Crusaders, Falcons will play in girls state title games at Mohegan Sun Arena

Holy Cross sophomore standout Corinne Lomax hits a hook shot over two Farmington defenders as senior co-captain Rachel Healey looks on during Saturday’s Class L state semifinal game at New Britain High School. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)

The Holy Cross and St. Paul girls basketball teams will be playing for state championships this coming weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.

The top-seeded Crusaders (24-2) will play second-seeded Simsbury of the Central Connecticut Conference (22-4) in the Class L final. Holy Cross is playing in its seventh championship game and is 2-4. This is the second final in the past three seasons for the Crusaders, who won Class M in 2022. The Trojans are making their first-ever appearance in a state final.

The second-seeded Falcons (23-3) will take on fifth-seeded Windham of the Eastern Connecticut Conference (22-4) in a battle of league tournament champions in the Class M final. St. Paul is playing in its sixth state championship game and is 2-3. It’s the first state final for the Falcons since 2014. The Whippets are playing in their third state final and are 2-0. It’s the first state championship game for Windham since 2011.

Here’s what happened in semifinal contests:


The Crusaders overcame a slow start in the third quarter, then battled the River Hawks throughout that stanza and into the fourth quarter. There, an 11-2 burst by Holy Cross put it ahead, 61-48, with the last three points coming on an Isabella Lombardo 3-pointer. Farmington pulled to within four points, 67-63, on a late 3-pointer, but senior co-captain Isabella Oliver sank two free throws for the final margin of victory.

Junior Shania Howard (game-high 23 points) and sophomore Corinne Lomax (22) each had monster games for Holy Cross. They were aided by senior co-captain Rachel Healey’s nine points (seven on free throws), along with eight points from the junior Lombardo and five from Oliver.

No. 2 Simsbury 42, No. 3 New Milford 32: The Trojans prefer to have low-scoring games, and they made that happen against the Green Wave in the nightcap at New Britain High School. Simsbury senior Amanda Gallagher connected for a game-high 24 points in the victory. Gallagher and fellow senior Olivia Jarvis provide senior leadership for the Trojans, who held the Green Wave to just four points in the third quarter.

GALLERY: Here are my photos from the Holy Cross semifinal game.

NO. 2 ST. PAUL 50, NO. 3 OXFORD 32

Playing on the same court where they won the NVL tournament, the Falcons rolled past the league foe Wolverines in Naugatuck High School’s Ed Mariano Gymnasium.

Senior Audrey Tice scored a game-high 18 points, and fellow senior Rebecca Kelly was right behind her with 16 points. After trailing, 11-8, following the first quarter, St. Paul doubled Oxford the rest of the way, 42-21. Tice dished out nine assists while senior Olivia Dahn (12 rebounds), Kelly (six), junior Ava Stevenson (seven) and junior Aniyah Moore (four) led the Falcons on the backboards, according to a story from Jason Levy of the Waterbury Republican-American.

No. 5 Windham 44, No. 1 East Hampton 42: The Whippets hung on for a big-time win at RHAM High School in Hebron, and they snapped the Bellringers’ 46-game win streak in the process.

Junior Jaelize Rivera knocked down a big 3-pointer with just under two minutes to play to give Windham a 43-39 lead. East Hampton’s Jackie Russell buried her own trey to cut the margin to 43-42 in the final 40 seconds. The Whippets added a free throw, then hung on as two Bellringer attempts to tie the game on their final possession missed. Rivera led Windham with 14 points. Senior Hailey Flores scored 11 points and freshman Asihja Harris tallied seven, according to a story from the Willimantic Chronicle.