Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Bishop England seniors Michele Boykin and Mary Harriet Moore walked off their home court for the last time Tuesday, much in the same way they always left it, as dominant winners.
Bishop England blew past Battery Creek, 76-38, in the third round of the Class 2A state playoffs to earn its third straight bid to the Lower State championship game.
Boykin scored a game-high 36 points on 78 percent shooting with eight rebounds, six steals and eight assists. Moore added 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. Just what you'd expect in the final home game from two of the best to don the Bishop green and white.
“They both went out in style,” Bishop England head coach Paul Runey said. “It was a great last game in this gym for the both of them. It's remarkable. They're two of the most accomplished players I've ever coached and you just come to expect games like tonight from them.”
The Lady Bishops (25-1) focused on limiting Battery Creek star Daisja Cannon and forcing the rest of the team to try to beat them. Jo Jo Tompkins, Anna Marie Penninger, Erin Rose and Montana Swanson took turns harassing Cannon in Bishop England's box-and-one defense. Cannon scored 14 of Battery Creek's 17 points in the first half but managed just four in the second half. Boykin scored 12 in the third quarter, Moore added eight and the Lady Bishops turned a 13-point halftime lead into a 26-point rout by the start of the fourth.
“It's hard to shut a player like (Cannon) down, but I thought we did a good job of wearing her out,” Runey said. “We knew we were the deeper team so we were able to keep somebody on her the whole game.
“I thought all our kids played really well. We made the right plays with the basketball, ran the floor really well. We needed that going into these next games.”
Bishop England advances to face undefeated Dillon (27-0) Saturday in the Lower State championship game at the Florence Civic Center. Dillon stole a win from Kingstree with a free throw in the final seconds Tuesday. A Bishop England win Saturday would mean the Lady Bishops' third straight Lower State title, Runey's 590th career win, and a chance at their second state championship in three years.
“These girls have already shown that they have the athletic ability to win these types of games,” Runey said. “They're good about playing in these big games. They know how to win and that's a big deal. This isn't something new to them.”