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Sophomore Laura Petrafesa was named the Most Valuable Player for North Haven girls’ basketball team this year and looks forward to leading the Indians as a captain next season. (Photo courtesy of Laura Petrafesa )
Shooting guard Laura Petrafesa led the Indians in multiple categories this winter, including scoring, as she averaged 11 points per game on the year. (Photo by Emily McColl/The Courier. | Buy This Photo)
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Laura Petrafesa put together a quality sophomore season on her way to being named the Most Valuable Player for the North Haven girls’ basketball team this winter. Laura has already earned a captain’s role for her junior year and looks forward to helping the Indians get back on a winning track.
Head Coach Ray Degnan was impressed with what Laura accomplished this year as she led the Indians in scoring, free-throw percentage, and 3-point percentage. Laura wrapped up the season averaging 11 points, four rebounds, three steals, and two assists per game. She finished third in the SCC by hitting 39 triples and was the first sophomore to be voted North Haven’s MVP in six years.
“It felt great to win MVP, but I wouldn’t have gotten the award without my teammates helping me,” says Laura. “From the bench to on the court, my teammates were always cheering me on and helping me gain confidence to be the player I am today. It really means a lot to me that I got to win the award.”
Laura grew up as a point guard, and now she plays the shooting-guard position. Laura uses the skills that she learned from running the point to make efficient, team-first decisions with the Indians.
“Being a point guard was helpful, because it makes my position now easier. It lets me incorporate my ball-handling skills into my game,” Laura says. “I have more options than to just shoot the ball. I can dribble and pass, and I like that, because I don’t want to be a selfish teammate. I want to help the team in any way I can.”
Laura displayed drastic improvement from her freshman year to her sophomore season, and she became much more of a factor for North Haven as a result. Coach Degnan says that Laura has a knack for finding the bottom of the basket, even when the opposition is out to stop her.
“Laura played large minutes last year, but was not asked to be the primary threat on offense. She worked hard in the offseason on and off the basketball court, and her efforts showed this season as Laura took a large step forward in her basketball career,” Degnan says. “Often the principal focus of the opposition’s defense, Laura still possesses the capacity to fill up the box score. Five 3-point shots and 22 second half points against Jonathan Law are a great example of her incredible ability.”
Laura believes that her tenacity is her greatest asset on the court. She also makes sure that her mind is always in the game.
“My biggest strength is my ability to give it everything I can on the court. In practice, I’m always pushing my teammates, so we can achieve success in games and…I want to focus on being positive with my teammates and creating new bonds with them,” she says. “If can keep myself in the game, I can help others and I can focus on being positive all of the time.”
Laura plans on using the power of positivity to everyone’s benefit when she takes the reins as a captain next season.
“It means a lot that I’m going to be a captain my junior year. I’m going to emphasize being positive and supporting, because I’ve had trouble with my confidence through the season, and my captain would pick me up,” says Laura. “So I want to be there for others and emphasize teamwork.”
As she approaches the second half of her high-school basketball career, Laura isn’t focused on her individual success. Even though she already has an MVP Award under her belt, Laura is more concerned with contributing to a big-time turnaround in North Haven.
“My goal for my high-school career is to flip the reputation of North Haven basketball around, and I think I can accomplish that by being a tough competitor,” says Laura. “I think we saw some of that this past season, like how our record is changing and how we’re becoming more confident in ourselves. We have a lot of young players on this team, but I really think we have a lot of potential to be a very competitive team in the years to come.”
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