Holy Innocents’ obviously was not bothered by being on the road in its GHSA Class 1A private school girls quarterfinal game against Stratford on Tuesday.
The Bears built a 36-point halftime lead to coast into the semifinals with a 78-39 win as Stratford ends the season at 20-6. Holy Innocents’ (28-2) led 23-2 at one point.
Three who mattered
Kaila Hubbard: The junior from Holy Innocents’ scored the first 14 points for the Bears and had three 3-pointers in the first two minutes. Hubbard had 25 points in the first half and ended the game with 33 points. Hubbard had six 3-pointers.
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Kennedy Suttle: Suttle is also a junior, and she scored 19 points.
Aysha Roberts: The Stratford senior made her final game with the Eagles a memorable one. The first half did not go so well for her as she scored only one point, but she scored 19 points in the second half to finish with 20. The entire Stratford team managed just 23 points in the second half.
Stratford head coach Ed Smith felt that the best chance his undersized team had was to play a zone defense, because in the film, he and his coaching staff had watched, Holy Innocents’ sometimes struggled from the outside. But Hubbard burned the zone early, leading to a huge deficit, and the Eagles could not dig themselves out of the hole.
Some familiar coaches: The Holy Innocents’ head coach is Nicole Dixon, who played her high school basketball at Mount de Sales, and one of her assistants is former Mount de Sales head coach Mia Washington.
They said it
Smith on the speed and shooting of Holy Innocents’: “Our plan was to play zone and try to go quickly at them, but obviously that was easier said than done. We are very small, and they are long and athletic, so that created problems. They were just on fire at the beginning of the game, and they are just a very good basketball team.”
Smith on his lone senior, Roberts: “Aysha practices hard, she plays hard, and she has been our leader all year. We talked about how important it was for us to go out and compete in the second half, and I could not be happier with the way she competed. I mean, Holy Innocents’ needed to get their starters some minutes so Aysha was doing it against the starters, which makes it even more special.”