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Small Holy Cross Girls Basketball Team Earns Big Spot at State Championship

Santa Cruz, Calif., Jan. 12 , 2015 — Holy Cross School’s 8th grade girls basketball team is small with only six players, but they finished a big season with an undefeated 27-0 record. After upsetting Bret Harte in the finals of the Willow Glen Holiday Hoops Tournament in December, Holy Cross has now earned an automatic bid to the NorCal Middle School Basketball Championship in Santa Rosa on March 7 - 8, 2015.

The 2nd annual NorCal Middle School Basketball Championship is sponsored by the Northwest Middle School Basketball Association. The tournament features the top teams in the region and offers teams a chance to compete against teams from all over the state.


“These girls are special,” said Coach Paul Brown of his team which finished 12-0 in league play while going up against much bigger schools in Santa Cruz county. “They make me proud everyday. Since we only have six players, our girls have to play the majority of the game without a break, no breathers and very little substitutions. They do it and never complain. They do it as a family.”

Holy Cross School is normally dwarfed in athletics due to its small size and often play against teams with 12 to 15 players. The team includes: Haley Jones, Morgan Larkin, Janessa Yniguez, Katie Gilligan, Mia Locatelli, Whittaker Miller and Kajsa Johnson.

“Not only are they all tremendous basketball players but they are great students,” said Brown. “They embody exactly what Holy Cross is about and truly adhere to the values we teach.”

These remarkable athletes work hard in the classroom and on the court while helping their community by raising money for the homeless center, cancer research and women's medical care.

“I am a lucky teacher and coach, I am just glad I could be apart of something so special,” said Coach Brown