Holy Spirit's Moore Scores 1,000th Career Point in Win over EHT

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Holy Spirit High School senior guard Paul Moore scored his 1,000th career point in Friday's (Feb. 8) 63-45 American Conference victory over Egg Harbor Township. Moore reached the milestone early in the third quarter with a pair of foul shots and had 17 points in the Senior Night game - which was the team’s eighth straight win (the streak was snapped on Sunday at the Olympic-Cape Challenge in a 50-43 loss to Eastern).

"It was big for me to score 1,000 points," Moore told 97.3 ESPN radio. "But the main thing for me was to continue to play the same way, but to score my 1000th point on top of a victory it was a good feeling."

The 18-year-old Pleasantville resident has been one of the best scorers this season in the Cape-Atlantic League, currently netting 17 points per game, but he feels that his biggest improvement is the ability to distribute the ball and get the whole team involved.

"I think this year my biggest thing was to get my teammates involved more and let the game come to me," Moore said. "I feel like once I get them going, the game will start to come to me."

During the Spartans’ eight game win streak, Holy Spirit has gotten strong play from Junior Saintel and John Middleton, plus the Spartans’ depth has given the team a lift. In the win over EHT, Saintel, Jordan Taylor and John Middleton each added 10 points.

"We have been playing together as a team," Moore explained. "The ball has been moving really well, guys have been coming off the bench, giving us a nice spark. We need those people off the bench to give us energy; it makes us a much better team.”

However, this season wasn't all roses for the Spartans. About a month ago, the team was in the middle of a four-game losing streak, something that you rarely see happen to a team like Holy Spirit, where winning is a tradition and losing streaks are unheard of. Moore never hit the panic button and the team has thrived ever since that streak.

"Not at all," Moore said about being worried this season. "I believed in this team one hundred percent. We have a lot of talent on this team, and we have a lot of good wins during this stretch."

Moore became the 14th player in Holy Spirit boys history to score 1,000 points, a list headed by longtime NBA player and coach Chris Ford, who scored 1,507 at Holy Spirit from 1965-68.

As far as what's next for Moore, he hopes to make that decision in the next few weeks.

"I will look at the college decision in the next two weeks," Moore said. "I have a few Division I looks, and while I would love to play Division I basketball, at the same time I just want to go to school and play basketball. So if I have to lean back on playing Division II basketball, it is what it is."  

Cape Atlantic League Struggles at Olympic-Cape Challenge

The 13th annual Olympic-Cape Challenge was played over the weekend at St. Augustine Prep. The two-day event pairs teams from the local Cape-Atlantic League against teams from the Olympic Conference.

Day One featured a real tough day for the CAL teams, as they collectively went 0-5 including losses by Pleasantville and Egg Harbor Twp. On the second day of the event, three teams from the CAL United Division – Sacred Heart, Wildwood Catholic and St. Joseph - picked up wins while Holy Spirit and Oakcrest each suffered losses.

Also of note from the Olympic-Cape Challenge, St. Augustine Prep coach Paul Rodio failed in his bid to become South Jersey's all-time win leader in the Hermits’ loss to Camden. Rodio currently sits at 775 career victories and has a shot to break the record on Tuesday Feb. 12 against Lower Caper May. Many players from the Prep basketball team come from the Atlantic County area and have been a huge part of the tremendous success of the St. Augustine program.

CAL Playoffs

The 2012-13 regular season has come to an end and now the second season for many local teams begins on Friday, Feb. 15.

In the second year of Cape-Atlantic League playoffs, the field expands from six to eight teams. The top two teams from each of the three CAL conferences will be represented, plus two "wild card" teams. Currently six of those eight teams are set, with Atlantic City and Holy Spirit representing the American Conference, Middle Township and St. Augustine from the National Conference, and Wildwood Catholic and Sacred Heart coming from the United.  

Still alive for wild card spots are Hammonton, Egg Harbor Twp., Cedar Creek and Pleasantville.

The CAL quarterfinals begin on Friday, the semifinals are Feb 19 at Hammonton High School, and the title game will be played on Saturday Feb. 23 at Richard Stockton College (on 97.3 ESPN) starting at noon with the boys/girls doubleheader.  

NJSIAA Playoff Pairings 

Atlantic City will be the top seed in the Group IV state playoff tournament. The Vikings are the defending state champs and will begin their quest for a repeat against Toms River South on Feb. 25.

Also in Group IV, 13th seed Absegami made the field and will play Toms River North. Egg Harbor Twp. is a 10 seed and will travel to Lenape.

In Group III, Oakcrest is a No. 13 seed and will face Delsea in Round One.  

Over in Group II, Cedar Creek is a 10th seed and will head to Cinnaminson, and Pleasantville is the 15th seed and will take on Middle Twp.

Holy Spirit will be part of the Non-public A playoffs as the eighth seed, taking on Red Bank Catholic. St. Augustine is the No. 3 seed and will host St. John Vianney.

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