All-Eagle girls basketball MVP Eileen Dooley runs Lee offense
LEE -- Mark Twain knew a thing or two.
Twain was the fellow who once wrote, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog."
He never met Lee guard Eileen Dooley, but it's a phrase that rings true for the 5-2 senior guard.
Dooley is The Eagle's girls basketball MVP. She edged out a host of other players, including her accomplished teammate, Stephanie Young.
Lee coach Gary Wellington did not disagree with the choice.
"If you want to attack my offense, if you want to attack my team, you have to start with Dooley," said Wellington. "She ran the offense, she scored, she rebounded, she played great defense. She was the key to our team."
Dooley was a three-year starter for the Wildcats, helping the team to a pair of Western Mass. crowns and a pair of appearances in the state title game.
She ended up with almost 900 points, plus 400 steals, 400 assists and 300 rebounds, including several double-figure board nights.
What business does a 5-2 guard have plucking rebounds away from bigger players?
"I don't know," laughed Wellington. "She was just tough."
Wellington said that over the past three years, he has seen considerable improvement from his senior point guard.
"But the most dramatic was her confidence level," he said. "She wasn't afraid to take control of the game."
"I played a lot as a freshman, so I wasn't really too nervous about starting my sophomore year," said Dooley. "Plus, my sister [Tara] was still on the team, and she helped me a lot."
The Wildcats lost the county's leading scorer, Young, to injury for several games this year. Wellington said Dooley understood that she had to pick up her offense.
"Yeah, I obviously had to score more without Steph," said Dooley. "I understood that."
But both Wellington and Dooley believe Dooley's major strength was her defense.
"She was outstanding," said Wellington. "She would focus on shutting her opponent down."
"Yeah, I liked playing defense," said Dooley. "It's something I took pride in."
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