won game 1 on Friday 8-1 before HPCA won game 2 early Saturday afternoon 13-3. But Hickory Grove scored an unearned run in the third inning, extended its lead late and won 5-1 in the series finale late Saturday afternoon.
And with the win the Lions (19-10), who defeated the Cougars (27-6) for the 2021 state championship as well, sealed the series victory and won the state championship.
Dylan Story pitched well in game 2, throwing 6 1/3 innings, to give HPCA a chance at its second straight state championship — it won last year's state title by rallying on the final day. But the Cougars struggled in inopportune moments in game 3.
An infield error with two on and one out allowed a run to score in the third. A pair of singles moved a runner to second with one out in the sixth, and an RBI single down the left-field run gave Hickory Grove a 2-0 lead.
The Lions pulled tacked on three runs in the seventh to lead 5-0 before HPCA, which was limited to just a couple hits, finally broke through for a run. Trace Aufderhar took the pitching loss, despite pitching well for over six innings.
WESTCHESTER COUNTRY DAY, THE BURLINGTON SCHOOL
HIGH POINT — Third-seeded Westchester Country Day forced a third game and held a slim lead early. But fifth-seeded The Burlington School capitalized late to win the state championship.
The Spartans won game 1 on Friday 6-5 before the Wildcats, pitching standout Josh Hammond, won game 2 on Saturday afternoon 11-9. Burlington won game 3 on Saturday evening 6-1 to win the NCISAA 3A baseball championship at Truist Point.
Westchester led 1-0 into the fifth after Caleb Hammond scored on a dropped fly ball in the first. But the Spartans put runners on in the fifth — scoring on a sacrifice fly and a perfectly-placed fly ball to left that dropped between the left fielder and shortstop.
A wild pitch gave Burlington (12-10) a 3-1 lead, and the Spartans tacked on three more in the seventh. Tate Vogler took the pitching loss, even though he pitched well early.
In game 2, Vogler had three hits and three RBIs, while Josh Hammond also had three hits, including a home run, and two RBIs and Eli Moore added two hits and two RBIs. Josh Hammond got the pitching win, striking out eight in 4 2/3 innings.
In game 1 on Friday, Bryce Hooker had two hits, including a double, while Crawford Elrod had a hit and two RBIs. Chase Hesling and Moore each added a hit and an RBI. Hooker, the starting pitcher, took the loss in five innings.
OAK GROVE BASEBALL SET FOR REGIONAL FINAL
MIDWAY — Oak Grove will play in its first regional championship series this week.
The 13th-seeded Grizzlies will take on third-seeded West Henderson in the best-of-three series. Game 1 will be Tuesday at West Henderson at 7 p.m., while game 2 will be Thursday at Oak Grove at 7 p.m. Game 3, if necessary, will be Saturday at West Henderson but a time has not been set yet.
Tickets will be $7 cash at the gate and on GoFan.co.
The winner of this series will advance to next week's state championship series against either J.H. Rose or Southern Lee.
HUSHPUPPIES WIN TWO
HIGH POINT — The High Point Hushpuppies opened the season on a high note, defeating the Sandhills Bogeys 11-0 on Saturday and the Lenoir Legends 15-13 on Sunday at Ed Price Fields.