Shots don't fall for Holy Spirit in title game loss
Thu. March 01, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. | By Andrew Carroll
Holy Spirit's Rachel Taylor (11) dribbles down the court ahead of McIntosh's Paige Barnes (23) during the Class 1A state championship game. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter)
BIRMINGHAM | Kaitlyn Taylor’s first basket Thursday was a 3-pointer, and so was her last. In between, Holy Spirit missed too many shots to win a championship.
Junior guard Kaela Adams scored nine of her 15 points in the fourth quarter, and McIntosh defeated the Lady Titans 48-39 in the AHSAA Class 1A final.
Holy Spirit, with the 6-foot Taylor as the only senior, shot 90 times but made only 17 (18.9 percent). The Lady Titans made 4 of 37 3-point tries (10.8 percent).
"Our shots have not fallen particularly well throughout the tournament," said Holy Spirit coach Roger Taylor, the father of Kaitlyn and Rachel Taylor. "Maybe it’s nerves, the enormity of the situation, whatever. I think if they had fallen better we could have played a little better today, but I’m very proud of the team.
"We’re 32-2 on the year; tremendous effort; still very young. Kaitlyn will be the only player we’re losing. Everybody in the locker room otherwise has two full seasons left to play together, so we’re proud of that."
Adams had seven rebounds and four assists. Most valuable player Amber Roberts had 11 points for the Lady Demons. Tolondrea Boldon scored eight points. Shelby Weaver, a 6-foot-4 junior, had six points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks.
"Their big girl inside is surprisingly effective at not only blocking shots but deterring you from your shot," Roger Taylor said. "She’s very good."
Kaitlyn Taylor scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Taylor went 9-for-45 from the field, 3-for-18 from 3-point range.
Freshman Caroline Sisson had seven points and four rebounds. Sophomore Tamera Giles had six points and 22 rebounds, 13 on the offensive end. Sophomore Rachel Taylor had 10 rebounds, and freshman Sara Walmsley had nine.
The Lady Titans collected 73 rebounds, 46 on the offensive end, and were credited with 19 second-chance points.
"Part of our game is rebounds and loose balls," Kaitlyn Taylor said. "I just trust in my teammates that they’ll go down to that block and rebound as hard as they can after I shoot," Kaitlyn Taylor said.
Trailing 28-15 at halftime, Holy Spirit scored 10 straight points with Kaitlyn Taylor hitting a jumper to cut it to 28-25. McIntosh finished the quarter with eight straight points, taking a 35-25 lead on a 3-pointer by Adams. Roberts started the fourth quarter with two straight baskets. Adams went 7-for-8 from the foul line in the final five minutes.
"I told the girls in the locker room at halftime that we were going to play hard in the second half, play every possession, and when the horn sounded at the end of the game we would look up at the scoreboard and see how it actually turned out," Roger Taylor said. "We came up a little short.
"This team has never quit in the four years I’ve coached them. They’ve always played every game to the end. The girls were confident at halftime that they were going to climb back into this ballgame. No one at halftime thought that it was over."
Holy Spirit led 7-1 on a basket by Kaitlyn Taylor, but the Lady Demons ended the first quarter with a 24-12 lead.
"They push the ball very strongly, and they run to the blocks," Roger Taylor said. "Our girls were a little slow reacting to that in the first part of the game, and it allowed them to get some pretty easy points there after we got the lead in the first quarter.
"After we called timeout, we discussed it a little bit. We pretty much shut that down, and I thought we played them very well the rest of the game."
Reach Andrew Carroll at email@example.com or at 205-722-0223.