St. Joseph girls dedicated to making run at basketball title

Chris Lindwall is hoping this year's St. Joseph team gets to storm the court after winning a state title.

Chris Lindwall is hoping this year's St. Joseph team gets to storm the court after winning a state title.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

“It’s a great feeling to be back,” said St. Joseph coach Chris Lindwall said of leading his fourth ranked team in the GameTimeCT Top 10 preseason poll. “We have eight seniors that set the tone with their dedicated work in the weight room. This is my best conditioned team.

“Each of our girls is dedicated to making a great run,” Lindwall said after the Cadets put together a 9-4 record in 2021. “They all want to play sports after high school. We can see that commitment every day.”

St. Joseph will visit Hillhouse to open the season tonight at 7.

Lindwall found it difficult to game plan for his own team.

“This is the first time since (championship year) 2015 that I can say you must pick your poison,” he said. “We can play well inside, run in transition, or shoot from the outside.”

With Dennaye Hinds, Kirsten Rodriguez and Isabelle Casucci, St. Joseph will have the edge under the basket.

Lindwall said: “Dennaye is 6-0 and going to play at D-I Presbyterian College in South Carolina. Kirsten is 6-0 and will play at WesConn. Izzy is 6-2 and going to Marquette University to play lacrosse.”

Kate Rudini and Kayleigh Carson will run the offense.

“Kate was first-team All-FCIAC for a reason,” Lindwall said. “We need her on the court. She played well through ankle injuries and we are happy to have her healthy. She is a big part of our offense and defense. Kayleigh is smart with the ball and can hit the 3-point shot with consistency. Both will play, but haven’t committed yet, in college.”

Erika Stephens, K.K. Geignetter and Kayla Angrand round out the cast of seniors.

“Erika is our small forward and will play at Hamilton College,” Lindwall said. “She is athletic and has improved her mid-range jump shot. K.K. can hit shots at the two guard or small forward. Kayla has great hands, rebounds well, and did a great job hitting the weights to get stronger.”

Four sophomores have elevated their play to earn varsity spots.

“Abby Savoie is smart and never tires,” Lindwall said of his two guard. “Erin Lovett will help inside. She finishes well around the basket. Erin Donegan can come off the bench at small forward. She runs the floor well and is a good 3-point shooter. Maggie Wetmore impressed from our first day of practice. She will play guard. The future looks bright with these four players and the girls being groomed by Mark Hopkins on the jayvee level.”

The Cadets are home Friday at 7 p.m. to New Fairfield and Monday at 5 to Bassick. Twitter: @blox354