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Bringing Back the Winning Spirit

The Holy Spirit High School boys basketball team exhibited its potential last winter.

The Spartans featured a starting lineup of five sophomores and finished the campaign with a 10-5 record. Their season was highlighted by a 55-51 upset of Egg Harbor Township on February 13.

South Jersey Sports Zone All-South Jersey honorable mention Jahmir Smith returns to the lineup after averaging a team-high 18.4 points per game a season ago. The junior tallied double figures in all 15 contests last season and scored 20 or more points on seven separate occasions. Smith will be joined by three other returning starters — juniors Jamil Wilkins, Ky Gilliam and Jayden Llanos.

Wilkins poured in 12.8 points per game and posted a career-high 26 points in a 81-61 loss to St. Augustine. The Hermits finished at No. 2 in the final South Jersey Sports Zone Top 30 last season. Gilliam, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged 9.0 points per game and the 6-foot-3 Llanos contributed 6.6 points per game.

Holy Spirit also returns five letter winners. Senior Sean Kane appeared in 11 games for the Spartans last season. Sophomore Frank Gilliam, junior Emmett Kane, and seniors George Coles and Aiden Saul also charted varsity minutes.

Their biggest challenge will be replicating the production of Hasanur Freeman. Freeman is the lone Spartans’ starter that is not returning to Route 9 in Absecon. The junior moved to Virginia in the offseason. He averaged 10.7 points per game a season ago and notched a team-high 15 points in the 55-51 win over the Eagles.

The Spartans will also have to conquer that task with a new face in charge. Kyle Dhyne enters his first season as a head coach.

Holy Spirit will also welcome five notable newcomers according to Dhyne. Juniors Rocco Arici, Jordan Coles, Justin Hackett, David Legette and freshman Khajuan Roseborough complete the Spartans’ roster.

Holy Spirit will be tested early on as two of their first three matchups are on the road against perennial Cape-Atlantic League powers St. Augustine and St. Joseph. Holy Spirit and St. Joe’s should be in the mix for a CAL United Division title along with Egg Harbor Township. Dhyne’s group will always be challenged with non-conference bouts against Camden, Father Judge (PA) and Timber Creek.

South Jersey Sports Zone (SJSZ) was co-founded by Kevin Emmons in 2017. The brand covers high school sports and promotes South Jersey pride. If you’d like to keep up with SJSZ, find them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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