St. Joseph pulls away, beats Wilton

Maddie Burke looks to make a pass during Wilton’s win over Bassick last week. —
Maddie Burke looks to make a pass during Wilton’s win over Bassick last week. —

The Wilton and St. Joseph girls basketball teams both got off to slow starts in Monday night’s game at the Zeoli Fieldhouse. But once St. Joseph got its shots to fall it cruised to a 55-29 win over the Warriors.

With 4:45 remaining in the opening period, Wilton held a 6-4 lead. But that was quickly erased as St. Joseph went on an 11-0 run to end the first quarter ahead 15-6. The Cadets knocked down three 3-pointers during the run.

Wilton scored the first five points of the second quarter to get within 15-11, but that was the extent of the Warriors’ comeback bid. St. Joseph went into halftime with a 20-12 lead and then used its size advantage to control the final two quarters.

“We’re still going through a learning curve with a new system/style of play and not getting the results expected,” said Wilton senior co-captain Maddie Burke, who has seen her minutes increase over the last few games after being limited with a leg injury. “We have to come out more mentally prepared and with more energy.

“In Saturday’s game against Weston we came out early and matched their intensity, but we didn’t tonight,” Burke added. “We have to do a better job in reading and reacting to what the other team is doing and play consistently and under control.”

“We have a lot of young players on the team and they are showing good development, but we still have work to do. As a senior and someone who has enjoyed playing on this court, I want them to feel the same things I felt growing up in this program.”

The Cadets (7-5) came out of the locker room and started the third quarter with another 11-0 run. Emma Elrod had the hot hand for St. Joseph, pouring in seven of her team’s first nine points of the period. Elrod finished the game with 10 points, as did teammates Dennaye Hines and McKenna Hedman.

Wilton finally got on the board with under four minutes left in the third period, but the Cadets increased their lead to 21, at 42-21.

“We showed good play at times, but we’re very inconsistent in carrying out the plan,” Wilton coach Fred Francello said. “We have several young players that are still learning, but it’s frustrating when you put someone in the game with specific instructions and they don’t do what they’re told. We gave a lot of girls playing time tonight, testing the players to see who played hard and executed the plan.”

Burke, Sophia Strazza, and Catherine Dineen finished with six points apiece for the Warriors, who are now 3-8 overall this season.