Crusaders finish run to the Sun

Lauralton Hall is going to the Class LL basketball championship game.

Coach Amanda Forcucci’s second-seeded Crusaders defeated the third-seeded Eagles from Trumbull High, 44-36, in the semifinals before a packed house at Fairfield Ludlowe on Monday night.

“Since the Monday before Thanksgiving these girls have been working for this,” Forcucci said of her 21-1 cagers earning a berth opposite top-seeded Mercy High of Middletown (22-1) to play for the title either Friday or Saturday at the Mohegun Sun Arena. “I’m so happy for them, elated to to see what happens when you put all that (work) together.”

Michelle DeSantis scored 12 points, including four straight free throws down the stretch as the Crusaders held off the 20-3 Eagles.

Emma McCarthy scored seven of her nine points in the second quarter, when Lauralton overcame a 10-9 deficit and took a 23-16 lead into the half on Maggie Salandra’s clutch 3-pointer off a pass from Carly Fabbri.

Trumbull rallied late in the third period to get close before DeSantis made a buzzer-beating bucket to help the Crusaders to a 35-29 lead after three quarters.

Trumbull’s Alexa Pfohl scored seven of her 10 points in the final stanza when the Eagles twice drew within three points, and trailed only 40-36 with two minutes remaining.

That’s when DeSantis made her four free throws.

See the next edition of the Mirror for complete details on the Crusaders run to the Sun.