It’s easy to keep coming up with good things to say about Mary Baskerville. How could you not?
She dominated in the Central Connecticut Conference, helped Enfield not only be a league contender, but also a state title contender and will next be playing in the Big East Conference.
But even Jay Gaucher, Baskerville’s head coach for the past four seasons at Enfield, had to think for a moment on one particular question: how often was the 6-foot-3 Baskerville single-covered this past season?
“Maybe seven games and out of those games, 25-50 percent of the time,” Gaucher said. “Mary is a really good passer. A lot of times when the double-team came, she would kick it to the open person. Once the girls make shots outside, teams couldn’t double as much.
“She was the best girl out there and the biggest girl. I always said to her, ‘If we were playing you, I’d defend you the same exact way. You have to understand that. That being said, how will you handle it.?’”
How did Baskerville handle it? She averaged 21.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 2.3 steals for Enfield – good enough to be the Register’s State Player of the Year.
“It was tough in the beginning. I had to learn to be strong and learn how to work the ball, get it back and get players off you,” Baskerville said. “I had to move around the post and go up and go over them. You have have to put it (the double-teams) in the back of your mind and say, ‘You can do this.’”
Baskerville makes her way onto the Register’s All-State team for the second straight season, along with the All-Central Connecticut Conference team. She made the USA Today’s All-USA Connecticut First Team. Baskerville helped the team win its second straight CCC title in as many years as Enfield has been in the league. The Eagles won the NCCC title in its final year in the league when Baskerville was a sophomore.
Baskerville’s best performance was a career-high 48 points in the CCC tournament semifinals against Berlin. She followed that up with 32 points in the final against Hall.
“Honestly, I don’t even remember (most of the points),” Baskerville said.
Said Gaucher: “Honestly, I had no idea how many points she had, I asked one of my assistants, ‘What does she have, 35?’ … She is a tremendous athlete who can run like a guard and she is tenacious, aggressive on the boards.”
Enfield knocked off Notre Dame-Fairfield and then top seed New London in the Class LL state tournament before falling in the state semifinals for the fourth straight year. Hall exacted revenge for its loss to Enfield in the CCC tournament final.
“That one was really hard. We had the lead, lost it, then went to overtime,” Baskerville said.
“We played them so many times, we knew what we had to do. We just didn’t get it done that day.”
It was almost a year ago when Baskerville verbally committed to play at Providence College. She chose the Friars over Penn State, Quinnipiac, Hartford and UMass. Quinnipiac was the only other school Baskerville said she made an official visit to.
Baskerville signed a National Letter of Intent in November. She leaves for Providence in July. She said she is looking to pursue a career in marine biology.
“I think she is far enough away, but close enough to home. She liked the idea of playing in the Big East. She sees an up-and-coming program where she can play right away,” Gaucher said.
Baskerville leaves a legacy, much more than the school-record 1,870 points she scored. She was a big part of a successful senior class. Now the program must move on without them.
“That’s a class you don’t replace,” Gaucher said. “They leave a great legacy. Now we continue to build on that legacy. The seniors set the bar high. Our returning girls want to maintain that and go further. They want to show they can play basketball.”