PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The biggest shot of Friday’s Berkshire County Basketball Officials All-Star Games came long after the outcome of the girls contest was decided.
With time running down and her Don Gleason team sitting on 97 points, Monument Mountain junior Destiny Brown took a pass just outside the 3-point arc in transition and knocked down her sixth field goal of the game to make it a 100-65 win over the Pat Burke squad at the Boys & Girls Club.
Even though she knew how hard her team wanted to hit the century mark, Brown said the last basket of the game was taken in the same spirit the whole game was played.
“I was just playing for fun,” Brown said. “There wasn’t a lot of pressure.”
Brown finished with 14 points and two of her team’s 13 3-pointers.
Hoosac Valley’s Lexi Mercier hit six triples on her way to a game-high 24 points. Her Hurricanes teammate Alie Mendel scored 16, and Taconic’s Ashley Rufo added 12 in the win.
For Pat Burke, Drury’s Brooke DiGennaro and Pittsfield’s Bella Aitken led the way with 18 and 13, respectively.
In the boys game, Monument Mountain’s Graham Herrick scored 24, and Hoosac Valley’s Izaha Stubbs and Drury’s Reece Racette added 16 and 15, respectively, to lead the Mike Kinne squad to a 99-94 win over Richard Wright, which got 20 from Mount Greylock’s Sean McCormack and 16 from McCann Tech’s Logan Tower.
Although the girls game had the drama of Brown’s 3-pointer for a triple-digit score in the closing seconds, the boys game was the one that came down to the final couple of possessions to determine a winner.
After trailing by as many as 13 points in the first half, Richard Wright rallied to briefly take a one-point lead with 4 minutes, 38 seconds left to play.
Tower put back an offensive rebound at the five-minute mark to trim the Kinne squad’s lead to 83-82. And the next time down the floor, McCormack was fouled in transition and hit both shots to give his team an 84-83 lead.
Kinne answered with a 6-2 spurt.
First Stubbs drove from the right wing for a bucket. Then Mount Everett’s Cavan Brady put back an offensive rebound to make it 87-84. Tower responded with a two-pointer from the top of the key, and Kinne’s Herrick drove to the basket to re-establish a three-point margin.
But Mount Greylock’s Brady Foehl knocked down a 3-pointer to tie it with about three minutes on the clock.
Herrick’s teammate Noah Helmkey drilled a 3 with an assist from Stubbs to retake the lead. Then Racette chased down an offensive rebound at midcourt to keep a Kinne possession alive, and Stubbs finished it with a 3-pointer at the two-minute mark to make it a six-point game.
McCormack got two back in the post, but Brady scored in transition with 42 seconds left to make it 97-91. Lenox’s Connor Prince scored his team’s final points from beyond the arc. Brady put back an offensive rebound with 10 seconds left to get his team one point from the 100-point plateau.
But even after Wright missed a pair from the foul line with 7 seconds left, Kinne was unable to get off a shot before time expired.
Of course, even without either squad getting to 100, there was plenty of offense to go around, which is always the point of an all-star game … that and camaraderie.
“It’s a fun experience,” said Drury’s Racette, a junior making his second appearance in the game. “It’s different. You get here and you’re warming up against a bunch of guys that you play against, that you’re used to seeing on the other side of the court.
“You talk them a little bit, you get comfortable. The first couple of minutes, people are not playing loose. But as the game goes on, people just get looser and enjoy themselves.”
Mercier, Rufo and the Gleason squad came out loose in their contest to start the night.
Mercier had three 3-pointers, and Rufo scored five in a 21-4 run to open the game.
Burke answered with a 12-0 spurt of its own that started with a couple of baskets by DiGennaro, but Gleason quickly pushed its margin back to 10 when Taconic’s Tamia Patrick drove the left wing to give her team a 31-21 lead, and Gleason never looked back.
Mount Greylock’s John Jacobbe and Mount Everett’s Jowe Warren were the winning coaches. Drury’s Ian Downey and Pittsfield’s Brandon Mauer coached the Burke and Wright teams.
The night also featured the Berkshire County Basketball Officials IAABO Board 25’s season-ending awards. The county’s refs recognized four players for earning sportsmanship awards in their respective divisions.
In the Berkshire County South Division, it was Mount Greylock’s Lauren Howard and Mount Everett’s Brady. In the North, it was Pittsfield’s Bella Aitken and Taconic’s Javier Osorio, who was named to the all-star team but, like teammate Isaac Percy, unable to attend as they get ready for Saturday’s state championship game in Springfield.
The second annual game was a fund-raiser for the Berkshire County Officials’ Oswald Tower Scholarship, which on Friday was awarded to Mount Everett senior Sarah Beckwith.
“It’s an honor to represent my school in academics, playing basketball and community service,” Beckwith said after scoring eight points in the all-star game. “I do work very hard helping the team, work hard for my academics and I like community service. I join a lot of clubs at my school that do give back to our community.
“I’m the vice president of our National Honor Society, and we host a veterans dinner at the local American Legion in Sheffield. I help in the Saturday morning youth soccer league in the fall for kids K through 5th grade, stuff like that.”