REDDING, Conn. – Joel Barlow’s girls basketball team built an 11-point third quarter lead against Kolbe Cathedral on Monday only to be worn down by the Bridgeport team's size and strength in the final nine minutes.
the Cougars’ size and strength wore down the Falcons.
The Kolbe Cougars (12-4) held Barlow to three points in the fourth quarter and defeated the Falcons, 53-47, in a battle between South-West Conference teams. Drew Bartro had a huge game for the Falcons (11-6) with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 16 blocks.
“They’re a little bit deeper than we are, and they’re definitely bigger,’’ Barlow coach Joe Carollo said. “They’re height kind of wore us down.”
Barlow led 44-33 after two free throws by Emma Gallagher with 1:03 left in the third quarter. Kolbe scored the last five points of the quarter, and tightened the defensive clamps in the fourth quarter. Barlow’s first fourth quarter point came with 2:29 left on a free throw by Kate Williges. Bartro had Barlow’s only fourth quater field goal with 49 seconds left in the game.
“I don’t think I got Victoria Shea, Sarah McAniff or Bartro off the floor the entire game,’’ Carollo said. “I look at this fourth quarter and I think it’s gotta be fatigue. They were fresher at the end of the game than we were.”
McAniff added 11 points for Barlow, while Shea had six points and seven assists.
The Falcons played well in building their lead. After trailing 16-13 at the end of the first quarter, Barlow turned up its defensive pressure and built a 32-26 halftime lead. Bartro had 13 points in the first half.
Gallagher scored all seven of her points in the third quarter to help Barlow extend its lead. Kelly Mahoney’s 3-pointer started a 5-0 run after Kolbe got within six points at 39-33. The physical Cougars kept up their intensity, however, and took the lead for good with 4:43 remaining in the fourth on a basket by Jasmyne Fogle. She had 22 points and 14 rebounds for Kolbe.
Barlow meets Weston Tuesday and is trying to secure a South-West Conference playoff berth. The Falcons have three regular season games left, including a rematch with Kolbe on Feb. 12.
"I look at our final games with Lauralton Hall, Kolbe and Weston and I love that’s who we are playing,’’ Carollo said. “There’s no better preparation for the post season. We’d definitely like to win a few of those.”