Girls basketball: Falcons capture seventh seed

It all seemed to come together for the Joel Barlow High girls varsity basketball team in its game at Kolbe-Cathedral last week.

With two regular-season games left to go the Falcons needed a win to secure the seventh spot in the upcoming South-West Conference tournament. On both ends of the court the Falcons got the job done in a 49-43 victory on Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Shehan Center in Bridgeport.

Barlow’s win came on Kolbe’s Senior Night. It also avenged a loss to the same opponent earlier this month.

“It was as probably the best basketball we played all year,” said Barlow head coach Joe Carollo. “Team defense was great and the offense was very balanced.”

Both sides battled for position in the first quarter, which ended in a 10-10 tie. The Falcons’ defense stepped up in the next frame as hit held the Cougars to a mere five points while scoring 16 of their own to take a 26-15 lead going into halftime.

According to Carollo, Kelly Gilbert, along with help from her teammates, was the most responsible for holding all-league player Jasmyne Fogle to nine points in the game. The latter scored 22 the first time the two teams met this season.

The Falcons scored a number of points in transition as Kolbe preferred to go after offensive rebounds instead of guarding against the fast break.

When play resumed the Cougars managed to claw their way back into the contest, holding the Falcons to only four points in the third frame. Gilbert’s three-pointer late in the frame temporarily gave the Falcons the lead again but Kolbe was up 31-30 going into the fourth quarter.

The Falcons would save the best for last in terms of offense. Katie Williges had a strong performance from the four line, going four-for-four to help keep Barlow’s lead.

“Katie has proven to be very clutch in those situations for us this year, as well as last year,” said Carollo.

Drew Bartro had 11 points, but 10 big rebounds as well as seven blocks. Sarah McAniff scored eight and Victoria had six as well as six assists.

Gilbert had five and Emma Gallagher had seven. Kelly Mahoney also hit a three pointer.

“It was a great team win and we held Kolbe to their lowest point total of their season,” said Carollo.

With time running out in the regular season the Falcons took on Lauralton Hall in a rare Sunday game on Feb. 17. The top seed in the SWC playoffs, the Crusaders wasted no time in taking control in a 70-32 win in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Due to Lauralton’s hot shooting, the Falcons were down 19-10 after the first quarter. As the half went on they settled down and did a better job contesting Lauralton’s shooters. By the time the half ended Barlow was down by only 10 (30-20).

However, it only got tougher from there. The Falcons managed only two points in the entire third frame as Lauralton showed why its has been one of the top teams in the state all year.

The Crusaders not only scored, but their half court defense made it tough on the Falcons when they had the ball. Shea and McAniff could get to the paint but were met by Division 1 St. Francis recruit Olivia Levey and five-foot, eleven Emma McCarthy, who did a good job of blocking or contesting  shots.

No one from Barlow scored in double digits. Bartro had eight and Williges and Shea (two three-pointers) had six apiece. Gallagher scored five.

Mahoney sank a three-pointer while McAniff and Gilbert had two points apiece.

The Falcons finish the regular season at 13-7 overall.

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