TAMPA — Some time during Wednesday night’s Class 4A-District 10 showdown at Tampa Catholic, Academy of the Holy Names girls basketball coach Chris Severini warned his players that the host Crusaders would make a run.
Their job, he said, would be to survive it.
After squandering a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars were saved by two free throws from guard Caroline Kimbler with 12 seconds remaining to win 42-39, giving Holy Names sole possession of first place in the district.
Holy Names can clinch the district’s top seed with a win against Sarasota Booker next week.
Holy Names (14-6, 6-1) led 34-21 early in the fourth quarter but allowed Tampa Catholic (11-10, 7-2) to go on a 10-0 run to take a 39-38 lead with 1:31 left to play.
“We had to weather the storm,” Severini said.
Tampa Catholic freshman Mia Blocker scored eight of her game-high 19 points during the run. Holy Names regained the lead with 1:10 on the clock when Colleen Doherty scored on a designed inbounds pass play under the basket.
Ashley McWilliams led the Jaguars with 14 points, three assists and two steals, while Cristina Snyder added 12 points.
“They are two of our offensive leaders,” Severini said. “Both of them wanted (this win). Snyder really got us going early and McWilliams got it going offensively.”
Snyder and McWilliams combined for six three-pointers, with Snyder making all four of her attempts from beyond the arc.
“We went with a guard heavy lineup,” Severini said.