Holy Cross, St. Paul girls will play in NVL semifinals on Tuesday

The players change, but the NVL girls basketball tournament has two familiar teams playing on the opposite sides of Tuesday’s semifinals at Naugatuck High School.

Those teams are top-seeded Holy Cross and third-seeded St. Paul. The last time there was supposed to be a state tournament, back in 2020, the Crusaders and Falcons met in the NVL tournament final at Kennedy High School. Holy Cross won that game, 63-55, and ended St. Paul’s 41-game NVL winning streak. In the 2021 NVL tournament, the Crusaders were slated to play Seymour, but the Wildcats had to back out because of COVID.

Holy Cross doubled up on eighth-seeded Ansonia, 68-34, in the final quarterfinal game played Saturday at Holy Cross High School. Rachel Healey scored a game-high 20 points for the Crusaders. Mya Zaccagnini scored 16 points and Cayla Howard added 10 points.

St. Paul took down sixth-seeded Watertown, 66-51, in the first quarterfinal of the day. Nadia Riemer had a game-high 24 points. Audrey Tice scored 11 points and Zoey Rubins added 10 points.

Seymour, the second seed in this year’s NVL tournament, hopes to get a chance against Holy Cross, but St. Paul stands in the way in one of Tuesday’s semifinals. The Falcons beat the Wildcats, 57-49, in their lone regular season meeting on Jan. 26. Tice led three St. Paul players in double figures with 19 points. She was joined by Riemer (15) and Izzy Leggett (12). Seymour star Kenzie Sirowich led all scorers with 28 points.

Holy Cross will play fourth-seeded Woodland, a 57-53 winner over fifth-seeded Torrington, in Tuesday’s other semifinal. The Crusaders ran away from the Hawks and posted a 66-31 home win on Dec. 30. Zaccagnini had a game-high 29 points and was joined in double figures by Cayla Howard, who had 12 points.