St. Paul girls shut down Holy Cross, win first NVL title

Johndrow (2) and Sanchez (22)

The last time St. Paul girls basketball played Holy Cross inside the Jack Taglia Gymnasium at Kennedy High School, the Crusaders knocked off the Falcons for the NVL title.
That was 2014, and St. Paul made sure 2017’s outcome would be different.
The second-seeded Falcons used a stalwart defense to shut down the top-seeded Crusaders 47-30 and win the NVL Tournament championship. It was the first loss to a NVL team for Holy Cross this season, and St. Paul avenged a regular season defeat. It was also the first tournament title for the Falcons.


Seniors Brigid Johndrow and Amelia Sanchez were both selected to the All-Tournament team for their efforts, according to a tweet from St. Paul assistant coach Claire Consonni. Freshman Janessa Gonzalez took home tournament MVP honors.
St. Paul jumped out to a 16-7 lead after one quarter, but Holy Cross cut the deficit to a single point, 20-19, by halftime The Falcons owned the second half, outscoring the Crusaders 27-11 in the final 16 minutes.
Holy Cross got into early foul trouble, including junior Aiyana Ward, who is the biggest player the Crusaders have. That’s according to Joe Palladino’s story on The Zone.
What Palladino also reported, however, was that St. Paul was about as close to perfect as a team could get. The Falcons earned their title, the first in program history.
Head coach Joe Mone told Palladino that St. Paul was always knocked for not winning big games in the NVL. The Falcons silenced that criticism for good with Wednesday night’s win.
St. Paul and Holy Cross now turn their attention to the state tournament.