Southern’s Mike Gesicki, center, takes a shot against Atlantic City in the playoffs. Gesicki, who is 6-foot-6, averaged 19.6 points and 8.6 rebounds last season.

The Southern Regional High School boys basketball team nearly upset Atlantic City in the South Jersey Group IV quarterfinals, losing 61-56.

Moments after that game ended the Rams began to focus on this season. Southern should contend for the Shore Conference A South and South Jersey Group IV titles.

"We're riding the wave of momentum that we got from the end of last season," Southern coach Eric Fierro said.

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Southern features 6-foot-6 forward Mike Gesicki, who verbally committed to play football at Penn State. But Gesicki is also a dynamic basketball player with a tremendous leap and the ability to produce dunks that bring fans out of their seats.

Gesicki injured his wrist in the preseason but is expected to be ready for the Rams' Dec. 27 opener. He averaged 19.6 points and 8.6 rebounds last season.

Southern also will rely on 6-6 junior Jake Logue, who sank 40 3-pointers and averaged 9.3 points last season.

Junior point guard Zac Halladay handled the ball well in the playoffs against Williamstown and Atlantic City last season. Eric Ray, a 6-5 junior, gives the Rams size inside.

"In past years, we haven't had these pieces around (Gesicki). We needed him to go over and above," Fierro said. "Now we have these great pieces. We have to accept our roles and execute night in and night out."

Contact Michael McGarry:

609-272-7185

Boys

League: Shore Conference A South

Group: South Jersey Group IV

Coach: Eric Fierro

2012-13 record: 18-11

2013-14 prediction: Favorite – The Rams will be an entertaining team to watch the high-flying Mike Gesicki

Key players: Zac Halliday, Jr., 5-11, G; Mike Gesicki, Sr., 6-6, F; Josh Logue, Jr., 6-6, G; Logan Sheehan, Sr., 5-11, G; Rob Yaiser, Sr., 5-11, G; Ethan Dubois, So., 6-0, G; Eric Ray, Jr., 6-5, C; John Furlong, Sr., 6-0, G

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