EDITORIAL: Crusading to a state championship
Crusading to a state championship
Wow! Just, Wow! A 31-1 season.
The Laurens Academy Lady Crusaders have every reason in the world to be very proud of their 2018 season. And, we’re sure, Crusader Nation is very proud of these wonderful school representatives.
For the second season in a row, the Lady Crusaders advanced to the championship game of the independent schools’ girls’ basketball tournament in Sumter. Their coach said last year they came up short because of rebounding - this season, they did the dirty work, leading on the boards, 43-28, and causing more turnovers, 23-14. Laurens Academy won the title over a scrappy Patrick Henry team, 48-34. It was the most points allowed by the Crusaders in any of their tournament challenges. Our colleague Monte Dutton, in a golaurens.com article, quoted LA coach Jason Marlett this way:
"As a coach, you sit there and watch things unfold. You're used to your team making three or four big plays and just taking off, just because that's what they normally do. It was a struggle for us offensively, but it's kind of been that way lately, and I don't think they panicked. Taylor (Campbell)'s matured a lot. She's earned my trust, and I think when you're in that situation (four fouls), you have to have her on the basketball court. You just have to have her. I could have sat her, but we might've lost the lead. Between her and Jennifer (Wu) handling the ball, I thought they did a great job. (Campbell) does what she always does well. She managed the game. Put the ball in her hands, and she makes good decisions. She expects to shoot well. She puts in countless hours, and normally she shoots the ball well. She realized that either she needed to get to the rim, or just manage the game and feed her teammates."
Campbell scored 16 points and junior Ruthie Moore scored 15 to pace the LA win. As great as it is in high school sports to have a “one-two” punch, the other Lady Crusaders stepped up for contributions in this game even when the two stars’ shooting lagged. Everybody has to know their role. Everybody has to buy in.
Campbell said, "So much credit for this championship goes to my teammates. When I'm off, and when Ruthie's off, we look to our teammates, and I'm so proud that I play on a team where, it doesn't matter who's on or who's off, we've all got each other's backs."
After bringing home the hardware, the Laurens Academy girls’ basketball team attended senior night for PC standout Janie Miles. One of four Blue Hose women to receive All-Big South honors, Miles is the conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The PC women’s basketball team attended the March 6 Clinton YMCA Prayer Breakfast at Clinton High School, receiving a message from former professional basketball player Tony Eubanks.
We certainly congratulate both these fine programs - Laurens Academy basketball for its latest addition to an already impressive school trophy case, and Presbyterian College for landing four players on the conference’s all-star teams. Basketball has a long and noble tradition in Laurens County, and we encourage all the young women out there to keep working on the hardwood if that is their passion. Success might not come immediately, but you will learn so much about a successful life with teamwork and discipline.