St. Joseph-Warde girls hoop

Jenn Vasquez scored 27 points and the St. Joseph High girls basketball team went on the road to defeat Fairfield Warde, 57-45, on Friday.

“Jenn hustled to get her spot on every possession and I’m proud of all of them,” Cadet coach Chris Lindwall said. “We’re not running the same stuff as last year. We have new people stepping up and our kids off the bench gave us good minutes.”

Vasquez was a factor in every quarter, as the senior forward scored 8, 5, 8 and 7 points.

St. Joseph led 13-4 after one period and 25-11 at the half, with Lauren Della Vecchia and Lauren Pitney running the offense.

Mairead Donahue and Erin Johnson gave the Cadets the edge inside, and they divided 16 markers.

Pitney opened the game with a 3-pointer before Donahue tallied inside.

Vasquez scored the next 10 points for the Cadets, with Caitlin Sharnick earning three assists and another basket coming off of a Shannon O’Meara steal.

Vasquez’ kickout pass led to a trey by Sharnick, and Warde coach Dave Danko called for time with his team trailing 18-6 with five minutes remaining in the first half.

“She (Vasquez) has such soft hands and is very tough to stop,” Danko said. “This was quite a night for that young lady.

“They run a great triangle with two on the block and that is hard to stop. That’s their bread and butter.”

Pitney found Vasquez for a basket after a rebound and then the sophomore buried a jumper of her own.

Della Vecchia made two free throws and St. Joseph took a 14-point lead into the locker room.

The third quarter saw the best action, with St. Joseph rallying late to take the stanza by a 17-16 margin.

“In the third quarter we had to match their energy,” Lindwall said. “I think us having one game under our belt helped early in the game.

“In the FCIAC no lead is safe, and against one of the best coaches in the league being up 16 still had me nervous.”

Warde moved within 30-20 with 4:40 left in the third, but the Cadets answered every challenge.

“We’d go on a nice little run and they’d go on a six-point run,” Danko said.

St. Joseph lost its season opener to Westhill of Stamford, 62-39, on Wednesday night. Sharnick scored 10 points to lead the Cadets.