St. Paul girls top Cross, repeat as NVL tournament champs

The St. Paul girls basketball team got to pose with the NVL champions banner for the second straight year after beating Holy Cross, 43-38, in Wednesday’s tournament final.
(Photo credit: St. Paul girls basketball Facebook page)

The 2024 Naugatuck Valley League girls basketball tournament was twice as nice for St. Paul.

The second-seeded Falcons rallied to beat top-seeded Holy Cross, 43-38, on Wednesday night at Naugatuck High School. St. Paul earned its second straight NVL championship, and its second in a row against Holy Cross. The Falcons improved to 4-2 all-time against the Crusaders in NVL title games and have now won four crowns overall.

St. Paul’s leading scorer was an unexpected one…Maddie Bielecki. The diminutive junior guard scored 13 big points for the Falcons, who needed every one of them. Rebecca Kelly was the only other St. Paul player in double figures with 10 points, but her key efforts at the end of the game earned her tournament MVP honors.

Corinne Lomax had a game-high 16 points and Shania Howard added 12 for Holy Cross, which defeated St. Paul twice during the regular season. Both teams now look ahead to the state tournaments as high seeds. Holy Cross is the top team in Class L, has a first round bye, and and will await the winner of No. 16 Lyman Hall-Wallingford (SCC) and No. 17 Wilton (FCIAC) in the second round on March 1 at home. St. Paul is the No. 2 seed in Class M, has a bye, and gets the winner of No. 15 Immaculate-Danbury (SWC) and No. 18 Lewis Mills-Burlington (CCC) on Feb. 29 at home.