Holy Cross girls use big run to pass NVL home test against Torrington

The Holy Cross girls’ basketball team faced a strong test on Saturday evening when it hosted Torrington in the Tim McDonald Gymnasium.

The Raiders came in with an undefeated record, and the Crusaders also had one in league play. Something had to give, and for the first quarter the matchup went back and forth between the league contenders.

One big run in the second quarter put Holy Cross ahead to stay on the way to a 57-45 win over Torrington. The Crusaders improved to 6-0 in the NVL (7-1 overall) while the Raiders fell to 5-1 in both.

Holy Cross led, 15-12, after one quarter. The advantage was still just six points, 22-16, a little less than halfway through the second quarter. That’s where the Crusaders made their move. A 13-1 burst, with 11 points from senior star Mya Zaccagnini, pushed Holy Cross’ advantage to 35-17. Torrington scored the last four points of the first half, but the home team still held a 35-21 lead.

Zaccagnini finished with 25 points in a game where she didn’t shoot well from the perimeter (That sentence should give opponents nightmares). Zaccagnini also had five steals. Sophomore standout Shania Howard had 17 points, many of which were triggered by her own defense. Freshman Corinne Lomax showed her potential with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Others may not have scored, but they contributed with hustle and strong defense. Holy Cross tends to hurt teams with its depth, and it was more of the same on Saturday.

The Crusaders have games against Ansonia, Derby and Kennedy this week, followed by contests against Seymour, Kennedy and Naugatuck the following week. A Jan. 31 matchup at St. Paul still looms. It will be tough to top Holy Cross, however, if it plays with consistency, something head coach Frank Lombardo is still looking for.

Speaking of Lombardo, he goes for career win No. 600 in his career at Ansonia on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

PHOTO CAPTION: Holy Cross’ Mya Zaccagnini drives past Torrington’s Brianna Murelli during Saturday evening’s home girls’ basketball game in Waterbury. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)