Bishop England girls’ basketball coach Paul Runey refers to seniors Michele Boykin and Mary Harriet Moore as “Mutt and Jeff.”
“One of them is a better outside player and that’s our Mutt,” Runey said. “One’s a better inside player and that’s our Jeff.
“Boykin is the Mutt and Moore is the Jeff. One works inside and one works outside. They’re best of friends and that’s what makes it even more special.”
Boykin and Moore are also cornerstones of a program that has been among the best in the state since they walked out on the court as freshmen four years ago. The two had key roles in the Bishops’ undefeated and state championship season when they were sophomores. They also helped the Bishops to the Class AA state championship game last winter.
This season, both reached the 1,000-point mark for their careers.
The seniors, along with classmates Eran Artigues and Camden Taylor, have helped the Bishops compile an 81-10 record the past four seasons. The Bishops went 28-0 in the state championship season two years ago and finished 23-4 last winter, losing to Keenan in the Class AA title game.
This season, the Bishops are favored to win Region 6-AA. They played well in the recent Carolina Invitational Tournament with a 2-1 record. Prior to the tournament, Runey thought his team might go winless.
“We lost to Mount Tabor (N.C.) which won the championship in our division,” Runey said. “We beat West Mecklenburg out of North Carolina and Greenbrier, which is a Class AAAAAA team in Georgia. We played really well in the tournament.”
Boykin and Moore both excel in more than one sport. Boykin is an accomplished cross country and track distance runner while Moore was all-state her senior season in volleyball after helping the Bishops win their 14th consecutive state title.
The Bishops have the potential to head back to the basketball title game if the team remains healthy and focused. Boykin and Moore have held up their part. Boykins averages 19 points while Moore averages 15 points and eight rebounds per game.
“Dillon and Kingstree have been impressive in the Lower State, and you can never rule out Mullins,” Runey said. “In the Upstate, you have Fairfield Central and Ninety Six. It’s crowded and competitive at the top.”
The Bishops benefit from an impressive feeder program that dominates the state’s parochial league. The team is young despite its veteran players. There are three freshmen and six sophomores on the roster.
“We’ve been able to reload,” Runey said. “We’ve had some young players step up, but everyone is building a feeder program. We just have to refocus.”