By TOM WILLIAMS
In the second decade of the 21st century (2010-19) the Ocean City High School girls basketball program had its best decade ever.
The Raiders had eight 20-win seasons and a total of 230 victories in those 10 years. They won seven conference titles, three Cape-Atlantic League Tournament championships, five South Jersey crowns and the only state championship in the program’s history.
Paul Baruffi was the common denominator in those 10 seasons, along with a dedicated group of assistant coaches. But they also needed talented players.
The best of the bunch was Julia Duggan. She was the only 1,000-point scorer in the decade, finishing second all-time in career points with 1,651, and led the Raiders in scoring all four years. Only Diane Snow (1972-75) had done that before. Duggan also was a three-time CAL all star, set new career records for free throws and was the driving force on that state championship team. She is the Player of the Decade.
But she is joined by nine other key players.
Grace Sacco was a three-time all star at point guard who held the Raiders together for four seasons, including the program’s only 30-win season and finished 12th in career scoring. Danielle Donoghue, No. 16 on the scoring list, took over Sacco’s role in the final two years of her career and was selected twice as an first team all star. All star Olivia Briggs led the Raiders in scoring twice. And all star Alexis Paone, No. 14 in career scoring, led the team in scoring as a senior and was a force on defense,
On the decade’s second team are five more players selected as CAL first team all stars. Kelsey Boylan was an all star on the decade’s first team, Reilly Larkin was a versatile player who had many ways to score, Mickey Baker was an extraordinary athlete who never gave up on anything, Emma Finnegan was a fierce inside player who finished No. 18 in career scoring and Nicole Piergross is the program’s career leader in three-pointers who finished No. 15 in points.
A new decade began on Jan. 1, 2020 so performances since then are not taken into consideration for the 2nd Decade winter sports teams.
Julia Duggan joins Nancy White (1st Decade), Joi Johnson (1990s), Margaret Rowell (1980s) and Lisa Foglio (1970s) as OCHS Girls Basketball Players of the Decade.
Up next – the boys basketball all-decade team.
OCHS Girls Basketball in the 2nd Decade