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All “A” Classic: Holy Cross girls win opening game of state playoffs with impressive shooting performance

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Holy Cross girls basketball players evidently had no problem adjusting to a spacious college arena in the opening game of the Kentucky All “A” Classic on Wednesday morning at Eastern Kentucky University.

The Indians rolled to a 71-38 win over Leslie County by shooting 55.6 percent (25 of 45) from field overall and 63.2 (12 of 19) from behind the 3-point arc in one of their most impressive offensive performances of the season.

Holy Cross forward Julia Hunt (File photo by Bob Jackson)

The win puts Holy Cross (18-5) in the quarterfinals of the girls small school state tournament that resumes Friday when the Indians will face defending champion Owen County (14-6) at 8:30 a.m.

In the semifinals of last year’s state tournament, Owen County edged Holy Cross, 37-36, by making a free throw with no time left in the clock. The last-second foul was called on Holy Cross forward Julia Hunt, who scored a team-high 18 points in Wednesday’s victory.

The Indians’ other double-figure scorers were Sarah Bottom (11), Elizabeth McCoy and Aaliyah Hayes (10). McCoy made all three of her 3-point shots and Bottom was 4-of-7 from long distance. Holy Cross ended up outscoring Leslie County, 36-6 from behind the arc.

In the first quarter, Holy Cross shot 66.7 percent (8 of 12) with Bottom getting her first two treys to open up a 22-4 lead. The first half ended with the Indians ahead, 39-20, and they had 16 points off turnovers.

Holy Cross shot 60 percent (12 of 20) during the second half to maintain a big lead. None of the five starters played in the fourth quarter. McCoy hit a pair of treys to account for half of the team’s 12 points in the final period.

Leslie County (13-6) ended up shooting 38.6 percent (17 of 44) from the field and committed 18 turnovers. The leading scorer for the Eagles was senior center Emma Napier with 19 points.

Holy Cross won the battle on the boards, 30-20, with Hunt pulling down six. Senior point guard Aleah Arlinghaus had four points and eight assists for the Indians, who have won five straight games and eight of nine in January.

HOLY CROSS        22  17  20  12 — 71
LESLIE COUNTY    4  16   11    7 — 38

HOLY CROSS (18-5): Hunt 7 2 18, Aleah Arlinghaus 1 1 4, Hayes 2 4 10, Wimzie 2 0 4, Lewis 1 0 2, McCoy 3 1 10, Alyssa Arlinghaus 2 0 5, Nelson 2 1 5, Bottom 4 0 11, Williams 1 0 2. Totals: 25 9 71.

LESLIE COUNTY (13-6): I. Napier 2 0 4, Hoskins 5 1 13, E. Napier 9 1 19, A. Napier 1 0 2. Totals: 17 2 38.

Three-point goals: HC — McCoy 3, Bottom 3, Hunt 2, Hayes 2, Aleah Arlinghaus, Alyssa Arlinghaus. LC — Hoskins 2.

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