Fabbri, Lauralton Hall gets revenge, beats Mercy for return trip to Mohegan Sun

 Carly Fabbri (right) of Lauralton Hall moves the ball up  the court in the final minutes of the CIAC Class LL semi-final game against Mercy in Wallingford on 3/14/2014. (Arnold Gold-New Haven Register)

Carly Fabbri (right) of Lauralton Hall moves the ball up the court in the final minutes of the CIAC Class LL semi-final game against Mercy in Wallingford on 3/14/2014. (Arnold Gold-New Haven Register)

WALLINGFORD>> Ever since former Mercy guard Maria Weselyj’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer tickled the nets at Mohegan Sun Arena to down Lauralton Hall in last year’s Class LL final, the Crusaders have wanted redemption, however, not against Mercy.

“Whoever we had to meet along the way our goal was to beat that team,” Crusaders coach Amanda Forcucci said. “What happened happened last year, but we made it a point to say that our goal, regardless of who it was (we had to play), was that we are getting back to the state championship.”

PHOTOS: Lauralton Hall vs. Mercy

On Friday, the second-seeded Crusaders got what wanted in a 52-43 victory over the third-seeded Tigers in the Class LL semifinals to advance to the Class LL title game at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Crusaders advance to face No. 4 South Windsor either March 22 or 23. Dates and times will be announced after the remaining girls and boys finals are set.

Meanwhile, Mercy sees its run of four straight Class LL title game appearances come to an end. The Tigers had lost three in a row before finally winning it last season.


“It’s going to be weird (not playing in a state title game)” Mercy coach Tim Kohs said. “(Lauralton) was very hungry, you get beat. We know how it feels to get beat.”

Mercy (25-2) was led by Maura Fitzpatrick with 11 points and Destine Perry with seven.

Carly Fabbri was lights out for the Crusaders (25-1) nailing five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 21 points. Emma McCarthy added 14 points and Maggie Salandra contributed eight points.

After a tight first half, in which Lauralton Hall only led 22-20 at the half, the Crusaders came out on fire in the third. Lauralton Hall opened up a 10-point lead using a 13-3 run sparked by Fabbri and McCarthy. McCarthy said the Crusaders weren’t satisfied.

“It didn’t matter what the score was,” she said. “I didn’t look at the score the whole game. I just look at the time (on the clock) when it matters. The score will show at the end of the game, clearly it did today.”

Emma McCarthy (left) of Lauralton Hall jumps into the arms of Carly Fabbri after defeating Mercy 52-43 in the CIAC Class LL semi-final game in Wallingford on 3/14/2014. (Arnold Gold-New Haven Register)

Emma McCarthy (left) of Lauralton Hall jumps into the arms of Carly Fabbri after defeating Mercy 52-43 in the CIAC Class LL semi-final game in Wallingford on 3/14/2014. (Arnold Gold-New Haven Register)

Fabbri helped keep the Crusaders out front with her shooting, burying two triples in the third to keep Lauralton up by double-digits. Forcucci said when she’s shooting like that, she’ll always get the green light to stop and pop.

“She’s thrives in this type of environment,” the coach said. “Pressure, big games, she’s just chomping at the bit for this day to come.”

However, Mercy would not go down quietly and rallied in the fourth to make it a five point game at 42-37. Emily Menendez stepped up for Lauralton Hall and nailed a 3-pointer to put the Crusaders up one and seal the victory.

And even though Lauralton Hall was focused on getting back to Mohegan, beating Mercy did mean something.

“When Mercy was playing Career, everyone was like, ‘who do you want, Mercy or Career?’” McCarthy said. “We wanted Mercy. We needed our revenge.”

Lauralton Hall celebrates their 52-43 victory over Mercy in the CIAC Class LL semi-final game in Wallingford on 3/14/2014. (Arnold Gold-New Haven Register)

Lauralton Hall celebrates their 52-43 victory over Mercy in the CIAC Class LL semi-final game in Wallingford on 3/14/2014. (Arnold Gold-New Haven Register)

(at Lauralton Hall)
Mercy 11 9 10 13 – 43
Lauralton Hall 12 10 16 14 -52
MERCY (43)

Kendra Landy 1 4-7 6, Maura Fitzpatrick 5 1-2 11, Destine Perry 2 3-8 7, Morgan Cahill 2 0-0 4, Sarah Gallo 2 1-2 5, Hannah Coleman 1 0-0 3, Alexis Brown 1 1-2 3, Haley Vanty 2 0-0 4. Totals: 16 10-21 43
emma mccarthy 6 2-4 14, Maggie Salandra 2 4-9 8, Carly Fabbri 7 2-2 21, Maureen Connolly 2 1-1 5, emily menendez 1 1-1 4. Totals: 18 10-17 52
3-point goals: Mercy 1 (Coleman 1); Lauralton Hall 6 (Fabbri 5, menendez 1); Records: Mercy 25-2; Lauralton Hall 25-1


  1. inerested parent says

    if fabbri did not 2 ACL’s she would be the best player in Conn. A gritty performance by a not very deep team.

  2. CT basketball fanatic says

    Hold up now!! Of course Carly fabbri is a great player but I wouldn’t got as far as saying she’s the best player in CT regardless if she tore her acls or not You have Atkinson and Gillespie that are way ahead of fabbri

    • inerested parent says

      with 2 acls she has been the teams scorer in 2 LL tournaments. The only reason they did not win her soph yr was that she had a late season ACl and matera a 1000 pt scorer got hurt. and they lost by 2. .she could have had 3 final appearances in 4 years. She has produced and that is alll that matters. She would be in the discussion for sure

    • in the know says

      Hold on yourself. Not way ahead. You are aware that LH beat Capital Prep in a scrimmage. Only a scrimmage, but they kept score. Saw Atkinson let up in a loss to Lauralton. Next time Fabbri lets up will be her first. Might those two be better college players? Perhaps. If I need to win a high school game, I’ll take # 10 on Lauralton. Two healthy years, two trips to Mohegan.

      • bballfan says

        I agree that Fabrri has been great. The thing I most admire about her is that she always seems to play her very best when it’s a big game. She’ll probably be draining them from half court at Mohegan (lol)

  3. CCC Fan says

    Have you seen Atkinson, Gillespie or Veilleux? On a whole another level from everybody else in the state. Carly is a bigtime player but those three are something else, whether or not Carly had knee issues.

    • in the know says

      What else? Going to the WNBA? UConn? I have seen Atkinson and Gillespie. Veilleux still playing? Let me know when Atkinson and Veilleux make the All-Rookie teams in their college conferences next year. Then I’ll really believe. They give the Heisman Trophy to the best player in college, not the prospective first pick in the draft. Five losses in three years speaks volumes.

      • bballfan says

        That does speak volume for program. But your statement is if healthy would be best player in the state. How many Gatorade player of the year has she won in her healthy years. She is a good player maybe even great but the greatest that’s a bold statement.

      • prepschoolfan says

        why does most everyone who talks about the top players in the state or the best player in the state almost always doesn’t include the top prep school players on the list? Is it because they don’t think the top prep players aren’t that good having researched it or do they just ignore them?

        • Commenter says

          The prep school players are reclassified. It would not be fair to compare them. The best prep school player in the state, for example, would be in college by now.

          • prepschoolfan says

            In girls basketball some are reclassified but many are not. That’s an unfortunate stereotype that all outstanding prep school athletes are reclassified. It’s unfortunate that whenever someone talks about “best player in state”, they really mean best CIAC player in the state.

          • Commenter says

            > In girls basketball some are reclassified but many are not. That’s an unfortunate stereotype that all outstanding prep school athletes are reclassified.

            Of course not all are reclassified. But many are, especially the good ones. It’s also hard to judge the competition because its so varied, and from so far away. There are some very good prep teams but some terrible ones too. I think Henry does a good job covering Hamden Hall. From what I’ve seen, I would say Steph Jones is the best prep player in the state, but she’s not on the level of the top CIAC players – although she’s definitely a D1 prospect.

      • CCC Fan says

        I’ve actually argued before that you can be a better high school player even if your not a better college prospect. But those three girls are special. And I think that Veilleux and Atkinson will be all-league players in the A-10 and AAC by the time their tenures are over.

  4. Fat Mike says

    I have to agree. She’s not the athlete you look for when crowning the best player. She was probably quicker laterally before the knee surgeries. However, you don’t see kids with her court sense and timing. She is a winner and a big time leader. If the game is on the line, I would take her in a heartbeat over any other player mentioned.

  5. hall fan says

    just an aside, there was a post yesterday linked to the mercy article saying that maura f had the flu and may not play. does anyone know the accuracy of that statement? i know she did play. Certainly could have affected the game if true?

    • Commenter says

      There are always nagging injuries, sickness, and other issues that HS girls deal with. I wonder how many girls on LH were sick or injured? Fabbri, as stated, was playing on two ACL injuries. In the SCC tournament, Mercy played a team whose best player had sprained her ankle the game before, and came surprisingly close to losing. Fact was, I think Mercy was overrated this year. When Fitzgerald struggled, they were not that good. Next year, Gallo or Landy or someone else will have to take the pressure off of her. South Windsor or Cap Prep (moving up?) will probably be favored against them…

  6. Fat Mike says

    To their credit, Mercy fans haven’t started with that as an excuse. She looked fine to me. She was getting elevation on her jump shot and moving well on the perimeter defensively.
    No one is talking about the job Emma McCarthy did on the glass. That kid was not getting beat yesterday. Senior leadership was the difference. No one from Mercy answered Fabbri or McCarthy.

  7. inerested parent says

    I feel blessed to watch all these players through the years at all the nickle and dime Catholic school tournaments in Milford, West Haven, Stratford etc. up to Mohegan Sun. Reading the comments from Atkinson and Vellieux after their last games tell me they are good well centered girls. I feel lucky when people ask me where I think Carmello is going, I can say I dont know, dont care but am interested to see where some of these girls end up. Thanks for a number of great seasons

  8. roger says

    Comment om Fitzpatrick is true. She had the stomach bug on Thursday . Probably not full throttle but others could have stepped up and didn’t. Hats off to Laurelton. They wanted it more and they all stepped up.

  9. Fat Mike says

    Who are the players that are better than the CIAC players? You’re not going to convince me the competition is better.

  10. Bill T. says

    hey Fat mike ,

    trying to figure out who the best player in the state is not an easy thing to do even for those with a trained eye ! but one cannot be so narrow minded as to state that CIAC PLAYERS are better without really understanding what the prep schools are all about. First of all you don’t get into a NEPSAC school unless your are already an accomplished student and athlete. Whether or not a player reclassifies or not is meaningless. Many parents hold their children back a year whether it be kindergarden to junior high school to high school , whatever benefits the child both academically and yes athletically. believe me you can find many CIAC athletes the same age or older than reclassified NEPSAC students. as far as the level of competition goes the top CIAC schools can compete with the top preps , but they won’t go 25-0. Capital prep is great but in a five game series against Nobles or Exeter somebody wins 3-2 ! the preps have deeper rosters with players from all over the country as well as internationally. as far as connecticut prep players go have you even heard of Daneesha Provo from Kent. A four year player from Canada going to Clemson having turned down a full ride from Tennessee or Stephanie Jones from Loomis committed to Boston College or Hannah Friend a great junior at Taft school or even Mickyla Montini at Choate. These are all great players, perfecting their craft both academically and basketball wise in a vacuum , so don’t comment until you’ve seen them all play. I have ! My vote for best player in Connecticut is Gillespie.
    My vote for New Haven county MVP is Fabbri. Sorry Miss Atkinson but Fabbri has carried LH on her shoulders all the way to the final ! Note to the Hartford Current , New Haven Register , Connecticut Post and Waterbury Republican. Its the information age ! Its not that hard to cover all the schools private, public and preps. !

    • s21 says


      I agree 100% with your sentiments. I have seen all the aforementioned girls played. Yes, some of the preps girls are reclassified but majority of them are not. There are a bunch of freshmen girls that are in the league, NEPSAC, that are not reclassified. Just like CIAC, there are weak teams in every conference that does not mean the competition is weak. Most of Capital Prep’s and Mercy’s conference opponents are weak.

      Stephanie Jones and Provo, in my opinion, are top two guards in the state and I would put them up against anyone. What happens is that the preps do not get the press like the CIAC schools, The competition in the preps is not weak and in way better prepare the players for college than CIAC. We play with a shot clock.

      • Commenter says

        But all the girls you mentioned are reclassified. How can you say a girl that plays an extra year of basketball should be compared to the HS girls? It is partly about age but remember, many of these girls get to play an extra year of basketball. Many of them are from out of state. You want to say the best HS player in CT is a 19 year-old from Canada that plays longer games with a shot clock? You can’t compare stats either. Look at Sadie Edwards, for example. It’s her fifth year.

      • prepschoolfan says

        I agree with Bill T and s21.
        I’ve watched many prep school teams from Ct. play this year. As far a terrific prep school players in Connecticut:
        Stephanie Jones from Loomis is as good a combo guard as anyone in the State. She’s very quick, has a great handle, excellent shot, can slash to the basket, great on defense etc.
        Maxine Offiaeli also from Loomis might be the best post player in Ct. and will be playing at Brown next year.
        Daneesha Provo from Kent is an outstanding big forward, easily one of the best in the State
        Rachel Plotke from Hamden Hall is probably the best outside shooter in the State- over 300 career 3’s, excellent range and super quick release.
        Rachel Aho from Marianapolis Prep- I haven’t seen but I’ve heard she’s excellent.
        These are only the ones I’ve seen. There are many more!

        I would suggest to “Fat Mike” that next year he come the NEPSAC Championship games at Loomis and see the level of play and the quality of players

        • Commenter says

          Yes, there is talent in the prep schools. I think Steph Jones is tremendous. Loomis would challenge for a state championship – but keep in mind they are one of the best prep teams in all of New England. The discussion here is whether you should consider prep school kids in the same context as the HS kids. Like I said before, many of these girls are graduates, and they come from all over. If you want to have a separate category, fine. But you can’t declare that the best High School player in Connecticut is a 19 yr old Canadian that lives here only half the year.

          And by the way, the prep girls play in the same AAU and summer league circuits as the HS girls. Those who follow girls basketball know whats up. Outside of Loomis, the CT prep schools would be average CIAC teams – and they’ve got fifth year players.

          • HHfan says

            Loomis is a very solid team with many really good players. But even Loomis lost in the NEPSAC Tournament first round. Schools like Noble and Greenough, Tabor, and Rivers are all better than any CIAC schools in my opinion.
            Hamden Hall which is a tiny school, would be way better than average in the CIAC. They scrimmaged and beat a number of top CIAC schools when they scrimmaged them. They would compete deep in the State tournament in any class in my opinion.

          • hchoopsfan says

            I disagree, I think hhall would be a very average ciac team. I have seen them play, also seen the kids in aau. No one would start on a top flight ciac team. A few are transfers from guildford which was 8-12 this yr. the fairchester league is very weak. Career ,mercy Lh would beat them by 30. Many of the top ciac teams have a d1 kid, cant see how hhall would beat a top ciac school

    • Fat Mike says

      I didn’t realize Clemson had a better program than Temple or St. Joseph. Is that all you have? Gartner from Danbury is going to BC. This is the same Montini that played at Sacred Heart?
      Thanks for your long winded attempt to straighten me out.

      • hchoops fan says

        yes that is the same montini, a nice hs player but d2 at best for college. As far as womens college hoops go, outside of 5 or 6 elite programs, the uconns, nd’s of the world, you could include stanford or tenn ,the rest of d1, what conf your in means very little, top teams from any conf can beat another. I’ll take my shot with marist over just about any big east or aac team. marist would beat 1/2 if the acc by 30 pts, and give duke a very good game.

  11. s21 says

    Fat Mike,

    No one is trying to straighten you out. We are just saying that there are very good talent in the prep school league and not all are reclassified. They just don’t get the press that the CIAC girls get. And, many of these girls play with some of the best AAU programs in the area. Not all the prep schools recruit. most of the day schools don’t have the ability to recruit out of state. I welcome you to come watch some of the games next year. For example, Kingswood OXford started 3 freshmen and most time they have 4 freshmen and a sophomore- they came very close to a playoff berth and if they had better coaching they could have reach further. Unfortunately, the Courant, the Register and all these periodicals don’t give them any press and many of these girls are local and are from within the State

    • Commenter says

      I think Henry did a very good job with the preps this year, but I agree the coverage is lacking. There’s just not as much interest. No alumni, no rivalries, very few local girls, lots of transfers, older players. We’ve known many of the HS girls since they were little girls. Most of the preps are strangers. The games are just not as fun to watch as the HS games. The quality is there – Loomis vs Exeter is just as good as Mercy-Lauralton Hall. But who wants to drive to New Hampshire to watch a game? It’s just not that compelling.

  12. Fat Mike says

    Well, I am a step further away from appreciating the prep school talent. It’s not my style to put down kids. I’m not going to start here.
    Commenter, thanks for the info on those kids mentioned. 19 year old players? So, these prep school scholars could potentially be 25 year old seniors in college one day? They will probably red shirt one year, it’s not out of the question.
    I will take the home grown CIAC talent.

    • unbias says

      Big Mike your mad for no reason. Just to let you know this years Gatorade Player of the Yr is 17 and in the right grade

  13. Fat Mike says

    Good discussion. Prep fans want some exposure for their kids. Sounds like they have already had it in another location.

  14. ciacfan says

    Hamden Hall played in a preseason scrimmage with Cromwell and Farmington. All three teams looked pretty evenly matched though I think Farmington handled HH pretty easily.

    Of course these are scrimmages in December so it doesn’t mean much, But judging by eye test HH no more than a slight step behind, if not on par with two of the better CIAC teams.

  15. roger says

    Not sure the girls prep schools are as good as the boys in terms of “prepping for the next level” although I don’t really know. The boys programs are great.

    • observer says

      Agreed great players from top prep schools, especially Loomis. Hannah Friend did not re-classify. From Albany a section 2 class A all star both as a freshman and soph. will play AAU with a Nike sponsored team and has received several full offer scholarships. 21.3 ppg.
      I don’t think girls mentioned above have all re-classified, some great talent in these prep schools.

  16. not an expert says

    Dear Mr. Commenter and Mr. Mike (sorry no first name I have a weight problem myself)
    Just happened upon your blog and appreciate the enthusiasm you all have for girls high school basketball ! I don’t declare myself an expert but I do know that Ms Provo at Kent School is not 19 years old. In fact she has been at Kent school for 4 years and during her summers plays FIBA 18 and under for the Canadian National Team. I’m sure your newspapers have made the right choice for your player of the year in your state. But if you choose to bring the prep school players into the conversation (and you should) please have your facts straight , it’s not that difficult . It’s wonderful how far woman’s athletics have come in the last 30 years. They all deserve the recognition and our admiration !

  17. Bill T. says

    Mr. Henry Chisholm,
    You seemed to have brought a long dormant issue to the surface with your prep school article this past January . Seems like there is an interest in this under publicized group of excellent student athletes ! An all-Connecticut team of prepschool all-star team would look something like this : Rachel Aho – Marianapolis Prep Juliette Lawless – Pomfret School
    Daneesha Provo – Kent School
    Erika Steeves – Hotchess School
    Micaela Montini – Choate
    Stephanie Jones – Loomis
    Maxine Offiaeli – Loomis
    Hannah Friend – Taft
    Rachel Plotke – Hamden Hall

    Would be a great game against CIAC’S best. Pick your team and pull out your laptop and let the “Fantasy Game begin”

    • hchoops fan says

      one thing to keep in mind some of these prep school kids are a year or two years older than ciac kids. I would put my money on the ciac. Montini for example was just an above average player for sha. one could put out a ciac team that is all d1 caliber kids, atkinson gillespie, vellieux, gartner, fitzpatrick, the girl from tolland going to bu?, elmore, the weaver guards, meyer,thats one hell of a team!

      • Fat Mike says

        You don’t have to go statewide to put together a team. You could take an all star team (or 2) from each CIAC conference and beat them.
        What are these CIAC kids going to look like at 19? The majority of the prep kids are post grads and even then they aren’t comparable! Am I missing something?

        • prepschoolfan says

          The majority of girls playing basketball at prep schools are not post grads. Most prep schools in CT don’t even accept post grads. On Bill T’s prep all star list, there are at most two post grads. The bottom line is that the top prep school players have outstanding talent and so do the top CIAC players. Is it really necessary to argue which girl is better?

          • Fat Mike says

            I’m sorry if I offended you or anyone else. I think Commenter presented the best viewpoint in that these prep kids are strangers to most. If they aren’t Connecticut natives, why would I consider them state players?

          • prepschoolfan says

            Mike: Most of the girls on Bill T’s list are Connecticut girls. (I know for sure that Montini, Jones,Offiaeli, Plotke and Friend are) Remember many prep schools in Ct are day schools like Hamden Hall, Hopkins, Kingswood Oxford, St. Lukes etc., so all the kids are relatively local.
            The difference is that at a CIAC school most of the kids are from the same city or town and the schools are so much bigger, so there is more of a fan base. Also the teams in the CIAC conferences are geographically tight so it’s easier for rivalries to develop and for fans of each school to come to the games. It would be a lot harder for Henry to follow the Fairchester League or Founders league if only one or two of the teams are even in the New Haven Area whereas every SCC team is within the Register reporting area and there are thousands more that are eagerly following the teams. I think this is why they are not followed by the Register as closely, not because the quality of players and level competition is less.
            I also agree that if a kid is going to a CT. prep boarding school and is from California, is it really fair to honor his or her athletic performance in the same way a comparable native Ct student athlete? I don’t think so. It’s really an issue in prep school boys hockey at the larger boarding schools. Most of the them are older and many if not most are from outside CT. That is why they are not eligible for post season honors from the Register or other Ct. newspapers.
            But you really can’t assume that an outstanding athlete from a Ct prep school is necessarily older and from out of state. I hope this clarifies some issues.
            Lastly I wanted to say that Henry does do an excellent job trying to follow and give prep schools some press.

  18. OutFoxed says

    Speaking of Marist their message board mentions Fitzpatrick on their wish list, anyone know who else is interested in her? Would love to see her as a Red Fox

  19. someone who knows says

    to hchoops fan,
    Poor example by utilizing Micaela Montini as above average player to justify your position on prep school talent. Montini is an exceptional athlete who accepted her role on SHA for the betterment of the team. She scored , rebounded, defended the opposing teams best perimeter players. She is the consummate team player ! Don’t forget that SHA had the ball in the Hands of Shyla Osmond , an other great shooter in Lex Iannone as well as Natalie Bastien, all college level players. SHA was in the unenviable position of having to play Mercy and Career 6 times last season. It does not surprise me one bit that a top flight prep school like Choate would accept a student athlete of her caliber, hand her the ball and ask her to lead their team. Judging by the results someone at Choate knew what they were doing. Also, just a note, she graduated with honors from SHA as a 17 year old. Maybe that’s what prepschool is all about ! P.S. this is a great blog !

    • hchoops fan says

      someone: I mentioned montini because bill t brought her up as an example of a ct prep school kid who is playing at high level. Im sure shes a great kid, a very good student and will have a very bright future- all good things so dont get into a tizzy. Im just commenting purely on basketball skill which is what we are talking about. She is not an elite level kid. where is she playing in college next yr? I would be very suprised if she is playing D1. Not one of those kids you mentioned from sha are playing d1 , the fact of the matter is in a small state like ct, there are only 5-6 kids each yr that reach the d1 level. Same thing with plotke, great shooter, good student but she cant compare atkinson, although she may beat her in a game of horse

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