Top 10 Girls Basketball Players of 2012-13

By Ryan HolmesPrint Story | Email Story

Lee senior guard Eileen Dooley was named All-Berkshire MVP and made the iBerkshires' top 10 list.

Last week, the sports department at iBerkshires released its list of the Top 10 boys basketball players in Berkshire County for the 2012-13 season. While it was nice to give the boys some credit, we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the outstanding efforts and achievements of the girls this year.

Last week, the Berkshire County girls' basketball coaches held their annual meeting and picked their All-Berkshire Team. I'm not one to argue with the coaches' selections, so I've included the eight team members plus two more players that I chose to make it an even 10.

Here are my top 10 selections, plus five more players at the end of the list that I felt deserved to be recognized as well.

Eileen Dooley, senior guard, Lee (All-Berkshire MVP)

The Wildcats' point guard was a steady presence for her team all seasonlong. A three-year starter for Lee, Dooley was the team's second leading scorer and the pivotal piece in her team's swarming full-court press. With Dooley running the show, the Wildcats went 9-1 in league play, won the North Division title, a Division 3 Western Mass. title and made it all the way to the state title game before losing to heavily favored Archbishop Williams.

Danielle Racette, senior guard, Drury (All-Berkshire Team)

The runner-up to Dooley in the MVP voting, Racette was the driving force to perhaps the most successful season ever in John Franzoni's tenure as head coach of the Blue Devils. With Racette running the point, Drury finished 17-4 overall, going 8-2 in league play and handing Lee its only county loss of the year. The Blue Devils also clinched its first-ever No. 1 seed in the Division 2 Western Mass. tournament and won 10 straight games before losing to rival Hoosac Valley in the sectional finals. Racette averaged 10.29 points per game and was an assist machine, dishing out a county-best 5.52 dimes per game.

Stephanie Young, senior forward, Lee (All-Berkshire Team)

After shaking off a mid-season shoulder injury, Young proved she was one of the most talented players in Western Mass. by putting the Wildcats on her back and leading Lee to an appearance in the Division 3 state title game. At 5-foot, 11-inches tall, Young looked like a forward or a center but had the ability to pull up from the outside and shoot like a guard. She was undoubtedly the county's toughest matchup on the defensive end and proved it with two clutch performances in two of her team's biggest games of the season. Young scored 27 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a sectional final victory over Sabis. She followed that up with a 30-point, 11-rebound effort in a state semifinal win over University Park.

Gabby Lavinio, senior guard, Wahconah (All-Berkshire Team)

Arguably one of the best pure shooters in Berkshire County, Lavinio played a major role in helping her team rally from a 3-6 start. With Lavinio leading the way, the Warriors won eight of their final 11 games to qualify for postseason play. She led her team in scoring (13.13 ppg), assists (2.1 apg) and 3-point shooting, knocking down 38 triples on the year. One of Lavinio's biggest highlights came in Wahconah's 51-46 win over Belchertown in the Division 2 WMass quarterfinals. In that game, the senior guard scored a game-high 23 points, making 10 of 11 shots from the free-throw line.

Senior guards Danielle Racette of Drury and Gabby Lavinio of Wahconah both lead their teams to winning finishes.

Courtney McLaughlin, senior guard, Pittsfield (All-Berkshire Team)

Probably the toughest player to guard off the dribble in the county, McLaughlin was the key player in a successful season for the Generals. The Pittsfield shooting guard was one of the top scorers in the Berkshires, leading her team with a 15.64 points per game average. She also led the Generals in both assists (2.23 apg) and 3-pointers, knocking down 36 treys on the year. McLaughlin had a performance to remember in Pittsfield's triple-overtime win over Agawam in the first round of the Division 1 WMass. tournament. In that game, she knocked down seven shots from downtown on her way to a career-high 35 points. Next year, local fans will able to watch McLaughlin play for Holly McGovern's MCLA women's team.

Shannon Garvey, senior forward, Drury (All-Berkshire Team)

Without question, Garvey was one of the most improved players in Berkshire County this year. The senior forward found her shooting touch from the outside and made it hard for opposing defenses to contain the Drury offense. Garvey led the Blue Devils in scoring with nearly 12 points per game and was second on the team in rebounding at 6.19 boards per contest. She proved to be a clutch shooter late in games and had her breakout performance of the season in a blowout win over Pittsfield toward the end of the year. In that game, Garvey put in 10 shots for a career-high 27 points to go along with 14 rebounds.

Hayden Zinchuk, senior forward, Lenox (All-Berkshire Team)

The leading scorer on a Millionaires' squad that made its second straight trip to the Division 3 WMass semifinals, Zinchuk proved herself to be quite the versatile player for Lenox this year. With Zinchuk leading the way, Lenox finished 14-9 and put a scare into top-seeded Sabis before falling 45-41 in the sectional semifinals. Zinchuk scored a season-high 23 points twice this year, picking up key wins over Wahconah and Mount Greylock on both occasions.

Jenn Gale, junior guard, Hoosac Valley (All-Berkshire Team)

There seems to be a direct correlation between Gale's improvement and the rising success of the Hoosac Valley girls' basketball team. Gale's increased her level of play in her junior year, and the Hurricanes went along with her all the way to a Division 2 Western Mass. championship. Always known as a great shooter, Gale became a much more consistent player on both ends of the court this year, finishing second on the team in scoring (9.48 ppg), third in rebounding (4.52 rpg) and first in 3-point shooting, leading the county with 41 triples on the year. Her best game of the year came in a double-overtime win over second-seeded Hampshire in the WMass. quarterfinals in which she scored a season-high 22 points and went a perfect 10 for 10 from the foul line down the stretch. Gale also added a game-high 16 points, including a 9-for-11 showing from the free-throw line, in the WMass. championship win over rival Drury.

Emily Rosse, sophomore center, Hoosac Valley (All-South Team)

A great complement to Gale's outside shooting, Rosse did the dirty work inside for Hoosac this year. After a breaking through with an outstanding freshman season, Rosse seemed to start off a little bit slow in her sophomore year. The Hurricanes' center found her rhythm late in the season, however, helping Ron Wojcik's club win eight straight games on its way to a sectional title. Rosse led the team in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 11.52 points per game and 7.48 boards per contest. Rosse scored a season-high 26 points with 11 rebounds in the final regular season game against Lenox, clinching a perfect 8-0 record and a South Division title for Hoosac. She then went on to average 12.4 points per and seven rebounds per contest in five playoff games.

Nyanna Slaughter, junior center, Taconic (All-North Team)

It was a tough season for the Braves, but head coach Matt Mickle certainly has some tools work with next year. One of those weapons is junior center Nyanna Slaughter, who established herself as one of the best low-post players in the county this year. Slaughter had six double-doubles on the year, averaging 9.75 points per game and 9.25 rebounds per contest. Slaughter will have to work her way back from a late-season knee injury but, if everything goes according to plan, she should once again be one of the best inside players in the county next year.

Honorable mention:

Ali Tatro, senior forward, Drury (All-North Team)
Liz Mitts, junior center, Lenox (All-South Team)
Megan Rodowicz, junior forward, Hoosac Valley (All-South Team)
Shannon Lussier, senior center, Wahconah
Lucy Barrett, sophomore guard, Mount Greylock (All-South Team)

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