MIKE NIETO: Moore or less, The Donald can play

2012-02-10T19:30:00Z 2014-01-20T22:13:12Z MIKE NIETO: Moore or less, The Donald can playBy Mike Nieto Prep Beat
February 10, 2012 7:30 pm  • 

RICHTON PARK | Bloom Township's Donald Moore is starting to get some look from colleges.

Not that he didn't get them before, but in January, the 6-foot guard qualified academically for college by getting a good score on his ACT.

"A couple of coaches are showing interest in me," Moore said after he helped lead The Times No. 1 Blazing Trojans to a 59-52 win over Rich South on Friday. "I think I can play in college."

No doubt.

Bloom coach Jasper Williams said he is one of the best guards in the state and few would argue. He sets the tempo for this team and it is more of a waltz and than the twist.

It takes patience to run a half-court offense as well as ball-handling skills and Moore has both. Even when pressured, he does not get out of control and when you have a team captain and leader like that, the other players see that and it sets the tone.

When Rich South made a run in the third quarter, Moore didn't panic and neither did his teammates. Moore didn't score in the third quarter, but Lejavius (LJ) Johnson, Johnny Griffin and Zataryan Dejaraux, or J-tron for short, did their jobs. Part of which was keeping Rich South off the boards. The Stars and their rebounding machine John Ruffin did get their share of rebounds, but they did not dominate.

The run did not seem to rile the Blazing Trojans, who came back with a big fourth quarter and Johnson had big back-to-back baskets to put the game away. Either this team has no pulse or they are just so focused that they are not letting little things upset them. I think the latter is true as Bloom is a very good team and deserved the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A Lockport Sectional.

These kids also know they are not that good and they work on the little things in practice every day with coach Jasper Williams and assistants Pete McGuire and Job Gunderson.

Confident, but not cocky.

To play a team three times, like Bloom and Rich South have, is tough. The Blazing Trojans knew they were in control of their own destiny coming into Friday's Southland Athletic Conference game. Their lone conference loss was a last-second one to Rich South and another loss would pretty much wipe them from consideration for the conference crown.

Bloom went out and did what it needed to do. Its destiny is in its own hands and the players know a trip to Crete-Monee on Feb. 17 will be a tough one. Bloom won 43-38 at Bloom Trail High School on Jan. 13. The Warriors are two-time defending SAC champs and probably would like to see if they can at least get a share of a third one.


This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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