PITTSFIELD -- The county's first female 1,000-point scorer in high school basketball heads up a talented group of inductees who will be inducted into the Berkshire County Girls Basketball Hall of Fame on the weekend of Jan. 18-19 as part of the annual Coaches vs. Cancer series to be played at Taconic High School.
Former Hoosac Valley standout Paula Hayden, who graduated from the school in 1977, was the county's first female 1,000-point scorer. She ended up with 1,186 in her career.
Hayden later played at Louisiana State University. She is presently the head coach of the girls' basketball team at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati. She is the all-time leader in wins at Sycamore for girls' basketball, having coached there for 21 years. Hayden amassed a record of 286-135 and was recently inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame.
Hayden heads up an impressive list of 15 players, two coaches and one contributor who will in inducted in the inaugural class in January.
The other player inductees include:
n Samantha Herrick of Lenox, the county's all-time leading scorer with 2,055 points;
n Lisa Boenitz of Lenox, a two-time Western Mass. Player of the Year award winner;
n Drury's Mary Gaudreau, who led the Blue Devils to the 1978 state title;
n Anna Kinne, another double winner of the Player of the Year;
n Lee's Kelly McManmon, who also starred at St. John's University;
n Erin Ladley of Pittsfield High School, who played at the University of Pennsylvania and also in the European Pro League;
n Taconic's Hollie Steinman, who was also a USA Today All-American at American University;
n Megan Ladley, another Western Mass. Player of the Year while at PHS;
n Monument's Ann Whalen, who scored 1,798 points in her career;
n Wahconah's Meghan Vaughn, who later played at Boston College;
n Wahconah's Mary Langendorf, who scored 1,100 points for the Warriors;
n Stephanie Ladley of PHS, who scored 1,167 points for the Generals;
n Taconic's Mickie Turner, who led the Braves to four consecutive Western Mass. finals and scored 1,386 points;
n and city basketball pioneer Nina Kazura, who played for several semi-pro teams in the 1940s.
The coaches named to the first class of the Hoop Hall are the late Bob O'Neil of Pittsfield and Taconic, a two-time Western Massachusetts coach of the year; and the late Robert "Boog" Powell, who was a longtime girls basketball and soccer coach and athletic director at Wahconah Regional High School.
Contributor Wray Gunn, one of the longest-serving officials in county history, will be inducted as a contributor.
The induction banquet will be at the ITAM Lodge in Pittsfield on Friday, Jan 18. The event will be open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. Admission is $15 per person or $140 for a table of 10.
The next day, the inductees will be presented between the games of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The induction ceremony is expected to happen at about 5:30 p.m.
The games will feature the county's high school girls' teams and run from 10:30 a.m. until about 10 at night.
Proceeds from the weekend will go toward breast cancer awareness and research. Last year, the games raised about $10,000.
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On Twitter: @derekgentile.