SPC Recap: Lions Roar to 3 Team Titles

Prior to this season, St. Mark’s hadn’t won any of the four SPC winter team championships since 2017. Now the Lions have three new trophies.

St. Mark’s earned titles in boys basketball, boys soccer, and boys swimming as part of a banner weekend for hosting teams. Hockaday won the girls soccer title, and Greenhill did the same in girls basketball.

It marked quite a change from a year ago, when Houston-area schools earned all seven championships during the winter meet.

The Lions capped a terrific basketball season with a 85-57 thrashing of two-time defending champion Houston Christian in Saturday’s title game. Noah Shelby led the Lions with 19 points, and Andrew Laczkowski added 16 as St. Mark’s claimed its first championship since 2007.

St. Mark’s dispatched Kinkaid in the quarterfinals and Bellaire Episcopal in the semifinals, and finished the year on a 16-game winning streak.

In girls basketball, Greenhill held off Houston Christian 43-40 in the championship game to earn its first title since 2014. Kionce Woods scored a game-high 23 points for the Hornets, who rolled past Arlington Oakridge and Bellaire Episcopal in its first two tournament games. Greenhill was the runner-up last season.

The Hockaday soccer team lost a heartbreaker to St. John’s in the title game a year ago. The Daisies got their revenge on Saturday with a 1-0 victory that gave Hockaday its first SPC crown since 2013. Remy Finn’s second-half goal provided the winning margin.

Isabella Heintges earned her third consecutive shutout in goal after blanking Kinkaid and Greenhill the previous day.

In boys soccer, St. Mark’s finished third in the SPC North division during the regular season. But when a grueling three-day tournament wrapped up on Saturday, the Lions were the last team standing. They won their first championship since 2013.

St. Mark’s had to win four games in three days, and the Lions tallied three goals in each of them, including a 3-1 overtime triumph over Kinkaid in the title game. Henry McElhaney scored twice in extra time for St. Mark’s.

The Lions also needed overtime — and a shootout — to upset top-seeded Casady in the semifinals. Casaday was unbeaten in league play during the regular season.

On Thursday, St. Mark’s won just two of 12 events at the conference swim meet in Lewisville, but accumulated enough points to edge St. John’s and Kinkaid in the boys team standings. Jack Palmer earned a gold medal in the 100 breaststroke and was also part of a triumphant 200 medley relay quartet with Jerry Fox, Ryan Park, and Leo Ohannessian.

The Lions emerged as team champions for the first time since 2017. It marks the program’s 14th crown in the last 20 years.

Other individual event winners included Hockaday’s Abby Tchoukaleff (girls 50 freestyle) and Brooke Adams (100 freestyle and 100 backstroke), who also contributed to the Daisies’ 200 and 400 freestyle relay victories.

In wrestling, St. Mark’s sophomore Elijah Ellis won the 195-pound weight class. The Lions wound up third as a team.

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