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Girls Basketball: Holy Cross Holds Off Notre Dame

Holy Cross's girls basketball team outlasted Notre Dame 46-38 in a back-and-forth affair in front of a packed house in Latonia. With the win, Holy Cross improves to 22-3 on the season and remain unbeaten at 12-0 in 9th Region play. The loss drops Notre Dame’s season record to 10-14. 
Early on, it looked like Holy Cross would run away with the game, as they have many others this year. The Indians jumped out to an 11-1 lead before the midway point in the first quarter. Suffocating on-ball defense served as the catalyst for Holy Cross’ early run, as Notre Dame struggled to get into their offense.
Holy Cross led 11-5 after one period, but senior guard and leading scorer Deja Turner picked up her second foul two minutes into the second quarter for lowering her shoulder on a drive to the hoop. Shortly after, senior sharpshooter Aleah Tucker picked up her second foul as well. 
Notre Dame took advantage of the Indians’ foul trouble, patiently running their offense until they found a good shot. The Pandas battled back and took their first lead of the game with 1:30 to play in the second quarter on a three-pointer by senior guard Sydney Stallman. The Indians’ Cessie Mayhaus answered on the other end, however, and Holy Cross went to the locker room with a 20-19 halftime lead. 
Deja Turner found herself deeper in foul trouble at the beginning of the second half, picking up her third and fourth fouls within the first two minutes. Both fouls came while the Indians were on offense. 
Notre Dame once again slowed the game down, determined to use their offensive set to find good shots. With the score tied at 25 with a minute left in the third quarter, Notre Dame ran through their offense for 57 of the remaining seconds. 
After a Holy Cross deflection out of bounds, sophomore guard Jenna Martin utilized a beautiful shot fake on the in-bounds to create space, banking in a three at the buzzer. 
Martin led the Pandas in scoring with 11 points, all coming in the second half.
At the four-minute mark of the fourth, Deja Turner finally checked back into the game with the Indians down 32-29. Turner scored 11 of her game-high 15 points in the final four minutes, including a perfect 7-7 on free throws. 
Holy Cross regained the lead with three minutes left to play, and never surrendered it again. With 27 seconds remaining and Notre Dame needing a three to tie, senior forward Ally Mayhaus blocked a shot that led to a fast break and an and-one for Deja Turner.
The Indians went 16-18 from the charity stripe for the game, helping them secure the win down the stretch. The win pushes the Indians’ current win streak to 11 games.
Holy Cross has put together a remarkable season thus far, a season that includes an All-A State Championship and an unblemished record at home. 
Head coach Kes Murphy took a moment to reflect on this special group’s senior night. 
“It means a lot to honor this senior class because before their freshman year, our program was down. For them to work hard every day and realize what it means to be committed to accomplishing their goals has been huge. Then, to beat a district rival who has dominated us in past years.. That’s a really good win.”
Notre Dame and Holy Cross are both back in action Sunday when they participate in the “Play to Change a Life Classic” at Thomas More College. Holy Cross takes on 
Louisville’s Sacred Heart High School at 5:00, followed by Notre Dame-Newport Central Catholic at 7:00.
Story & photo by Alex Valentine, RCN Intern
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