Holy Spirit's season comes to an end
Mon. February 18, 2013 at 8:49 p.m. | By Andrew Carroll
Holy Spirit's Sapphire Ajoloko, left, fouled out late in a 52-44 loss to Loachapoka in the Class 1A Central Regional. (Photo by Robert Sutton)
MONTGOMERY | Holy Spirit’s hopes for a second straight trip to Birmingham ended Monday in the AHSAA Central Regional.
Kerimee Vinson scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in leading Loachapoka to a 52-44 victory.
Normesha Pitts added 11 points for Loachapoka (23-3). Teva Stinson scored eight points and collected five rebounds.
Holy Spirit, the Class 1A runner-up in 2012, posted a 24-6 record in its first season with Jim Holland as head coach.
Caroline Sisson sank three 3-pointers and scored 15 points for the Lady Titans. Tamera Giles had 12 points and eight rebounds. Kadesia Ash had six points. Sapphire Ajoloko had five points and eight rebounds. Aeriel Winn had eight rebounds and three assists.
"I’m thankful for my co-captains (Sisson and Giles) for giving me all they had and those younger players for doing what they were supposed to," said Holland, who won three state championships during his career at Central.
Loachapoka, which led 25-24 at halftime, built its lead to 45-33 in fourth quarter on a three-point play by Pitts. The Lady Titans cut the deficit to five points on three occasions but couldn’t get any closer.
Holy Spirit trailed 47-40 when Ajoloko drove the lane and made a shot. The basket was waved off, and Ajoloko fouled out as she was called for charging with 2:33 left.
"You always ask your kids when the game is on the line to take the ball to the hole," Holland said. "She takes the ball to the hole, and I know — and I need to see it again — she got the ball off and the girl (defender) moved in her position. She made the shot, and that would have been a big basket at that particular time.
"I don’t usually question officials on the floor. Evidently, I’ve got to ask her to pull out and shoot a jump shot rather than she making that decision to take the ball to the hole. I would not do that. I would ask her to take it back to the hole and hope that she gets the call she’s supposed to get. That’s the way I coach, and I’ve been coaching like that for quite some time. We take the ball to the hole.
"I think they did a good job. They played a very tough ballgame. We just could not make that key basket or that key stop down the stretch to take advantage of the situation on the floor."
Reach Andrew Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0223.