Holy Cross girls, St. Paul girls among locals that have stood out so far this season

The high school basketball season is back in gear after the holiday break, and several local teams have stood out. Here’s more on those teams:

Holy Cross girls

Corinne Lomax is an absolute problem for the NVL, and she’s just a sophomore. A walking double-double that can bring the ball up the floor, Lomax stands six feet and has a long wingspan, which makes her such a factor on offense and defense. Shania Howard’s speed is always an issue to deal with, and then there’s the leadership of senior co-captains Isabella Oliver and Rachel Healey. The Crusaders are 6-0 (5-0 NVL), and no league opponent has lost by less than 17 points so far.

St. Paul girls

The Falcons may have lost for the first time this season last week at the Pomperaug Holiday Tournament, but guarantee that head coach Joe Mone and his veteran staff found teaching points for their team. St. Paul, like Holy Cross, has a whole bunch of height. Rebecca Kelly has been a force and nearly guaranteed double-double performer so far. Audrey Tice brings speed, leadership and a deadly outside shot. Don’t forget about Olivia Dahn, who can also burn opponents with her outside shot. The Falcons are 6-1 (5-0 NVL), and they are the defending league tournament champions. The road to a title will go through them.

Bristol Eastern girls

The Lancers are 7-1, with the lone loss coming in Wolcott’s John Rossi Memorial Tournament final to Watertown. Eastern is an aggressive team with length and speed. Autumn Udoh has an all-around game, but she has plenty of help from the likes of Cassie Sward, Vanessa Drury and Lauren Ayotte, among others. Tony Floyd’s teams always pride themselves on defense, however, and that’s where the Lancers will make their mark.

Wilby boys

Good grief, these Wildcats can pile up the points. After scoring 64 and 60 points in its first two games, Wilby has tallied 97, 85, 108 and 95 in its last four. The Wildcats have won all six of those games. Wilby has a nasty 1-2 punch in Brandon Beamon and Kennedy transfer Hikim Trueheart, who can both go for 30 points on any night but also affect the game in other ways. The Wildcats have a ton of speed, and they deploy it in pressure defense, which leads to easy buckets on the other end. 

Of note: Wilby hosts Holy Cross on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Reggie O’Brien Gymnasium.

Crosby boys

Don’t anger these Bulldogs, because they’ll run all over you. Crosby (6-1, 6-0 NVL) held Torrington to 12 second half points in a 57-35 road win last Friday. On Wednesday, the Bulldogs exploded for 100 points at home against Ansonia. Crosby’s lone loss came to Kolbe Cathedral in the first Anthony Ireland Holiday Invitational Classic. A combination of Curtis Ellis, Micah Blackman, C.J. McRae and still others can cause a great deal of headaches for Bulldog opponents. 

Of note: Crosby plays WCA for the first time on Jan. 12 in the first of two meetings. The Spartans (5-2) beat St. Paul (4-2) on Wednesday night at home. Here’s my story about that game.

Bristol Eastern boys

The Lancers (4-2) ripped off four straight wins before losing back-to-back games to Simsbury (Bristol Central Holiday Tournament championship) and Lewis Mills. Both the Trojans and Spartans are quality opponents, and that’s nothing unusual in the super-league that is the CCC. Eastern finally plays at home Friday – after six straight road games – against Tolland at 6:45 p.m. The Lancers are led by Lukas Sward, Jordan Chisholm, Zaveyn Tate and Brayden Dauphinais, among others.