Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo By Tim Durski
Surrounded by jubilant teammates, Kamani Johnson raises the state championship trophy after Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Atlanta, defeated The Heritage School, Newnan, 57-51. The team reclaimed their 2017 state title over last year’s opponent during the March 3 Class AAA state finals at Mercer University, Macon.


Holy Spirit Preparatory boys successfully defend state basketball title

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.

Holy Spirit Preparatory School head boys basketball coach Victor Alexander, back row, far right, poses with his assistant coaches Kaheem Draper, back row, second from right, and Rob Robinson, back row, far left, and the players following the team’s 2018 state championship victory. Photo By Tim Durski

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.