It took the St. Joseph girls basketball team almost half a quarter to shake the rust off its offense. The Cadets couldn’t wait to get back on the court after losing to Morgan of Clinton in the Class L quarterfinals last season, so it was natural for them to be feeling a little overanxious.

Defensively, St. Joseph was already in midseason form. The Cadets held New Canaan to just one two-point field goal with solid interior defense and used a balanced offense led by senior captains Bridget and Caitlin Sharnick to post a thorough 56-17 victory at Vito Montelli Gym in the season-opener for both teams on Dec. 10.

“Our defense was excellent, and that’s been a point of emphasis from the beginning,” head coach Chris Lindwall said. “We walked out of Morgan’s gym last year and we said, this is the team we’re going to go into next year with. Our focus was going to be on the defensive side of the ball.  We worked on all of those things in the offseason, footwork, close-outs and box-outs, and all that hard work really showed through tonight.”

Bridget Sharnick led the way offensively with 15 points, four rebounds and two assists. Caitlin Sharnick also hit double figures with 10 points, including two 3-pointers. She also had four rebounds and two assists.

Six-foot senior forward Jackie Jozefick led St. Joseph on the glass with eight rebounds and two blocks to go along with six points while senior guard Shannon O’Meara nailed three 3-pointers, all of which came in the third quarter to help the Cadets take a 48-11 lead.

The Cadets were quarterbacked offensively by senior point guard Ana DoCarmo, who had four assists and ran the offense like an assistant coach on the floor. Senior Tess Lockwood (three rebounds) was equally effective when DoCarmo was on the bench.

Turn to the next edition of the Times for complete game story.