Tim Holman said he’s not looking at tonight’s game as an audition, though he’ll be on one of the city’s biggest stages.
Holman will coach the Manual High School girls’ basketball team against Assumption in the championship game of the Class Act Federal Credit Union Seventh Region Tournament at Valley. Tipoff is 8 p.m.
Holman is standing in for coach Stacy Pendleton, who received two technical fouls and was ejected from Friday’s 62-60 overtime victory over Sacred Heart in the regional semifinals.
Kentucky High School Athletic Association rules state any coach ejected from a game must serve a three-game suspension. That means Pendleton won’t return to the Manual sideline unless the Lady Crimsons reach the semifinals of next week’s girls’ Sweet 16.
Pendleton already has announced this is his final season as Manual’s coach.
Holman, in his second year as an assistant at Manual, said he has not applied to replace Pendleton . He is a one-time cross country and track and field coach and also coached boys’ basketball at Iroquois Middle School from 2001 to ’04.
“I told the girls that I’m not auditioning for anything here, that this is 100 percent for them,” Holman said. “I’m not Coach P, but I’m not going to run any different plays or do anything different than what I think he would do in a game.”
Manual athletic director David Zuberer said school officials have been in contact with KHSAA officials about appealing Pendleton’s suspension.
KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett noted that the association’s Bylaw 16 states that appeals of judgment calls are not considered.
Manual (22-8), No. 5 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings and the defending state champion, will enter the regional final with a 10-game winning streak.
No. 13 Assumption (22-7) has won eight in a row and 11 of its last 12. The Rockets lost to Manual 57-49 on Dec. 14.
“We’re both hot right now,” Holman said. “The difference between December and March is pretty stark. I’m really impressed with the job they’ve done over there.”
Holman said he hasn’t allowed himself to think about coaching in the Sweet 16, keeping his focus instead on his team’s next opponent.
“Even when Coach P got ejected, I just looked at the girls and a calm came over me,” Holman said. “I really believe in these girls and our team. I think they’ll come out and play a great game.”
No. 4 Mercy (19-10) will face Butler (23-7) at 6 p.m. in the Sixth Region final. It’s a rematch of last year’s regional final, which Butler won, 59-47. The Bearettes beat the Jaguars by the same score earlier this season, on Jan. 18.