Lauralton Hall coach Amanda Forcucci gave her team last weekend off to rest and celebrate after its 52-43 victory over Mercy in the Class LL semifinals. This upcoming weekend, the Crusaders hope to celebrate winning a state championship.
The second seeded Crusaders meet fourth-seeded South Windsor in the final Saturday at 6:15 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Crusaders lost to Mercy at the buzzer in last season’s Class LL final. Forcucci said her team could be feeling some butterflies prior to the game Saturday, but she’s not worried about it.
“To be a little nervous, I think Carly Fabbri said it, that just means you’re ready,” the coach said.
And Fabbri also said her team is not thinking about last season’s heart-wrenching loss. Fabbri scored 21 points and nailed five 3-pointers in the semifinal win and said Lauralton Hall is focused on playing one more
“We’re not thinking about losing,” Fabbri said. “We got here, but our job isn’t done yet.”
The task won’t be easy however. South Windsor made it to the Central Connecticut Conference semifinal before falling to Weaver, which is in the Class L final. South Windsor, much like Lauralton Hall, spent most of the season in the GametimeCT top 10 poll, finishing the year as the No. 10 team.
“They are very aggressive they hustle their butts off,” Forcucci said. “We just have to be ready. I don’t think people should overlook them just because they’re not Mercy. They’re still a very good and well coached team.”
South Windsor has won three out of four state tournament games by double digits. The closest game the Bobcats played in the state tournament was a nine-point victory over Amity in the quarterfinals.
Forcucci said the Crusaders don’t know too much about the Bobcats, but her team has been working hard to get ready for the game. And playing on the bigger court at Mohegan Sun last year could also help the Crusaders.
“Our experience is going to play to our advantage,” Fabbri said. “We feed off the big crowds, we’re excited.”
Lauralton Hall has dealt with big crowds and big games this season. The Crusaders ran through the South-West Conference, going 19-1 in the regular season. Lauralton Hall went on to capture the SWC championship in a grind-it-out victory over Kolbe Cathedral.
The Crusaders have kept the momentum going in the state tournament running off three straight wins, two out of the three were by double digits. The Mercy nine-point win was the closest game. Heading into the final, Lauralton Hall is confident, according to Emma McCarthy.
“We’ve been focusing on our offense,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never been one to pick a team apart, if we play our game, we should succeed.”
Which jerseys are better?
Total Response: 308 Votes