Holy Trinity no match for Cocoa in district final

Tigers still headed to regional playoffs


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Holy Trinity's Kate Starkey drives the baseline during Saturday night's district final against Cocoa. Holy Trinity would the game 47-33, but the Tigers still advance to the regional tournament.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Holy Trinity girls basketball team may have lost this one.

But the Tigers’ season, well, it still lives on.

And that, in a sense, gave the Tigers a sense of accomplishment Saturday night, despite their 47-33 loss to Cocoa in the Class 5A, District 7 championship game at MCC.

It is believed to be the first time in the history of the Holy Trinity girls basketball program that the Tigers have reached the district finals.

“It’s disappointing to lose a game, but it’s wonderful to get here after kind of an up-and-down season,” Holy Trinity coach Jay Castillo said.

“I’m very proud of our girls. I can’t take anything away from our girls for playing hard. We’ve just got to play smarter.”

Holy Trinity (12-13) will travel to play Avon Park (22-3) in the regional quarterfinals on Thursday at 7 p.m.

As big a challenge as that game will be, the Tigers already know what it’s like to face a heavily-favored opponent and come out on top.

In order to get to the district final, Holy Trinity had to knock off the district’s top seed, Astronaut, a team that had beaten the Tigers by 25 and 24 points during the regular season, in the semifinals.

But when it mattered most, it was Holy Trinity that came away with a 40-38 victory.

“It was a lot of fun,” Castillo said of the Astronaut game. “The girls went crazy. It was a big win. It finally put us in the final for the first time, I think, at HT.”

As well as the Tigers played against Astronaut, though, they made way too many mistakes to beat Cocoa Saturday night.

“We just turned the ball over a whole lot,” Castillo said. “We tried to play their game instead of our game. When we played Astronaut a couple of nights ago, we played a little more controlled and worked it offensively.

“Here, we just tried to rush everything. I give credit to Cocoa. They did a good job of making us do that by a lot of their pressure defense.”

Kaytee Castillo had 17 points to lead Holy Trinity. Kate Starkey had seven and Ashley Stevens added five.