Thursday, Oct. 08
A Hall of Fame honor is based on a career's worth of work. Anna Kinne's resume is worthy of induction into the high school division of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. Her entry ticket could have been punched, however, by one stellar night.

Kinne, the former Monument Mountain standout, is one of 27 women who are being inducted into the Hall's high school division. The induction ceremonies will take place on Friday, Oct. 9, at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. More than 1,000 are expected to be on hand for the festivities.

"I'm really excited," said Kinne. "Just to be with the people being inducted is awesome."

The Holy Cross graduate was a two-time most valuable player on the All-Berkshire (predecessor to the All-Eagle) team, finished with more than 1,700 points and led her team to a Western Massachusetts Division II title in 1996 -- falling to Masconomet Regional in the state final. It was a Friday night in March, 1996 that cemented Kinne's basketball history in Berkshire County in a game Hall of Fame worthy.

Kinne's Spartans played Wahconah Regional in a Western Mass. semifinal game on Friday, March 8, at the Pittsfield Boys' and Girls' Club. The Club usually didn't house tournament semifinals, but extensive snow that week forced a delay in the tournament.

There have been a ton of great high school basketball games played on Melville Street, but the 72-71, double overtime win by the Spartans had to rank up there with the best of them.

"It was a great overtime game," Kinne recalled. "People still talk about it. That was unbelievable -- it was back and forth."

Anna Kinne's resume, both from her high school and college years, is certainly Hall of Fame-worthy. She was the Patriot League player of the year in 2000 for Holy Cross and the conference tournament player of the year in 2001. Kinne was a member of the 1990-2000 All-Decade team and is 10th on the Crusaders' scoring list with 1,234 points.

As a Spartan, playing for her uncle Tom Kinne, Anna finished with 1,773 points and is sixth all-time in Berkshire County girls' basketball scoring.

In her senior year, Anna averaged 23.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. She had five 30-point games, including 39 in a 73-62 win over Taconic that broke Sue Forfa's career scoring record at Monument.

Anna Kinne was only the fourth girl to repeat as All-Berkshire MVP, joining Sam Herrick and Lisa Boenitz of Lenox, Paula Hayden of Hoosac and Stephanie Ladley of Pittsfield on the list.

Kinne was also a two-time winner of the Vi Goodnow Award, given to the top girls' basketball player in Western Massachusetts. Kinne shared the award with Addie Stiles of Northhampton in 1995, and won it herself in 1996. Kinne was the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Assocation state player of the year and was USA Today's player of the year in the state.

And she didn't do it in a vacuum either. All six members of the All-Berkshire team in her senior year -- Erin Ladley of Pittsfield, Maureen Michaels of Taconic, Nicky Vallieres of Hoosac Valley, Elise McQuade of Lenox and Becca Jones of Monument -- all went on to play Division I basketball for at least part of their college careers. That's something Berkshire County may never see again.

"Her greatest strength was that she made her teammates better," Tom Kinne said of the new Hall of Famer. But her coach added one caviat.

"She knew when it was time to take a game over," he continued. "[At the end], everyone in the gym knew the ball was going to go to her and she got the job done."

The job got done on that Friday night.

In a game that went back and forth, Wahconah held a three-point lead with time running down in the first overtime but Kinne took a pass from Mia Carlotto and drained a trey at the buzzer.

"That's Anna," Wendy Allegrone said after that game. "I could just see it. If I was up in the stands, I would have called it."

But Kinne wasn't done in that game. She hit two free throws with seven seconds left in the second overtime, putting the Spartans up 72-71.

Seven seconds can be an eternity, especially when the teams are evenly matched and talented. These seven seconds were no exception.

Wendy Allegrone, a childhood friend, had the basketball for Wahconah and seemed poised to take the last shot, when Kinne stripped her of the ball with :02 left on the scoreboard clock. That was good enough to send the Spartans to the title game.

"I do remember the final play," Tom Kinne said. "[Assistant coach] Mike Zanin said we had to switch. We made a defensive switch after the time out. Anna wasn't guarding [Allegrone]. Mike talked me into it and Anna guarded her good friend."

"To think, we stayed friends all these years," Anna said. "Through the wonders of Facebook, I'm now friends with Stacy Allegrone [Wendy's sister]."

Kinne is excited for more than her induction. Bill Lahart, whose sister Kathleen is married to Anna's brother Kevin, is going in as a prep school player from his time at Suffield Academy. Ann McInerney is entering as a Massachusetts high school player, and when Kinne was at Holy Cross, worked as another assistant.