St. Paul girls open season at 2-0

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL – Game two of the season for the St. Paul Catholic girls basketball squad came against Crosby of Waterbury on Tuesday, Dec. 19 from the Maltby Street Gymnasium in Bristol.

The first game of the year saw Morgan Kolb lead the Falcons in scoring but this time around, another excellent player took charge offensively.

Emma Cretella ended up having one or her best games ever while the squad was sharp defensively, stopping Crosby 55-36 in a Naugatuck Valley League challenge.

The Falcons moved to 2-0 over the winning effort while the Bulldogs (1-1) lost for the first time this season.

The defense was strong, not allowing the unit from Waterbury to score a single point over the first quarter of play, setting the tone of the contest.

Though both teams basically scored at the same rate over the final 24 minutes of play, Crosby was never able to completely comeback.

Cretella flipped in a career-high 17 points and nabbed five steals over a complete game effort.

Janessa Gonzales came through with 17 points as well and then fellow sophomore Jade Udoh nabbed a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Kolb etched up six points, Molly Hooks added three while Taylor Crawford sunk a hoop to complete the scoring efforts.

Aidrianna Lopez, McKenzie Gauthier, Olivia Stump, Brie Giantonio, Catherine Ciampi, Lindsey O’Bright, and Ashley Suzio all saw playing time for the Falcons.

Tiahna Pulliam-Bishop pumped in 25 points to lead the visitors. No other player scored more than six points for the squad while Crosby failed to hit a single three-point field goal in the game.

St. Paul Catholic posted 19 points over the first eight minutes of action, the Bulldogs did not score, and with a nearly 20-point edge in hand, the visitors were playing from behind the rest of the evening.

The Falcons led 29-14 at the half, held on to a 39-29 tilt through three frames before pulling out a 19-point win to remain undefeated on the campaign.

And two days later, St. Paul Catholic slammed Woodland on the road by 30 points, 63-33 in another NVL encounter.

Gonzalez and Udoh combined for 36 points in the winning effort.

Leading the charge was Gonzalez with 19 points – hitting three threes along the way – while Udoh notched 17.

In the third game of the week on Thursday, Dec. 21, the Falcons played a nip-and-tuck game against previously undefeated Sacred Heart.

This time around, Gonzalez dropped in 24 points – including a three-pointer – as St. Paul Catholic earned a huge 45-40 victory over the Hearts.

Down one entering the final stanza of play, the Falcons won the period 15-9 to take a five-point win in the end.