In the first round of last year's Jaguar Holiday Classic girls basketball tournament, Academy of the Holy Names took a crushing loss against neighboring Plant. The loss for the Jaguars was one of many lessons in the 2010-2011 season.
This time around, the Panthers and Jaguars will meet again in the same tournament, but this time in the championship final. Academy of the Holy Names defeated Durant, 55-44, Wednesday night and Plant cruised past St. Petersburg Catholic, 44-30, in the semifinals.
"They're a much different team then last year," Plant coach Carrie Mahon said of Holy Names.
"The McWilliams sisters are playing very well right now."
Amanda and Ashley McWilliams accounted for 25 points combined in the Jaguars' win over the Cougars. Holy Names (10-2) had a 32-12 lead at the half.
Durant (9-6) valiantly fought back in the second half and came within 52-40 with about 2 minutes remaining after an Ashley Davis (nine points) layup.
The Jaguars closed the game out, though, on free throws down the stretch.
In the earlier semifinal, Plant would take advantage of the Barons being without top scorer Brittany Dunbar and were able to win somewhat handily with Nicole Sivyer (15 points) and Kelly Brennan (12 points) leading the way.