Sports Scrapbook - Spirit basketball wins and losses

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Spirit beats Mrs. O'Neil and her three daughters 45-33 on Scholarship Night

On Friday night the Holy Spirit girls' basketball team seniors were brought to center court to be honored with their parents. Following the ceremony, senior center Gina Lewis sang the national anthem.

The Spartans’ opponent that night could not have been more appropriate. The Collingswood team is coached by former Collingswood star Nancy O’Neil. Mrs. O’ Neil has the unique experience of coaching three of her five daughters, senior Ellie, and sophomore twins Molly and Meghan O’Neil.

The O’Neil girls and their teammates really have been part of a basketball family since they were 6 years old when they were nurtured and coached by daddy Jamie O’Neil. Thus, there has been a lot of family love and exceptional basketball teaching for the entire team, which has blended into the O’Neil family. As a result, of this the young under-sized team came into the Spirit game with a 13-4 record.

In the game, Spirit used its superior height advantage to win 45-33 despite Ellie O’Neil’s three bombs from another zip code. Gina Lewis’s performance on the court was as splendid as her rendition of the national anthem as she scored 17 points, had 17 rebounds, and five blocked shots. Summer Crilley had the sevens wild with seven points, seven rebounds, and seven spectacular assists, much to the delight of the Crilley clan, who were there to support the former Brigantine student.

The game began in a very unusual way. Spirit senior Emily Higbee, who had been out all year because of an ACL injury, was allowed by the opposition to make her first two points on a layup. A Collingswood player was then allowed to score unimpeded to knot the score at 2-2. Then the real battle began.

The O’Neil clan played a superb game in executing their offense and defense with precision. They played with the cohesion of girls who had played together since they were old enough to hold a basketball. Mr. and Mrs. O’Neil, you can be very proud of all of your kids!

Spirit girls just miss upsetting top-rated Point Pleasant Boro

The Holy Spirit Point Pleasant game turned into a barn-burner. The Spartans’ spectacular 9-0 run closed the gap to three points with a minute and 26 seconds left against Point Pleasant, one of the top-touted teams in the state. However, the Garnet Gulls’ pinpoint accuracy from the foul line foiled the comeback and the upset.

The Lady Spartans actually outshot the visitors 23-17 from the field. However, the clever Gulls consistently penetrated and went to the foul line an incredible 40 times for 29 points that provided the winning margin of victory 70-61. Summer Crilley and Gina Lewis led Spirit with 17 points. However, after the Spartans stunned the highly touted visitors by building up an eight-point lead, both Crilley and Lewis went to the bench with foul trouble, allowing the Gulls back into the game and the eventual victory.

Point Pleasant’s two all-state candidates Marina Mahrey and Katelyn Flaherty combined for 59 points, 26 of which came from the foul line. Spirit in a losing cause showed that they could play with the top teams in the state.


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