WATERBURY >> For the first time since they joined the Naugatuck Valley League in 2010, the St. Paul Falcons are headed to the NVL title game in after defeating Wolcott 40-31.
St. Paul will face Holy Cross, which defeated Torrington in the other semifinal, in the championship on Wednesday.
“Definitely excited,” said Falcons junior Kelly McMahon who led her team with eight points in the win. “It’s a big deal.”
“It’s a prestigious league with a lot of history,” said St. Paul head coach Joe Mone of the school’s first girls basketball title game appearance.
After taking a commanding lead early, 19-4 after the first quarter, the Falcons couldn’t build on it as they had to hold on late for the win.
“We came out strong and took it to them,” said McMahon. “We just had to hold them off.”
From the second quarter the teams battled, Wolcott held the Falcons to only three points to their nine cutting the deficit to nine by halftime, 22-13.
“I told them they had to believe that we would come back,” said Wolcott head coach Jessica Geddes. “I told them to keep shooting, get rebounds. The more we go up the more chances we have to score or get fouled.”
The Eagles did that and more scoring 14 points in third quarter, both Cassidy Cody and Maggie Hanlon score five points each for the Eagles to face a two point deficit, 29-27.
“They just had to believe,” said Geddes.
One minute into the final quarter, Wolcott’s Kayla Briere went to the line and hit two free throws to cap off the Eagles 15 point comeback tying the game at 29-29.
It wasn’t just believing that helped the Eagles back into the game, the Falcons had a hard time making shots.
“I wish I could tell what went wrong,” said Mone. “We couldn’t hit a shot.”
That was the closest the Eagles would get as the Falcons began to feed Theresa Swanke down low, icing the game and a trip to the NVL title game
“Swanke didn’t get going until late,” said Mone.
Swanke would score six of her eight points in the final quarter.
The Falcons will play in the NVL title game on Wednesday night at Kennedy High School. The game will start at 7 p.m.
“It was ugly, but it was an ugly win. It wasn’t a well-played game, I think they played better than us” said Mone.
At this point of the season Mone won’t be changing anything his team is doing.
“When you get to this point in the season, you do what you do well and hopefully that’s good enough to win,” he said.
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