On Monday night, the Laurens Academy girls played a team made up of home-schooled players from Easley, aptly named Easley Home School. The Guardians (6-1) were no pushovers, and the Crusaders’ 55-37 victory was impressive.
EHS was particularly imposing physically, but there were only eight players on the roster, and several players looked weary and dead-legged as LA (9-1) pulled away at the end.
The path to the Guardians was circuitous. Last week’s sleet and snow canceled a game scheduled against the Piedmont Bobcats. Then Southside Christian couldn’t make it this Monday. Enter the Guardians, who led 19-12 early in the second quarter.
Ruthie Moore to the rescue.
En route to 31 points, she led the Crusaders on an eight-point run, and they never surrendered the lead again. The lead reached 20, 54-34, with 23.6 seconds remaining.
LA played its third game in four days, having lost for the first time on Saturday at Hilton Head Christian.
“We didn’t think we played tough over the weekend,” head coach Jason Marlett said. “I challenged them, and they challenged each other, and they came out and really gave a lot of effort.
“Ruthie has the ability to take over games like that. She’s that talented.”
Palmetto Christian Academy of Greenwood provided the opposition, though not much, for three other games, all won by Laurens Academy.
The boys’ varsity improved to 7-4 and also scored 55 points. The visiting Lions (1-7) just managed 14. Travis Plowden’s team had defeated PCAG 65-27 earlier in the season.
With Noah Moore (Ruthie’s twin brother) scoring 16 points and Charlton McCall 12, the Crusaders raced to 23-0 lead after the first quarter, 43-6 at half and 53-9 after three.
The visitors shot 13.5 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from the free-throw line.
“The guys played with a lot of energy,” Plowden said. “This was a game to get better, a game to not take anything for granted. I thought we ran our offense well and played at a good tempo.”
The middle school boys and junior varsity girls also won big against the Greenwood school.
The boys won 43-16 behind 19 points from Clarence Bertoli and nine from Andrew Codington.
Palmetto Christian (14): James Austin 4, John Spake 3, Milaan Raj 3, Samuel Clarke 4. Field goals: 5-37. Free throws:1-8. Rebounds: 34. Turnovers: 21.
Laurens Academy (55): Charlton McCall 12, Thomas Lowry 8, Noah Moore 16, Dawson Foster 4, Cal Robertson 5, Luke Kerber 5, Hunter Mullinax 2, Sunny Li 2, Diamonte Grant 4. Field goals: 21-58. Free throws: 7-17. Rebounds: 41. Turnovers: 11.
Easley Home School (37): Laurens Bufford 2, Grace White 13, Jena White 2, Isabel Ormiston 4, Bria Dickinson 6, Shea Dickinson 10. Field goals: 16-42. Free throws: 1-3. Rebounds: 26. Turnovers: 21.
Laurens Academy (55): Reagan Williamson 9, Florence Mitchell 2, Ruthie Moore 31, Morgan Marlett 1, Jennifer Wu 12. Field goals: 17-47. Free throws: 17-23. Rebounds: 31. Turnovers: 14.