By Michael O'Brien
Bloom senior Donald Moore has been tearing up south suburban basketball courts for three seasons now, but the games have taken on some extra meaning.Moore became an academic qualifier in mid-January, and hes trying to get the word out to as many colleges as possible. Fridays 59-52 win over Rich South in Richton Park should help. The 6-foot point guard scored 22 points.I hope some of the Division I schools find out he qualified and he starts to get some offers, Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. Donald has set the tone for us all year. Hes one of the top guards in the state.Moores stable, guiding hand was as important as his 22 points. The No. 7 Blazing Trojans are as disciplined as they have been in years. They only turned the ball over eight times in the game while forcing Rich South into 15 turnovers.Weve been able to do that all year, Moore said. Coach told us were a guard-heavy team and we need to take care of the ball.Bloom was in control throughout the first half, but the Stars made a run in the third quarter, tying the game at 35 after two free throws from John Ruffin. Bloom responded with a 7-1 run to close the quarter.Ruffin scored 12 and grabbed 12 rebounds, but hes usually capable of much more.Our main focus was on Ruffin, Williams said. Hes the best rebounder in the conference and to hold him to that is excellent.LJ Johnson scored 24 for Bloom and Johnny Griffin added 15 points and five rebounds. Marquell Small led the Stars with 14 points and seven rebounds.Bloom (21-3, 7-1 Southland) and Rich South (16-6, 4-2) split two previous games this season, including a Bloom win in the Big Dipper title game.Its real hard to play a team three times, Moore said. They know almost all of our plays and what we do. You just have to try and adjust to it.Moore has an offer from Chicago State, and Cal Poly has shown some interest. Now that Ive qualified the offers should start coming in, Moore said.
By Michael O'Brien