|Holy Cross head coach Frank Lombardo huddles with his starters before|
the 2017 Class L state final at Mohegan Sun Arena. Lombardo picked up
his 500th career win on Wednesday night. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
Holy Cross head girls coach Frank Lombardo reached the 500-win plateau in his 24th season with a 60-49 victory over Sacred Heart on Wednesday night at The Pit. The Hearts have high ambitions this season, but the road to NVL glory still goes through the Crusaders.
Holy Cross has been led by the monster duo of Meah Austin and Aiyana Ward, and nothing changed Wednesday. Austin had game-highs of 21 points and 21 rebounds and Ward tallied 18 points and 15 rebounds. It was too much for Sacred Heart to overcome.
The Crusaders assumed control in the first half, claiming a 27-14 halftime lead. The Hearts got the deficit down to single digits at nine points, but couldn't get any closer. Treasure Coleman led Sacred Heart with 19 points while Aamya Rivera had 16.
Holy Cross joined St. Paul at 6-1 while Sacred Heart fell to 5-2. The other loss for the Hearts was to the Falcons.
For future reference, St. Paul hosts Holy Cross on Friday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. The second meeting of the Crusaders and Hearts is on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at Alumni Hall.
|Isiah Gaiter. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)|
Isiah Gaiter and his game-high 39 points made sure Sacred Heart ended the night with a victory, albeit a sluggish one with both teams coming off of a holiday break. Gaiter was immense for the Hearts, affecting the game with his scoring, rebounding and passing. Raheem Solomon added 10 points, including a nice one-handed dunk off a Gaiter assist.
|Nyzair Rountree. |
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
Sacred Heart improved to 3-0, but faces another test on Friday at Waterbury Career Academy (4-0). Holy Cross hosts a Kennedy team sure to be irritated after a rough home loss to Wilby on Wednesday. That game is also on Friday.
The Hearts head to Long Island Lutheran High School on Saturday for the LuHi Invitational. They play the Eagle Academy for Young Men from the Bronx at 2:30 p.m.
Again for future reference: The second game between Sacred Heart and Holy Cross is on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at The Pit.