Holy Cross-St. Paul girls: A look at an NVL basketball rivalry

The Holy Cross and St. Paul girls’ basketball teams will have to wait another night to renew their rivalry.
The NVL tournament final has been pushed from tonight to Thursday at 7 p.m. due to weather concerns. The game is still at Kennedy High School’s Jack Taglia Gymnasium. The extra day allowed for some research, and here’s what has happened all-time between the two teams since St. Paul joined the NVL.

First meeting: Friday, Feb. 12, 2010 at HCHS. Holy Cross won, 46-42.
Final NVL tournament meeting: Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. Holy Cross won, 40-38, in an NVL semifinal matchup.
What happened after? St. Paul went on to win the Class S state championship.

First NVL final meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Holy Cross won, 48-38, at Kennedy.
Tournament MVP: Kiera O’Donnell, Holy Cross.
What happened after? St. Paul went on to lose to Thomaston in the Class S state championship game, 61-57, in double overtime.
Interesting footnote: The four teams that played in the NVL semifinals that season were the same as this season … Holy Cross, St. Paul, Torrington and Wolcott.

St. Paul’s first NVL tournament win over Holy Cross: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. The Falcons used stifling defense to top the Crusaders, 47-30.
Tournament MVP: Janessa Gonzalez, St. Paul.

Most recent NVL tournament meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Holy Cross won, 63-55.
What happened after? Unfortunately, COVID-19 happened, and no one completed the state tournament on the court that season.

Most recent meeting overall: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. St. Paul won, 76-71.

Holy Cross and St. Paul are scheduled to meet for the 22nd time since the Falcons played an NVL schedule for the first time in the 2009-10 season. The Crusaders lead the all-time series, 14-7.

Caption: Holy Cross freshman Mya Zaccagnini handles the ball against St. Paul senior Kailyn Bielecki during the 2020 NVL girls’ basketball tournament final on Feb. 26, 2020 at Kennedy High School. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, file)