Wolcott girls get big division home victory over St. Paul

The Wolcott and St. Paul girls basketball teams played an aggressive, physical game Friday night that left both teams exhausted when the final buzzer sounded inside the John H. Morris Gymnasium.

The Eagles led by as many as 12 points, only to see the Falcons eventually pull to within four late in the fourth quarter. Wolcott held on for the 49-44 win. The Eagles improved to 6-1 while the Falcons fell to 3-2.

Julia Sullivan led Wolcott with a  game-high 22 points, which included five 3-pointers, all in the first half. The 3-pointers were daggers that came at key moments. The first was after Rebecca Wood snagged an offensive rebound in the final seconds of the first quarter. Wood passed to Amanda Sullivan, who made the unselfish extra pass to her sister for a 3 and a 14-7 lead after one quarter.

Julia Sullivan’s 3 off great ball movement in and out of the St. Paul zone put Wolcott ahead, 21-16, with 4:27 left in the first half. Back-to-back 3-pointers from the senior co-captain gave the Eagles a 30-19 lead with 2:03 to play in the half. The Falcons got to within nine points, but they gambled on defense and lost on a steal attempt. Julia Sullivan’s last 3-pointer of the half, and the game, gave the Eagles a 33-21 lead at intermission. Wolcott left the court to a great ovation from its fans.

A low-scoring third quarter saw St. Paul trim the Wolcott advantage to 39-30. The Eagles claimed their last double-digit lead of the game, 43-32, on two Mayci Abou Arrage (14 points) free throws at the 6:11 mark of the final quarter.

Rebecca Kelly led the Falcons with 18 points and eight rebounds, and she was a big reason why the visitors got close. Kelly scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter for St. Paul, with the last bucket pulling St. Paul to within 43-38 with 4:15 to play. Kelly got the Falcons a point closer, 48-44, later on in the fourth quarter on a turnaround bank shot in the lane with 1:15 to go. St. Paul and its fans were fired up. The visitors had their chances but couldn’t get any closer. Tice tallied 14 points and four assists for the Falcons.

St. Paul hosts Wolcott in the rematch on Feb. 13 inside the Rev. Brian Monnerat Gymnasium.