ABSECON - Holy Spirit High School senior guard Paul Moore said he just tried to play his usual game as the Spartans boys basketball team hosted Egg Harbor Township on Friday.
Moore reached 1,000 career points early in the third quarter with a pair of foul shots and Holy Spirit pulled away to beat EHT 63-45 in a Cape-Atlantic League American Division game. Moore led the Spartans with 17 points and now has 1,007 for his career.
Holy Spirit (14-6, 10-1 American) won its eighth straight game. Egg Harbor Township fell to 10-9 (5-6).
"Paul wasn't forcing things. He played in the flow," Holy Spirit coach Jamie Gillespie said. "It was great for him to get it."
Moore often passed off to teammates in the first half while still scoring five of the 10 points he needed to reach 1,000. He hit a 3-pointer 1 minutes into the second half and reached the milestone from the line with 6 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the quarter.
"The win was more important," said Moore, 18, a Pleasantville resident. "I'm blessed to get the win and 1,000 points. I just went out and played. I didn't want to go out and grab it. I let it come to me.
"I felt like it wasn't a game where I'd get 20 or 25 points, so it was important to move the ball around to move their defense."
Holy Spirit will play Eastern, which is ranked ninth in The Press Elite 11, at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Olympic-Cape Challenge at St. Augustine Prep. The Spartans will then host arch-rival Atlantic City, the Elite 11's No. 1 team, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
"From our perspective, we're trying to get a home game in the Cape-Atlantic League Tournament," Gillespie said. "We were 6-6 at one time, but now we're playing much better, and we're excited for the opportunities on Sunday and Tuesday.
Holy Spirit's Junior Saintel, Jordan Taylor and John Middleton each added 10 points. Middleton scored all of his points in the first half as the Spartans went up 25-16. Taylor scored all of his points in the third quarter as Holy Spirit continued to pull away.
Egg Harbor Township struggled to make shots early and shot only 13-for-27 from the foul line overall. Trey Jones, who often took the ball to the basket, led the Eagles with 20 points. Khari Harley had 12 points.
Holy Spirit quickly moved the ball all around the offensive zone and got open shots, many of which were near the basket. The Spartans had 19 assists.
"The key was getting so many assists," Gillespie said. " We attacked their 1-3-1 very well in the interior and got a ton of layups. We wanted to lay the ball up and limit our 3-point shots against their zone."
Moore's two free throws for the 1,000 points made it 30-20. Jones' layup and foul shot for EHT cut the lead to 30-23, but Holy Spirit's Mark Rassman (eight points) scored underneath to start a 14-5 run. The Spartans led 44-28 after three quarters.
"I felt like we played pretty well except that we couldn't put the ball in the basket," Egg Harbor Township coach George McNally said. "Holy Spirit was effective, but it wasn't anything we hadn't prepared for. Your defense looks a lot worse when you're not making your shots. One affects the other."
Contact Guy Gargan:
Egg Harbor Township 7 9 12 17-45
Holy Spirit 11 14 19 19-63
EHT-Harly 3 6-10 12, Jones 7 6-11 20, Allen 1 0-2 2, Bynum 3 0-2 6, Steele 1 1-2 3, Caban 1 0-0 2. Totals-16 13-27 45.
HS-Saintel 4 2-2 10, Moore 6 3-3 17, Midi 2 0-0 4, Taylor 3 3-5 10, Daniels 2 0-0 4, Rassman 4 0-0 8, Middleton 4 2-2 10. Totals-25 10-12 63.
3-pointers-Moore (2), Taylor HS.
Records-H.S. 14-6; EHT 10-9.