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Holy Cross girls end eight-game losing streak against Notre Dame with impressive defensive effort

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

The Holy Cross girls basketball team scheduled all three of its 35th District seeding games this week and won the first two with impressive defensive efforts.

After a 65-32 win over Beechwood on Tuesday, the Indians held Notre Dame to its lowest point total in more than two years to come away with a 37-29 victory in a home game on Thursday.

Holy Cross forward Julia Hunt attempts to block a shot by Georgi Kirtley of Notre Dame. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

Notre Dame had won the last eight games between the teams and it looked like the Pandas would extend that streak when they took a 17-7 lead late in the second quarter.

But the visitors were outscored 30-12 during the final 18 minutes of the game and made only one 3-point goal during that stretch.

“The girls battled and challenged every shot that Notre Dame took,” Holy Cross coach Ted Arlinghaus said in a post-game interview. “Even when they made it, we were flying at them with a hand up. And that’s all you can ask for, give maximum effort and make them shoot contested shots and see what happens.”

Notre Dame also did a good job on defense. Holy Cross came into the game averaging 54.4 points and was held to less than 40 for the first time since a 70-36 loss to Cooper on Dec. 30.

The only scorer on either team that reached double figures was Holy Cross junior guard Aaliyah Hayes, who got nine of her 11 points on 3-point goals.

Notre Dame had four players with six points each. One of them was senior guard Noelle Hubert, who had a 19.2 average coming into the game. After hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter, Hubert was shut out the rest of the night.

“We knew she was a shooter and just tried to do everything we could to not let her get a shot off,” Arlinghaus said. “If other people scored, we were going to tip our hat and say, ‘Nice play.’ But we were not going to let Huber beat us.”

Holy Cross guard Aaliyah Hayes looks for an opening to get past Georgi Kirtley of Notre Dame. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

The score was tied, 22-22, going into the fourth quarter and Holy Cross ran off six straight points to take its biggest lead during the game.

When Notre Dame pulled to within three, 30-27, Hayes hit a trey that gave the Indians a six-point lead once again.

In the final two minutes, Holy Cross made four of eight free throws to secure the victory that raised its record to 16-5. If the Indians win a game at Holmes on Friday, they’ll be the top seed in the 35th District post-season tournament.

Notre Dame’s record dropped to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in district seeding games. There’s a very good chance the Pandas will get a rematch with Holy Cross in the district final once again in February. They met in the title game the last four years and Notre Dame won each time.

“It feels good to win and I’m happy for our girls,” Arlinghaus said. “But at the end of the day we’re going to meet up again and that district final is what’s really going to set the tone for the year. So I’m happy for (our girls) and maybe this is what we needed to get over that hump because we still haven’t won a district championship since I’ve been coach here.”

HOLY CROSS     7  4  11  15 — 37 
NOTRE DAME  13  4    5    7 — 29 

HOLY CROSS (16-5): Hunt 2 3 7, Arlinghaus 3 3 9, Hayes 3 2 11, Nelson 0 1 1, Lewis 3 0 6, Williams 1 1 3. Totals: 12 10 37.

NOTRE DAME (11-5): Hubert 2 0 6, Collins 2 0 6, Miller 3 0 6, Kirtley 0 1 1, Laurie 3 0 6, Gibson 2 0 4. Totals: 12 1 29.

Three-point goals: HC — Hayes 3. ND — Hubert 2, Collins 2.

Above: Notre Dame players try to trap Julia Hunt of Holy Cross under the basket. At right: Rosemary Miller of Notre Dame gets off a shot with a hand in her face. (Photos by Bob Jackson)


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