Published March 22, 2018
ATLANTA—For the second consecutive year Holy Spirit Preparatory School boys’ basketball team can stake a claim as the 2018 Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) state basketball champions. On March 3 at Mercer University, Macon, Holy Spirit Prep defeated The Heritage School, Newnan, in the Class AAA state finals by a score of 57-51. It was a replication of the 2017 finals, where Holy Spirit Prep reaped a 20-point victory over Heritage.
Holy Spirit Prep started the game rather sluggishly and fell behind 17-9 by the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Holy Spirit Prep outscored Heritage 17-5 to take a 26-22 lead at halftime.
Halfway through the third quarter Heritage tied the game 30-30 and took a brief lead of 34-32. But Holy Spirit Prep scored the final eight points of the quarter and held a 40-34 lead as the two teams entered the final quarter.
Holy Spirt Prep amped up its defense in the fourth quarter, which forced several Heritage turnovers, and they took their first double–digit lead when center Georgii Maslennikov made a basket to give them a 51-40 lead with 3:19 left in the game. Heritage would mount a comeback, but they never could overtake the defending champs.
Maslennikov led the team with 20 points, followed by Michaiah Jeremiah’s 12 points. Anthony Edwards and Kamani Johnson also contributed 9 and 8 points, respectively.
The girls’ teams at Holy Spirit Prep also played in the state finals, but they didn’t fare as well. Holy Spirit Prep stayed competitive with an undefeated Pinewood Christian Academy, Bellville, for three quarters. In the fourth quarter, however, they would get outscored 19-11 to lose 55-48. Holy Spirit’s Jannise Poole scored 27 points in the loss.