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Holy Cross rolls to 60-36 win over Paris in opening round of All “A” Classic girls state tournament

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

When the Holy Cross girls basketball team played in the Kentucky All “A” Classic three years ago, Julia Hunt was a seventh-grader who saw very little action off the bench and Hanna Robinson was a freshman at another school.

On Wednesday, those two players led Holy Cross to a 60-36 victory over Paris in the first round of the 2022 small-school state tournament at Eastern Kentucky University’s McBrayer Arena in Richmond.

Holy Cross sophomore Julia Hunt slips past Nia Kenney of Paris on a drive to the basket. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

Robinson, a senior guard who transferred to Holy Cross this year, made five 3-point shots on the spacious college court and scored a game-high 17 points.

Hunt, a 6-foot sophomore forward, posted her first triple-double this season with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

The victory moves Holy Cross (14-8) into Friday’s quarterfinal round when the Indians will take on Lyon County at 10 a.m. Lyon County (12-8) knocked off Campbellsville, 59-40, in the opening round on Wednesday.

Holy Cross got off to a great start in its win over Paris. The Indians took a 22-5 lead in the first quarter by shooting 66.7 percent (8 of 12) from the field with five 3-point baskets. At the defensive end, they held Paris to just two field goals, forced three turnovers and Hunt blocked three shots.

After their lead dwindled to 10 points (22-12) early in the second quarter, the Indians got back on track. They outscored Paris, 13-5, from that point on with five different players getting points to open up a 35-17 halftime advantage.

Holy Cross junior Sarah Bottom puts up a shot against Sanaa Jackson of Paris. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

In the third quarter, Robinson made two 3-pointers and junior guard Elizabeth McCoy made one to keep the Indians’ lead in double digits. They outscored Paris, 15-8, in the final period with Hunt getting six points, three rebounds and one block to complete her triple-double.

After making eight of 12 field goals in the first quarter, Holy Cross connected on 10 of 41 the rest of the game and ended up shooting 35.8 percent (18 of 53).

The Indians were able to maintain a comfortable lead because Paris shot 25 percent (14 of 56) with 11 shots blocked and committed 16 turnovers. None of the Greyhounds scored more than eight points.

McCoy scored 11 points and junior guard Aleah Arlinghaus had five assists for the Indians. Sophomore guard Miyah Wimzie finished with five points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

The opening round of the All “A” Classic boys state tournament will be played Thursday at McBrayer Arena. The two games involving local teams are Walton-Verona vs. Bracken County at 5 p.m. and Holy Cross vs. Lexington Sayre at 9:30 p.m.

Holy Cross junior guard Jacob Meyer, the state’s leading scorer with a 39.9 average, didn’t play in his team’s game against Holmes on Monday due to an injured ankle. His status for Thursday’s game remains uncertain.

Two high-scoring guards will be putting up shots in the other first-round game. Bracken County sophomore Blake Reed is averaging 27.4 points per game and Walton-Verona senior Brant Smithers is averaging 21.5.

Kentucky All “A” Classic at Eastern Kentucky University

Thursday — Upper bracket
Danville Christian vs. Murray, 8:30 a.m.
Pikeville vs. Owensboro Catholic, 10 a.m.
West Carter vs. Todd County Central, 11:30 a.m.
Kentucky Country Day vs. Evangel Christian, 1 p.m.
Thursday — Lower bracket
WALTON-VERONA vs. Bracken County, 5 p.m.
Campbellsville vs. Harlan, 6:30 p.m.
Breathitt County vs. Lyon County, 8 p.m.
HOLY CROSS vs. Lexington Sayre, 9:30 p.m.
Upper bracket quarterfinals, 5 and 6:30 p.m.
Lower bracket quarterfinals, 8 and 9:30 p.m.
Semifinal games, 3 and 4:30 p.m.
Championship game, 2 p.m.

Owen County (15-6) vs. Jackson County (15-4), 8:30 a.m.
HOLY CROSS (14-8) vs. Lyon County (12-8), 10 a.m.
Owensboro Catholic (16-6) vs. Whitefield Academy (17-5), 11:30 a.m.
West Carter (16-4) vs. Pikeville (18-1), 1 p.m.
Semifinal games, noon and 1:30 p.m.
Championship game, noon

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