When Mercy senior forward Maura Fitzpatrick reflects back on her four-year career with the Tigers, she said she thinks about the tough times and the good ones, highlighted by the 2013 Class LL state championship.
She’s got another way to remember her time as a Tiger, as she was named 2014-15 GameTimeCT / Register All-Area Most Valuable Player.
“This means a lot,” she said. “I think there are so many good players in the area.”
However, none were better than Fitzpatrick, who led her team to its second straight Southern Connecticut Conference crown while posting 16.5 points per game, 7.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals per game. She finished her career with 1,216 career points.
However nothing means more than the 2013 state championship. Maria Weselyj, then a senior and now a sophomore at Southern Connecticut State University, nailed the game-winning triple as time expired on a perfectly executed play, reminiscent of the one Valparaiso used to sink Ole Miss in the 1998 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.
At least the play seemed to have been executed flawlessly.
“Cassie (Santoro) was supposed to set the screen for me and I was going to catch it and shoot early,” she said.
Fitzpatrick didn’t really care who took the last shot. When she saw Weselyj’s shot go through the net, she was ready to celebrate.
“It was unreal,” she said. “Just screaming and jumping.”
She may not have made the game-winner in 2013, but coach Tim Kohs said she almost did the year before, in the 2012 Class LL final.
“She put us ahead,” he said. “We had the ball with 12 seconds left and we posted her up and she made a basket to give us the lead.”
Unfortunately, Newtown scored on its next possession and Mercy lost. Fitzpatrick was just a freshman in 2012, but impressed Kohs from the start.
“She was a senior when she was a freshman,” he said.
He said during fall conditioning, she was the hardest worker. He said it is a very informal setting. Some of the team’s players don’t attend due to playing fall sports. To Fitzpatrick it wasn’t just fall conditioning, she wanted to compete.
“I knew I had a special kid,” Kohs said.
That special kid played in the post her freshman and sophomore seasons, then learned how to play out on the perimeter to better her chances of playing Division I college basketball. In her junior season, her first playing away from the basket, she averaged 16.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and two steals per game.
In her senior season, hoping to bring another title to Mercy, the Tigers fell short. Mercy lost in the state semifinals 55-54 to Wilton. It didn’t sit well with Fitzpatrick.
“I think I was upset for like three or four days,” she said. “It stinks, ending my basketball career by one point. But then I realized I’m starting my college basketball career.”
She’ll be attending and playing basketball at Marist. Kohs said she’s put the work in to get to this point.
“She transformed herself from a combination post player to a very good perimeter player,” the coach said.
And even though it may have taken her about the length of a work week to forget about the Wilton loss, she’s got a lot to smile about when she reflects on the last four years at Mercy.
“This was the best experience I’ve ever had,” Fitzpatrick said.
More New Haven Register All-Star Teams
- All-Area Boys Track :: Akiel Smith MVP
- All-Area Girls Track :: Danae Rivers MVP
- All-Area Wrestling :: Chidi Broderick MVP
- All-Area Gymnastics :: Abby McGuirk MVP
- All-Area Girls Basketball :: Maura Fitzpatrick MVP
- All-State Girls Basketball :: Kiah Gillespie MVP
- All-State Boys Basketball :: Mustapha Heron MVP
- All-Area Boys Basketball :: Tyreek Perkins MVP
- All-Area Hockey (coming soon)
- All-State Hockey (coming soon)
- All-Area Swimming (coming soon)