Name: Morgan Berardi
Berardi’s week: Berardi scored 40 points in two games – both victories – and reached the 1,000-point plateau with 18 during a 48-35 win over Charleroi last Friday.
She became the sixth player in Carmichaels girls basketball history to score 1,000 points, and she did so in typical Berardi style: on a three-point play.
“I like how she got it because she got it going to the hoop,” Carmichaels coach Jim Lane said. “It was nice, and I appreciate the referees and Charleroi for working with us on this. It was a special moment for everyone.”
‘It was pretty crazy’: Berardi had her parents, her grandparents, an aunt, a few cousins, her brother and some of his friends in the stands for the milestone game.
“I’m pretty sure they filled an entire section of bleachers,” Berardi joked.
A brief ceremony followed her driving layup, and Berardi celebrated by handing the ball to her grandfather, Hugo Berardi Sr.
Somehow, Morgan Berardi remained calm enough to knock down the free throw and complete the three-point play.
“My whole family was there,” Berardi said. “They took a million pictures, and everyone came to my house after. My mom went all out. It was pretty crazy.”
Without Anna: Berardi’s best friend and equal on the basketball court, Anna Cree, is out for the year with a knee injury – a sore spot for the Mikes, sure, but also for Berardi personally.
“It was definitely hard to adjust to not having Anna, but I knew she would continue to cheer us on,” said Berardi, who’s averaging 20.1 points, 7 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game this season. “We want to win the section and dedicate it to Anna.”
So far so good, anyway.
Despite losing Cree, who went down in the first quarter of a season-opening home loss to Belle Vernon, Carmichaels has rattled off six straight wins entering tonight’s Laurel Highlands Tournament opener against Frazier.
She does a lot: Berardi isn’t your typical pass-first point guard.
Although she does like to have the ball in her hands and initiate the Mikes’ offense, she isn’t afraid to drive the lane or rebound.
She’s been close to a triple-double several times, Lane said, and had 12 steals in a 61-33 win over Beth-Center last Monday, barely missing a quadruple double.
Berardi sits 10 assists shy of breaking the Carmichaels program record, with 439 entering tonight’s game.
“She’s definitely versatile,” Lane said.
Berardi, who was a Class A All-State selection as a shortstop for the Carmichaels softball team, remains undecided on her college choice. But she does want to go into nursing and work with small children or pregnant women.
Before that, though, Berardi will hope to become the first member of Carmichaels’ 1,000-point club to also win a section title, provided the Mikes can keep their strong start going.
“She revels in our team success,” Lane said of Berardi. “Everything she does comes within the confines of the team. She has always cared about team achievements first.”
- Compiled by Jason Mackey