John Paul II’s boys locked up a third-place finish in SCISA Region 4-2A with a 56-53 win over visiting St. Andrew’s on Tuesday.
The game was tied at 38 with five minutes to play when senior Thomas Kender hit a 3-pointer and made two free throws on the next possession to open up a five-point lead. The Golden Warriors stretched the margin to 10 with 1:53 left, but the Lions closed with 53-50 before JPII closed it out at the foul line.
“This is a giant step for our program,” JPII coach Stacy Benedik said. “We just missed the playoffs last year by one game and to be able to get over that hurdle and make the tournament in just our third varsity season is a huge accomplishment.”
JPII (13-13, 9-5) will face top-seeded Trinity-Byrnes in the first round of the SCISA Class 2A state tournament at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Wilson Hall in Sumter.