Girls basketball: St. Joseph loses to Hatters in OT

Kathryn Zito drives past a Danbury defender. — Andy Hutchison photo
Kathryn Zito drives past a Danbury defender. — Andy Hutchison photo

Something had to give.

St. Joseph had won six games in a row and visiting Danbury came into Thursday’s contest having reeled off eight straight victories.

Naturally, this battle between red-hot FCIAC teams was tied after regulation and it took an extra four minutes to decide a winner.

In the end, the Hatters celebrated and the Cadets saw their winning ways end in a 39-36 defensive-minded clash.

The Cadets fell to 7-6 overall and Danbury improved to 9-3.

“Right now, I’m extremely proud of our group. We came out here and battled tonight,” St Joe’s coach Chris Lindwall said.

The Cadets led 21-19 at the half, but were held to just a pair of field goals in each the third and fourth quarters. It was 29-26 Hatters after three.

St. Joseph’s baskets in the fourth were 3-pointers by Emma Elrod and Kathryn Zito, as the Cadets overcame Danbury leads of 31-26 and 33-30.

Zito drained a straightaway 3-pointer with just 23 seconds to go to send the game into OT knotted at 33 apiece.

Trailing 35-33, the Cadets went back in front when Zito hit another shot from downtown, also from straight on, with 2:24 to play in the extra period.

Danbury made four clutch free throws to take and add to the lead. The Cadets had possession with 30 seconds to play, but couldn’t get a clean look at the hoop from the outside to force another overtime.

Elrod led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points.

Zito and Kaitlin Capobianco both dropped in nine.

Dennaye Hinds scored five, Ronnie Lubas had two and Rahmia Johnston added one.

Elrod was a factor in many facets of the game; she had nine rebounds and four blocks.

Hinds had seven rebounds.

An offensive board and put-back plus free throw for a 3-point play gave the Cadets a 26-23 lead just past the midpoint of the third quarter. A couple of late third-quarter 3-pointers by the Hatters sparked an 8-0 run, and the Cadets didn’t score again until Elrod’s 3-pointer with 3:10 left in regulation.

“We missed some free throws and we missed some layups in regulation. Those come back to bite you every time,” Lindwall said.

Even so, he was pleased with his group’s hustle and work ethic.

“I was proud of everybody. This was a total team effort,” Lindwall said. “I’m disappointed that we lost but I’m absolutely proud of the girls because of how hard they fought, and we never gave up.”

Johnston dished out four assists and had a trio of steals.

Capobianco came away with four steals.

Capobianco hit three shots from beyond the 3-point arc. Zito and Elrod both made two from downtown.

Danbury (9-3, 7-1 FCIAC)

Tianna Rogers 1 1-2 3  Sabrina Almeida 1 1-2 4  Susana Almeida 4 5-7 16   Tanisha Cunnigham 1 0-0 2 Amaiky Edwards 0 0-0 0 TyLynn Ith 4 2-2 12 Kianna Perry 1 0-0 2

Totals 12 9-13 39

St Joseph (7-6, 6-3 FCIAC)

Veronica Lubas 1 0- 2 2  Kathryn Zito 3 1-3 9  Elizabeth Adzima 0 0-0 0 Kate Rudini 0 0-0 0 Kaitlin Capobianco 0 0-0 0  McKenna Hedman 0 0-0 0 Rahmia Johnston 0 1-2 1  Maddie Johnson 0 0-0 0  Dennaye Hinds 1 3-3 5  Emma Elrod 4 0-0 10

Totals 12 5-10 36

Danbury       9   11  11   2  6 - 39

St Joseph     9   12   5   7   3 - 36

3 Pt Field Goals: Danbury - Sabrina Almeida - 1, Susana Almeida 3, TyLynn Ith - 2; St Joseph - Kathryn Zito - 2, Emma Elrod - 2,  Kaitlin Capobianco - 3