With another SWC title in hand, Lauralton’s eyeing elusive state crown

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Coach Amanda Forcucci, middle, and the Lauralton Hall basketball team are in search for the program's first state title. (Photo by H John Voorhees III)

Coach Amanda Forcucci, middle, and the Lauralton Hall basketball team are in search for the program’s first state title. (Photo by H John Voorhees III)

Lauralton Hall left last year’s Class LL state final against Mercy with no championship and plenty of heartbreak.
The Crusaders led until the final second when Mercy’s Maria Weselyj swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer to down the SWC champions, 54-53.
Like last year, the Crusaders are entering the state tournament seeded second off a conference title, their third straight. They’re currently 22-1 — last year they finished 24-2 — and haven’t lost in two months. Their lone defeat this season came against Mercy, 48-38 on Dec. 28.
The Crusaders have won 20 straight since then, and they could meet the SCC power in the state semifinals. But for now, their focus is on their second-round opponent: the winner of Monday’s Fairfield Ludlowe-Ridgefield matchup.
“We’re all pretty fired up,” guard Carly Fabbri said, after scoring 21 points in Lauralton’s 45-36 win over Kolbe in Thursday’s SWC final.
The road through the LL playoffs won’t be easy. The pressure’s on, especially for a program that’s won everything but a state title. Lauralton’s lost its only two appearances in the final — last season and 1995 in Class L.
“We all have the same goal in mind,” Fabbri said. “It’s to be the No. 1 team in the state.”
Right now they’re No. 2, ranked a spot behind unbeaten Capital Prep. They could potentially stay No. 2 as well — Cap Prep’s a heavy favorite in Class L — but that might not matter if they’ve got a state title on hand.
The Crusaders have talked all season about redeeming themselves in the state tournament. Now, the road is truly beginning.
“We talked about it in the offseason being a goal of theirs,” coach Amanda Forcucci said. “It’s finally there.”

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