Girls basketball: St. Joseph turns back Brien McMahon, 40-35

The St. Joseph High girls basketball team built a quick lead and then held off Brien McMahon of Norwalk, 40-35, in an FCIAC game played in Trumbull on Friday night.

“Credit to McMahon, they came out and attacked us,” St. Joseph coach Chris Lindwall said. “I told my players going into the fourth quarter that they would have to answer the bell. They did. I’m proud of them.”

The Cadets took a 30-28 lead into the final period, a stanza that saw coach Derek Sellers’ Senators tie the game twice on points from Tatiana Artis before taking their first lead since the game’s opening bucket when Artis buried a jumper from the elbow.

After the Cadets’ Brenna Hynes scored off an assist from Ashley Lynch to tie the game at 35 with 2:39 remaining, St. Joseph, which had trouble taking advantage of its opportunities from the foul line in the first three quarters, made 5-of-6 from the charity stripe to secure its third win of the season.

Melissa Bike hit three freebies and Hynes a pair.

Megan Robertson and Lynch made 3-pointers in the opening period, as the Cadets had assists on all four baskets including Jade Hill’s closing bucket on a pass from Emma Elrod.

The Cadets’ 15-9 advantage stood up to McMahon challenges in the second stanza, with Christina Crocco scoring inside and Lauren Haverl getting the assist.

Kathryn Zito knocked down a key jumper down the stretch off a pass from Halle Grabowski, and St. Joseph took a 24-17 lead into the half.

McMahon’s Shaniya Francis had nine points to lead a Senator come back in the third period that made it a 30-28 game with one quarter to play.