Berkshire County's best put on high-scoring showcase at IAABO All-Star Game
PITTSFIELD — Many of Berkshire County's best high school basketball players got one final moment in the spotlight Friday night, as the annual Berkshire County Basketball Officials All-Star Games were played at Taconic High School.
Since they kept score, there were winners. But ultimately the winner was the IAABO Board 25, as the games were a fund-raiser for the Oswald Tower Scholarship Fund.
Pittsfield's Seyvon Kouao was the 2019 recipient of the Oswald Tower Scholarship, named for the North Adams native who played and coached at Williams College, and was a member of the National Basketball Rules Committee for 50 years.
Kouao had four points and six rebounds for Team Churchill Cotton, in the boys All-Star Game. Team Mark Alford won the boys game 130-127.
"It was really fun," Kouao said. "Even though I may not have had the most points, it's always good to make those around you better.
"It was a good game, and we all had fun. That's what matters."
In the first game of the doubleheader, Team Lou Markham beat Team Jack Domurat 82-49.
Each game consisted of four, 10-minute quarters.
The teams were all named for former officials. Of the four, only Domurat was not on the bench with his team. He was in Texas.
Team Domurat had six players from the Berkshire County League. Two each from Drury, Mount Greylock and Taconic. Grace Towler was the seventh player, and the McCann Tech sophomore said it was great to play with and against a lot of players she doesn't see during the high school season.
"It was absolutely super-amazing, because some of these girls, I grew up with playing travel [league] and playing house sports," said Towler. "It meant a lot, because I love these girls. I play AAU with them. Now, I'm finally getting a chance to play with them, especially when I never get to see them during the regular season."
It was a rarity for Towler to play with, and against, so many Berkshire County players. It was also rare for Wahconah's Maria Gamberoni to be wearing the same black T-Shirt as her cousin Nicole, from Lenox.
"It was really fun," Maria Gamberoni said. "It wasn't like competitive. We've never been on the same team before, so it was fun. My team was really fun. We were just smiling the whole time."
The team in black shirts had plenty to smile about. Team Markham broke the game open with a 17-0 run that started with the first of five Lexi Garvey baskets. Pittsfield's Garvey, who finished with 28 points, had 10 in two minutes. She converted three nifty passes from Mount Everett's Gwendolyn Carpenter. More on that in a moment.
Team Domurat was hamstrung because Hoosac Valley players Riley Robinson, Alie Mendel and Lexi Mercier were not in the Taconic gym for the All-Star Game. They were with the rest of their team in Worcester, preparing for Saturday's state championship game.
But the young women in white still could not buy a basket. And being on the somewhat smaller size, most of the shots they missed on that 17-0 runs turned into one-and-done plays. Team Domurat went 0 for 9 in that run.
McCann coach Kathy Budaj thought her Domurat team might have been able to stem the tie when Taconic's J. Curry, who led her team with 20 points, hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter. Team Markham answered with another big run, this time 13-0, and it was 36-9.
On the other side, Berkshire County's new all-time scoring leader did not even attempt a shot in the first half as her team rolled out to a 36-19 halftime lead.
Carpenter had eight assists in the game, six in the first half, to go with eight points in the third quarter and five rebounds.
"I like to do that," Carpenter said of piling up assists. "If I could only do that, I would be happy. It was a lot of fun to get the ball to everyone, and everyone wanted to shoot and score."
Garvey, Wahconah's Abbie Steinman and Mount Everett's Madison Ullrich all had double-figure rebound totals. Garvey had a game-high 16 boards, while Ullrich had 11 and Steinman had 10.
Maddie Albert of Mount Greylock had 14 rebounds for Team Domurat, while DiGennaro added 12.
It would be absolutely fair to say that the Berkshire County boys' All-Stars brought their shooting touches to the Taconic gym. In 40 minutes, the two teams made 73 baskets, and made 37 shots from outside the 3-point arc.
"This was a lot of fun tonight," said Mount Greylock's Toby Foehl, who scored a game-high 33 points. "Not a lot of defense, but a lot of fun."
Foehl made 11 treys in the game, six in the first quarter. In fact, the Greylock junior was 6 for 6 from outside the arc in the opening 10 minutes, as Team Mark Alford built up an impressive 50-24 lead on Team Churchill Cotton after one quarter.
The biggest lead for Team Alford in the first half was 29 points, and it came with 8:25 left in the second quarter when Monument Mountain's Dion Brown scored on a reverse layup in traffic. Brown, who had 32 points, was set up by Drury's Reece Racette, who threaded the needle through the defense to get the ball to Brown. Racette scored 11 points and came close to a triple-double. The senior guard had 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Wahconah's Tom O'Connor, who had 21 points to lead Team Cotton, helped key a second-quarter comeback with 10 points as the 29-point lead was 73-57 at halftime.
Team Cotton chipped away at the lead in the third quarter, and when Pittsfield's Kymani Harley — who had 31 points to lead Team Cotton — hit a pull up jumper from about a foot behind the 3-point arc, Team Cotton led 108-104, and there was still 7:11 left to go.
Harley hit three straight treys, the third giving his team a 114-109 lead, Team Cotton's biggest of the game.
Team Alford responded with a 18-4 outburst, retaking the lead on a hoop by Drury's Scott McGuire (28 points), and the 10th of Foehl's 11 3-point shots. His 12th ended the run, giving his squad a 130-118 lead. Team Cotton could not catch up.
There were several dunks in the game and many more near dunks.
"That was the goal for tonight, to have fun and just chill out," said Lee's Ben Harding. "It's really nice to play with the best of the best, talk to them and laugh about the season. You get to kind of experience the whole Berkshire County experience in one game."
And for McCann's Jeremy Beany, being included was a treat. Beany, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, was excited to be part of this.
"It was very different" to play with the Berkshire County players, Beany said. "It was exciting to play against different players. I played with a lot of them from North Adams, and a few of them in Pittsfield through travel [teams]. It was great."
TEAM LOU MARKHAM (82)
Carpenter 3-0-8, Steinman 3-0-6, M. Gamberoni 3-0-8, Powell 6-3-15, Ullrich 2-2-6, Shade 0-0-0, Garvey 14-0-28, Horan 2-0-4, N. Gamberoni 1-0-3, Puleri 2-0-4. Totals 36-5-82.
TEAM JACK DOMURAT (49)
DiGennaro 4-0-8, Shook 1-1-3, Ross 1-0-2, Bramer 1-0-2, Towler 4-1-10, Albert 2-0-4, Curry 8-1-20. Totals 21-3-49.
Markham 23 13 25 21— 82
Domurat 6 13 12 18 — 49
3-point goals — LM 5 (Carpenter 2, M. Gamberoni 2, N. Gamberoni). JD 4 (Curry 3, Towler).
TEAM CHURCHILL COTTON (127)
S. Steinman 7-0-18, S. Kouau 2-0-4, Silk 1-0-2, Huban 3-0-8. Cracolici 4-0-8, Harley 14-0-31, Burris 6-0-15, Harding 5-0-10, O'Connor 10-0-21, J. Steinman 4-0-10. Totals 56-0-127.
TEAM MARK ALFORD (130)
Foehl 11-0-33, McGuire 12-0-28, Racette 5-0-11, Beany 7-0-16, Brown 15-0-32. Totals 54-0-130.
Cotton 14 33 35 35 — 127
Alford 50 23 28 23 — 130
3-point goals — CC 15 (S. Steinman 4, Harley 3, Burris 3, Huban 2, J. Steinman 2, O'Connor). MA 22 (Foehl 11, McGuire 4, Beany 2, Powell 2, Brown 2, Racette 1).
Howard Herman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.
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