TRUMBULL — St. Joseph coach Chris Lindwall was a mix of emotions after his team knocked Joel Barlow out of the CIAC Class L tournament opening round Monday night with a 48-33 win.
Lindwall was obviously pleased his team advanced in the tournament, he just wished the win did not come at the expense of the team he once coached.
Lindwall was the Barlow coach for 9 seasons, winning a state championship there in 1995.
He has been at St. Joe’s for 8 seasons now, winning a state title 20 years later in 2015.
“I cheer for (Barlow) every night and I am so happy with what Joe (Carollo) has done over there,” Lindwall said. “This is a hard game for me, it really, really is. There is so much nostalgia. We purposely don’t play each other for that reason.”
Seeded 16th, St. Joseph advances to the second round, where it will face No. 1 Notre Dame-Fairfield Thursday at 7.
St. Joe was able to attack inside with senior Emma Elrod and freshman Dennaye Hinds, pounding the ball into the post for layups.
“The game plan, because of our size, we were going to go inside as much as we can,” Lindwall said. “Our league prepares us for a game like this, with all the teams that are all–guards like New Canaan or Ludlowe. The big thing for us was we were ready, which is not easy when you don’t play a game for 10 days.”
St. Joe led by four at halftime, but a 13-0 run spanning the second and third quarters put Barlow in a hole it could not climb out of.
The No. 17 Falcons got within six points early in the fourth quarter, but the Cadets answered with a 9-0 run to close out the game.
“We knew that was going to be a problem and we debated doubling down on the post, but we know they have guards who can shoot,” Carollo said. “We cut it to six in the fourth and we were feeling good, but those kinds of runs take a lot out of you.”
Barlow’s leading scorer was Annie Tamallanca with 9 points.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Emma Elrod, St. Joseph. Playing in what is likely her last game on Vito Montelli Court, Elrod was dominant inside, scoring a game-high 14 points.
“Playing here one last time is definitely a heart-wrenching thing,” Elrod said. “Playing for coach has been awesome. All the seniors felt the same way. Having another home game was a dream come true, in a sense. It was fun going out with a win.”
St. JOSEPH 48 BARLOW 33
BARLOW (10-11) Julia Shapiro 1 0-2 2; Scotland Davis 3 0-2 8; Annie Tamallanca 2 4-10 9; Julia Mullin 0 2-6 2; Emily Grob 2 2-2 6; Abby Ota 1 0-0 3; Lisi Chapin 0 0-0 0; Olivia Besancon 1 1-1 3; Alison Kopec 0 0-2 0. Totals: 10 9-24 33
ST. JOSEPH (11-10) Kathryn Zito 1 2-2 4; Kaitlin Capobianco 2 1-2 5;RahmiaJohnston 4 1-3 9; Maddie Johnson 1 3-4 5; Emma Elrod 5 3-3 14; Katherine Rudini 2 0-1 4; Dennaye Hinds 2 0-0 4; Veronica Lubas 0 0-0 0; McKenna Hedman 0 0-0 0; Emily Haverl 1 0-0 3. Totals: 18 10-15 48
BARLOW 10 10 8 5—33
ST. JOSEPH 11 13 13 11—48
3-point field goals: B—Davis 2, Ota, Tamallanca. SJ—Elrod