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Holy Names lets go of Ganther, promotes Severini

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Sat. February 23, 2013 | Joel Anderson

Academy of the Holy Names has forced out basketball coach Melissa Ganther and promoted assistant Chris Severini, athletics director Kevin Vargas said Saturday.

Ganther was the Jaguars’ head coach for three years, going 47-25 overall and advancing to the Class 3A playoffs in the past two seasons.

Holy Names went 15-11 this season, winning eight of its first 11 games before leading scorer Ashley McWilliams went down with a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 21. The Jaguars then lost eight of their final 15, including a defeat in the finals of the district tournament to rival Tampa Catholic.

They went on to lose its next game to Lake Placid in the region quarterfinals, ending its season.

"A decision has been made to restructure the Academy of the Holy Names high school basketball program," Vargas said in an e-mail. "AHN wishes Melissa Ganther well, and thanks her for her time and efforts over the past three seasons."

Asked who made the decision to change, Vargas responded: "The decision to restructure was made on AHN's part."

Ganther’s replacement will be Severini, an assistant athletics director, who has been an assistant varsity coach for the past three seasons and the head junior varsity coach for the last two.

"Coach Severini possesses the intangibles and the vision to lead this basketball team," Vargas said. "I am confident that he is the best fit for the program both immediately and in the future."

Severini inherits a team that should return all but one varsity contributor from this season, including their two top scorers and rebounders, McWilliams (20.8 points and 4.8 rebounds) and Victoria Martinez (8.3 and 10).

Joel Anderson can be reached at janderson@tampabay.com or on Twitter @jdhometeam.

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