The top-seeded Holy Cross girls basketball was expected to be in the NVL Tournament final
Their opponent, Kennedy, may not have been by many people up until the last few weeks. In that time, the Eagles have ripped off 17 wins in 18 games. Crusaders head coach Frank Lombardo knows his team's opponent presents a challenge.
"They're very good, very athletic," Lombardo said.
The same goes for Holy Cross.
"I'm confident, I know our girls are confident," Lombardo said.
Senior Caitlin Cipriano echoed that confidence.
"I definitely think they're good competition for us and it will help us get ready for the state tournament, but I'm confident in my girls to get the job done," Cipriano said.
Holy Cross used its typical tough defense to shut down Watertown and pull away in Monday night's semifinal. The Crusaders held the Indians to two foul shots in the fourth quarter and put the game out of reach. If it wasn't for fouls, Holy Cross would have pulled away earlier, but the fouls come sometimes with the aggression of its defense.
Cipriano proved to be a force on the offensive end.
"I think last time I played them, I made a lot of my hooks and a lot of my drop steps," Cipriano said.
When Cipriano didn't have the shot, she kicked it back out to her teammates. The offensive balance and unselfishness make Holy Cross dangerous.
The Crusaders are 20-2 entering the final, and they are looking to add another tournament title to their ledger.