TRUMBULL —Liz Adzima was the only player in double figures for St. Joseph when the Cadets defeated Trinity Catholic, 59-28, in a clash between FCIAC girls basketball teams at Vito Montelli Court on Tuesday.
Adzima had 12 points, but 10 of the 12 players that saw considerable playing time for coach Lindwall’s Cadets scored points.”
“We don’t have one best player,” he said after St. Joe’s improved to 5-1. “We have such a balance. We have a starting five, but someone else is leading us every night point wise. I said to the kids the other day that everyone of them has had a moment. That’s key. We have pretty good talent, we just have to figure it out game to game.”
— Bill Bloxsom (@blox354) January 7, 2020
Rahmia Johnston made a pair of 3-pointers in the opening period to help the Cadets take a 15-4 lead. Five players scored points in the frame, with Erika Stephens also knocking down a three.
Johnston, a senior co-captain and guard, was quick to assess the Cadets’ success.
“Working together,” she said. “We’re getting in the gym every day and hitting the weight room all the time. Even on our off days we have guys coming in to shoot. We’re stressing moving the ball and changing the dynamic.”
Johnston finished with 8 points, senior co-captain McKenna Hedman 9 and sophomore center Kirsten Rodriguez 7.
“We have great team chemistry, especially among the senior class,” said Hedman. “We inspire the younger class. We know that if we work hard, they work hard. It transfers down the chain. Our continuous hard work in practice makes the difference”
Trinity Catholic looked to get the ball inside to Klarke Moore, who battled with Rodriguez for position throughout. The junior made a nice move to score off a Caitlyn Scott assist for the first lead, but St. Joe’s went on a 7-0 run to get on top 7-2.
The Cadets quick passing played out well with Adzima, Rodriguez (an adept passer from the paint), Becca Kery and Hedman earning assists on the five baskets made in the stanza.
The Crusaders were 0 for 8 from the field the rest of the period, with Scott (12 points) making a pair of free throws.
— Bill Bloxsom (@blox354) January 7, 2020
Lindwall credits the team’s defense for the fine start to the season.
“The kids have adapted more to man principles, defensive pressure,” he said. “Offensively we are looking to figure it out, starting three sophomore and seeing where they fit with the seniors.”
TC’s Kiera Fenske hit three mid-range jumpers in the second quarter. Down 21-6 after Johnston found Adzima for a bucket, the Crusaders scored on their next three possessions. Fenski (8 points) scored from the top of the key, Scott swished home a 3-pointer, and Fenske added an 8-footer.
It was 28-13 at the half.
Trinity Catholic coach Charles Miller said, “I like the fact we are starting to grow as a unit. We are starting to become cohesive coming into the midway point of season. We’ve been in some close games. We want to eliminate some of the scoring opporunities we’ve been giving other teams.”
Lindwall said: “In the first half of the season, we are really trying to focus on the defensive side of the ball because our schedule allows us to focus on that. In the second half, 7 of 10 teams on the schedule are playoff teams. Its going to be a challenge. There is a lot of parity (in the FCIAC). It will be interesting to see what will happen at the end.”
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
With St. Joseph’s offense linking up, it was the alternating defensive play of Liz Adzima and Veronica Lubas on TC’s Caitlyn Scott that allowed the other Cadets to take away passing lanes and dominate the defensive backboard.
“I said to the kids the other day. that everyone of them has had a moment. That’s key. We have pretty good talent, we just have to figure it out game to game.” — St. Joseph coach Chris Lindwall
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ST. JOSEPH 59, TRINITY CATHOLIC 28
TC 4 9 5 10 – 28
SJ 15 13 14 17 – 59
TRINITY CATHOLIC (28)
Kiera Fenske 4 0-0 8, Theresa Lupinacci 1 0-2 0, Klarke Moore 3 0-0 6, Caitlyn Scott 3 4-6 12, Isabella Edwards 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 11 4-8 28
ST. JOSEPH (59)
Veronia Lubas 1 1-2 3, Liz Adzima 4 3-6 12, Cate Deprofio 0 0-0 0, Kate Rudini 2 1-2 5, Kayleigh Carson 1 0-2 3, Erika Stephens 2 0-0 5, McKenna Hedman 4 0-0 9, Isabella Casucci 1 0-2 2, Rahmia Johnston 3 0-0 8, Kirsten Rodriguez 3 1-2 7, Becca Kery 0 0-0 0, Emily Haverl 2 1-2 5.
Totals: 6 5-10 17
3-Pointers: TC — Caitlyn Scott 2; SJ —Rahmia Johnston 2, Kayleigh Carson 1, McKenna Hedman 1, Erika Stephens 1, Liz Adzima 1
Record: Trinity Catholic 1-5, St. Joseph 5-1