A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Holy Cross back to full strength going into 9th Region All “A” Classic girls basketball tournament

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Marty Rankin was an assistant coach on the Holy Cross girls basketball teams that won 9th Region All “A” Classic championships the last two years. Now he’s in charge of the program and faces the challenge of carry on that winning tradition.

Jade Simpson, center, and Sidney Thomas, right, are both strong inside players for Holy Cross. (File photo by Bob Jackson)

“Being strong in the All ‘A’ is something we take pride in at Holy Cross,” Rankin said. “We’d definitely like to win it and represent Northern Kentucky well at the state tournament. We do take it very seriously.”

Holy Cross is hosting this year’s girls regional tournament that begins Monday. The winner will advance to the 16-team All “A” Classic state tournament set for Jan. 23-27 at Eastern Kentucky University.

The Indians (12-4) have the best record in the 9th Region bracket. They won eight of their last nine games to offset a rocky start this season. Rankin said one or more players were missing in action until a few days before Christmas.

“We’ve been able to grow as a team with all our expected contributors on varsity in the last couple games,” the coach said.

The return of 6-foot-6 sophomore center Sidney Thomas, who sat out five games with an ankle injury, is one reason for the team’s resurgence. With her posting up inside and the perimeter shooting of senior guard Olivia Crigler, the Indians can be hard to handle.

Olivia Crigler

“With a good post player, it allows us to open things up on the outside for Liv and she’s been taking advantage of it,” Rankin said. “You’ve got to stop one or the other with us. If we can get out and run, it’s one thing. If not, we can slow it down and try to overpower people.”

Crigler, a Kentucky State University recruit, is averaging 18 points per game with 3-point goals accounting for nearly half of her scoring total. She made 72 treys last year and she’s got nearly 50 already this season. 

Thomas and junior forward Jade Simpson are both strong inside players who have combined average of 18 points and 18 rebounds per game for Holy Cross.

“Jade is a tremendous defensive rebounder,” Rankin said. “She’s very strong and quick. When she wants to get it, it’s hard to keep her off the boards on offensive or defense.”

The other key players in the Holy Cross rotation are senior guards Trinity McClendon, Laney Arlinghaus and Lauren Rankin. Kara Krumpelman is a sophomore forward who got a lot of playing time while Thomas was out.

With their size, experience and depth, the Indians should make a strong run for their third straight 9th Region All “A” Classic regional title.

“We’d like to put our stamp on it again and say that the road to the title has to go through Holy Cross,” Rankin said.

All “A” Classic girls region tournaments

9TH REGION AT HOLY CROSS
Monday, Jan. 7
Newport vs. Bellevue, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 8
St. Henry vs. Villa Madonna, 6 p.m.
Newport Central Catholic vs. Dayton, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 9
Ludlow vs. Newport-Bellevue winner, 6 p.m.
Holy Cross vs. Beechwood, 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 11
Semifinal games, 6 and 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Championship game, 7 p.m.

8TH REGION AT WILLIAMSTOWN
Monday, Jan. 7
Walton-Verona vs. Carroll County, 5:30 p.m.
Owen County vs. Eminence, 7 p.m.
Trimble County vs. Williamstown, 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 9
Gallatin County vs. Trimble County-Williamstown winner, 6 p.m.
Walton-Verona-Carroll County winner vs. Owen County-Eminence winner, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 11
Championship game, 7 p.m.

10TH REGION AT BROSSART
Friday, Jan. 11

Calvary Christian vs. Silver Grove, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Paris vs. Bracken County, 11 a.m.
St. Patrick vs. Augusta, 2:30 p.m.
Brossart vs. Robertson County, 6 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 14
Nicholas County vs. Calvary Christian-Silver Grove winner, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 16
Upper bracket semifinal game, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 17
Lower bracket semifinal game, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19
Championship game, 6 p.m.

All “A” Classic boys region tournaments

8TH REGION AT TRIMBLE COUNTY
Tuesday, Jan. 8
Eminence vs. Carroll County, 5:30 p.m.
Walton-Verona vs. Williamstown, 7 p.m.
Owen County vs. Trimble County, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 10
Gallatin County vs. Carroll County-Eminence winner, 6 p.m.
Owen County-Trimble County winner vs. Walton-Verona-Williamstown winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Championship game, 7 p.m.

10TH REGION AT BROSSART
Friday, Jan. 11

Calvary Christian vs. Silver Grove, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Paris vs. Bracken County, 12:45 p.m.
St. Patrick vs. Augusta, 4:15 p.m.
Brossart vs. Robertson County, 7:45 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 14
Nicholas County vs. Calvary Christian-Silver Grove winner, 7:45 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 16
Upper bracket semifinal game, 7:45 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 17
Lower bracket semifinal game, 7:45 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19
Championship game, 7:45 p.m.

9TH REGION AT NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Monday, Jan. 14
Newport vs. Beechwood, 6 p.m.
Newport Central Catholic vs. Heritage, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan 15
Holy Cross vs. Villa Madonna, 6 p.m.
St. Henry vs. Ludlow, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 16
Bellevue vs. Newport-Beechwood winner, 6 p.m.
Dayton vs. NewCath-Heritage winner, 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18
Semifinal games, 6 and 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19
Championship game, 7 p.m.

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