Several members of Laurens Academy’s state championship team were standing together on one end of the basketball floor. Someone asked “how y’all doing?”
They all said “good” in unison. These girls are still a team.
The Moore family is also a team. Ruthie Moore and her twin brother, Noah, will be the third and fourth members to attend college at Covenant, a Presbyterian mountaintop school in Lookout Mountain, Ga., high above Chattanooga, Tenn.
Ruthie, the S.C. Independent School Association Player of the Year the past two years, will play basketball for the Scots. Noah, all-state for the boys’ team, is matriculating there, too, though he doesn’t plan to play basketball.
The Crusaders’ head coach, Jason Marlett, said Ruthie has had Division II schools show interest in her skills since she was a sophomore, but Covenant, which is in NCAA Division III and thus doesn’t offer athletic scholarships, is where she wanted to go. What she signed on Tuesday was a national letter of intent, the intent being to attend Covenant College and play basketball there.
The Headmaster of Laurens Academy, Todd Kirk, remembered seeing Ruthie Moore playing basketball at the Laurens YMCA when she was a small child.
“All I’ve ever known of Ruthie for is playing something,” he said. “This is honorable. Ruthie earned everything she got. There is no secret to her success. She played ball. She did it sometimes when she didn’t want to. Athletes do that.
“This is exactly what we want. We want to put the kids of Laurens Academy in college, and this is just the gravy.”
Ruthie Moore was the leading scorer on two state championship teams and played for a third. In the past two years, the Crusaders have been a combined 60-4, winning the title in 2018 by a score of 49-34 over Patrick Henry and this year over Dorchester Academy, 39-24, led by Moore with 18 points.
Moore is Laurens Academy’s all-time leading scorer with more than 2,000 points. She averaged 18.5 points, seven rebounds, five assists and her assists-to-turnovers ratio was 3:1. In four years on the team, Laurens Academy posted a combined record of 106-17.
The Covenant women’s basketball team finished the 2018-19 season with a record of 10-16, 7-9 in the USA South Conference.