FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR, RUNNER-UP: Brogan Berry
Co-captain Brogan Berry may not have led the Harvard women’s basketball team in scoring, but she seemed to lead the team in nearly every time of need. Whether it was sealing an upset win at the free throw line, shutting down one of the Ivy League’s top scorers in a crucial conference match, or scoring a season-high 26 points to help the team pull out a historic tournament win, Berry seemed to do it all for the Crimson during the 2011-12 season.
“Senior year, it’s always in the back of your mind that you always have to go out and do whatever is possible to get the win,” Berry says.
Time and time again, she followed through on that desire. In a February matchup with Penn, Harvard entered the locker room at halftime in a battle. Quaker Alyssa Baron, the second-leading scorer in the conference, had scored 18 points in the first half. Crimson coach Kathy Delaney-Smith knew an adjustment had to be made. So she had Berry guard Baron.
In the second half, the prolific scorer was held scoreless. On the other end of the court, it was Berry’s turn to light up the competition, as she netted 18 points of her own in the second half on six-of-six shooting from the field and four-of-four shooting from the charity stripe. More impressively, the point guard was doing it all with a bandage covering her damaged wrist.
After coming up short in the race for the Ivy title once again, Berry and the team quickly refocused for a road WNIT bout with Hofstra.
Berry asserted herself in the game, sinking four three-pointers in the first eight minutes.
That early outburst wasn’t enough though, as the team had to rely on her again in the final minute.
Up three, Berry blocked a three-point attempt. It was her only rejection of the year, and it came at the biggest of times.
On the following possession, the co-captain nailed two free throws to put the game out of reach. The win was the first ever for an Ivy League team in the WNIT.
“Against Hofstra she couldn’t miss; that was the thing, she just couldn’t miss,” junior Miriam Rutzen says. “She could’ve taken every shot—it was just so exciting and so entertaining to play with that. She just played with the utmost confidence and positivity. It was a beautiful thing.”
—Staff writer Jacob D. H. Feldman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.