2018 saw state titles won, record streaks broken and college teams returning to the big dance for the first time in decades. Take a look back at the top 10 sports stories Live 5 News covered over the last 12 months.
#10. Wando’s Alexis Glover wins 1000th game - It wasn’t just another win in early September for the Wando volleyball team as they defeated West Ashley. For head coach Alexis Glover, it was the 1000th win of her illustrious career. In her 32nd year with the Warriors, Glover became the 1st coach in state history to win 1000 games in one sport. Her team would go on to reach the 5-A state finals for the 6th straight year and 12th time overall.
#9. A’ja Wilson picked 1st in WNBA Draft - There was only one way for A’ja Wilson’s amazing career at South Carolina to properly come to an end…being the top overall pick of the WNBA Draft. That dream became a realization in April, when the Las Vegas Aces took Wilson with the first pick. Her time with the Gamecocks ended with 3 All-American honors, named the national player of the year her senior season and of course, the first national title in the programs history.
#8. Porter-Gaud wins state title, James commits to Tennessee - It was another banner year for Porter-Gaud basketball asthe Cyclones wrapped up one of the best runs in Lowcountry history winning their 3rd straight SCISA 3-A state title in February thanks to seniors Aaron Nesmith and Jake Lanford and junior Josiah James. James, who’s one of the top prospects in the country this season and ever in the Lowcountry, surprised a host of people when he signed to play at Tennessee in September.
#7. Bishop England volleyball’s state title streak ends - One of the most impressive streaks ever in our area came to an end when Bishop England volleyball’s national record of 18 consecutive state championships ended with a loss to Powdersville in the 3-A state finals in November. A Bishops team that had 7 freshman went into the finals with a losing record on the year, but you can bet they’ll be back
#6. Gamecocks back in the Super Regionals - Midway through Mark Kingston’s first season with South Carolina, the Gamecocks were just 20-17 and looked to be fighting to make the NCAA tournament but Carolina would turn on the jets going 12-5 down the stretch and sweeping through the Greenville regional as the 2 seed to earn a spot in the Super Regionals. Carolina would get a game away from going back to the college world series before falling to Arkansas.
#5. Wando soccer finishes ranked #1 in the country - The countdown continues at 5 where it was another stellar year on the field for the Wando boys soccer team. The Warriors would repeat as 5-A state champs with a 2-1 win over Nation Ford thanks to an Alex Holloman late goal. That win would extend Wando’s state record to 54 wins in a row. Wando would also finish the season ranked as the number 1 team in the Country by USA Today.
#4. Summerville upsets Ft. Dorchester - We go to high school football at number 4, Summerville and Fort Dorchester played in the most epic game in the area this season back in October. This one would go back and forth all night eventually going to not 1, but 2 overtimes and when the Green Wave go to within an extra point of sending it to a 3rd overtime, Summerville would instead go for 2 and run a variation of the now famous Philly Special to get the win. Their first over the Fort in 5 years..and the Patriots first loss to a team from the Lowcountry in almost 4 full seasons.
#3. Clemson reaches Sweet 16 - Clemson basketball had a solid, if unremarkable season in 2018 winning 22 games in the regular season and getting back to the NCAA Tournament but the Tigers pulled off an upset of Auburn in San Diego and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in Brad Brownell’s career and the first time for the school since 1997. Their 25 win season would end in Nebraska with a loss to Kansas.
#2. CofC returns to NCAA Tournament - The College of Charleston back where they belong, in the NCAA Tournament and what a way for the Cougars to do it. CofC was down 17 early in the 2nd half to Northeastern in the CAA championship game at the North Charleston Coliseum but they fought all the way back led by 32 points from Joe Chealey to punch their ticket to the big dance for the first time in almost 2 decades. The Cougars would put up a fight against Auburn in the 1st round in San Diego before ultimately coming up short.
#1. Another dominating year for Clemson Football - Back at number 1 again in 2018, the Clemson Tigers. The calendar year started off rough with a loss to Alabama in the national semifinals on new years day but Clemson rebounded in a big way going 12-0 in the regular season led by freshman phemon quarterback Trevor Lawrence including picking up their 5th straight win over South Carolina. The first time they’ve done that since the 1930′s. Then they’d pick up their 4th straight ACC title by crushing Pitt earlier this month. Now Dabo Swinney’s team awaits Notre Dame in this years National Semifinal later this week.