An Intense Court House: Busy Weekend For Fabbris And Saccas

Carly, of course, learned much more than dispensing liquids.

"At halftime, after the game, hearing what my mom had to say, and the girls' reactions, it taught me a lot about how to play the game," she said. "It also has helped me with keeping a positive attitude in all situations."

"I think growing up in the culture has helped all three of my kids exponentially," Fabbri said.

They've learned how to handle themselves while meeting recruits and their families. They went out to dinner in those circumstances and, at a young age, learned how to act in social settings. With Carly and her brothers around, Tricia was allowed to balance her family life. For Carly, it was a great benefit to understand both the X's and O's of basketball and the X's and O's of emotion.

"She has seen the locker room after heartbreaking losses and after great victories," Tricia said. "She has been in there when I got after the kids and there in total jubilation. I think it helped her in learning about team sports, how not to get too high or too low and how to be humble. I think that has helped mold her."

Carly has proof. At the start of her freshman season, she tore the ACL in one leg. As a sophomore in the SWC playoffs, she tore the ACL in her other leg. Surgery was required on both, and that meant nine months of recovery.

"Brianna Rooney, who played for Mom [the Guilford native was NEC defensive player of the year] went through the same thing I did," Carly said. "She's my role model. I look up to her. She came back even stronger. That's an advantage of having my mom as coach. I was able to see that, communicate with Brianna during what I went through. We have an awesome relationship.

"Those injuries only made me tougher and appreciate how much I love this game."

Tricia, who had 1,622 points and 1,037 rebounds at Fairfield and was selected to the 25th anniversary All-MAAC team, said her game had nothing in common with her daughter's. A tough 5-11, she said she was never allowed to face the basket. Carly gets others in the mix and is a three-point specialist.

"The one thing we have in common on the court is our competitive spirit," Tricia said.

And that showed when she talked about Lauralton Hall's only loss of the season — 66-47 on Dec. 28 to, yes, Mercy.

"It fueled our fire for the rest of the season," Carly said. "That loss didn't sit well with us. We're looking for bit of revenge. We learned a lot about our team how to come together after that loss."

With a deep, experienced team, meanwhile, her mother has been able to make mass substitutions to sustain defensive pressure and offensive pace. Among their victories, the Bobcats beat St. John's. Quinnipiac, 29-2, even got a vote for the first time in The Associated Press poll this week.

"I played against Kerry Bascom," Tricia said. "I saw how the UConn program took off and made the sport relevant to everybody. I've also seen how Hartford and Marist are consistently winning championships. That's where we want to be, that mid-major that's always relevant."

With that, Tricia Fabbri took off her coach's hat and put on her family hat.

"All these things going on this weekend, history is repeating itself for me," she said. "And that's a really good thing."

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