St. Paul girls beat Holy Cross, win second NVL title in three years

St. Paul girls basketball has faced NVL opponents 21 times this season. The Falcons have won all 21 games.

Undefeated and unmatched, St. Paul came back to beat Holy Cross 57-51 on Thursday night inside Kennedy High School’s Jack Taglia Gymnasium. It’s the second NVL championship in three seasons for the Falcons, who improved to 21-2 on the season.

Jade Udoh and Janessa Gonzalez each scored a game-high 17 points to lead St. Paul. Udoh was named the most outstanding player of the tournament. Catherine Ciampi scored nine points while Morgan Kolb added seven points.

For Holy Cross, Alyssa Hebb led the way with 16 points while Cayla Howard added 11 points. Allie Brown scored seven points while Jasmine Thorpe chipped in six points.

What might get lost amidst the perfect run of St. Paul is the journey of Holy Cross. The Crusaders started the season 0-3, then ripped off 15 wins in 17 games to finish 15-5. Holy Cross added victories against Seymour and Watertown in the NVL Tournament before falling to St. Paul in the final. The Crusaders are 18-6 going into the state tournament.

Both teams have home games in the first round of the state tournament, St. Paul in Class S and Holy Cross in Class M. Each will begin their pursuit of a state championship next week.