Phenom Hoops travelled to Holly Spring, North Carolina to cover Holly Springs High School. Coach L.J. Hepp has plenty to be excited about with a team that finished 23-5 last season and should be one of the early favorites in the NCHSAA 4A. To put it mildly, Holly Springs and Myers Park could be the two early favorites to compete for the coveted 4A state championship. Coach Hepp has a unique blend of size, length and athleticism, not to mention experience in the backcourt and frontcourt. Holly Spring’s matchup against Virginia power John Marshall on December 3rd at the Tyler Lewis Hoop Fest should be a good indication of how good this team can really be. It will be a battle between two of the top teams from North Carolina and Virginia. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the key players for coach Hepp.
6’8 ’23 Collin Kuhl
It all starts with Georgia Southern commit, 6’8 Collin Kuhl. Last season, he averaged a “double double” and look for a repeat performance once again this season. Kuhl is known for his high motor forward who stays on the glass, combine this with a versatile skillset, great passing ability and being able to make plays off the bounce, he is one of the state’s toughest matchups.
5’11 ’23 Micah Jones
5’11 Micah Jones leads the way at the point guard position. He’s coming off an outstanding summer with Strong Center Elite earning offers from Navy, Lees-McRae and Mt. Olive. Jones sets the tone on both ends of the court. He’s a quick, shifty playmaker who gets into the paint whenever he wants. Jones is a crafty finisher that is able to finish over tremendous length using his excellent body control. In addition, Jones is the consummate point guard that makes his teammates better.
6’3 ’23 Houston Wills
Expect 6’3 senior Houston Wills to have a breakout senior season, even though he was the team’s third leading scorer last season. He’s a knock down shooter who can get hot at any moment and has shot over 40$ from the 3-point line for his high school career. More importantly, he brings so many intangibles to the court that helps his team win.
6’5 ’24 Ryan Crotty
6’5 junior Ryan Crotty is one of the premier shooters in the region and should be in the conversation as one of the best pure shooters in the state. Crotty has a smooth, quick release with deep range, not to mention he’s able to make plays off the bounce, get to the midrange where he can rise up and shoot over defenders. Crotty currently holds D1 offers from Presbyterian College and UC-San Diego. Look for his recruitment to take off this season and become a hot commodity next spring and summer.
6’2 ’25 Will James
Will James is another player that could easily have a breakout season for Holly Springs. He’s athletics, versatile guard who has the ability to attack downhill and finish through contact, but also capable of consistently knocking down perimeter shots. He competes on both ends of the court and gets after it defensively and could be one of the area’s top on ball defenders.
6’7 ’25 Jake Cackovic
6’7 sophomore Jake Cackovic is another underclassman ready to make an impact. He’s a very skilled forward with the ability to score from the inside & out. He spaces the floor with this shooting ability, also capable to driving closeouts and making good decisions with the ball in his hands.