Winthrop High School’s greatest basketball player is still, in a word – great.
Courtney Finn, the all-time leading scorer in WHS history, is a starting guard and a captain for the Bentley University women’s basketball team that is 14-0 and ranked second in Division 2 in the country.
Finn had her typical well-rounded performance in Bentley’s 63-49 victory over Pace University Saturday in Waltham. The 5-foot-9-inch senior had a team-high 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal. The girl who made the Winthrop Elks Hoop Shoot contest her personal dynasty hit nothing but net on her four free throws and is now 10-for-10 in her last two games.
Finn fits in perfectly on a terrific, fundamentally sound Bentley team that rotates the ball quickly on offense, plays unselfish team basketball, has a group of excellent long-range shooters, and goes after it with tenacity on defense.
Bentley coach Barbara Stevens said Finn has been “a very solid contributor” to the team’s success. “What she may not give in terms of offense, let’s say her offense isn’t clicking for a particular reason, she’s going to do a great job defensively, she’s going to rebound, and she’s going to do a lot of the little things that you need from players. She’s an unselfish player.”
Finn is most definitely getting it done at the offensive end. She is second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game. Her ability to hit consistently from downtown, drive the lane, and shoot and score with either hand makes her a difficult assignment for a defender.
Finn was elected a captain by her teammates, an honor that didn’t come as a surprise to Stevens who has known about the extraordinary basketball-playing talents of the daughter of Peter and Marie Finn and sister of Kristen Finn and Paul Finn, her twin, for a long time. “Courtney is an excellent leader. I personally recruited Courtney out of Winthrop. We really, really liked her when we saw her. I think we spotted her as a sophomore at a tournament in Westwood. We stayed on her and fortunately she’s here in our program.”
Teammates have come to love Finn’s toughness and clutch play.
“Courtney is the toughest kid I’ve ever played with,” said 6-foot junior forward Lauren Battista of Oliver Ames High School. “She’s not the biggest kid on the floor but her rebounding is awesome the way she can get to the rim. She’s so easy to play the game with because she makes my job so much easier. It’s great knowing that she’ll be on the boards and making big plays when it matters the most. It’s really enjoyable to have Courtney as a teammate.”
Finn remains as humble now as she was playing at Winthrop High and starring alongside her older sister Kristen, now a Bates College graduate, Meredith Soper (Bryant), Katerina Mallios (Babson) and Nicole Giaquinto (UMass/Lowell) on a 21-0 Viking team that was upset by Wilmington in overtime in the State Tournament.
“We’re off to a good start but there’s a lot of improvement we could be making,” said Finn following Saturday’s win over Pace. “We’re not peaking in our game so there’s a lot ahead of us.”
Is she pleased with her all-round game?
“No. It can definitely get better. Everyone on this team can get better in some way so there’s a lot of aspects to work toward.”
Finn said she works hard in practice to improve all aspects of her game. “I’m trying to get a little quicker and play better defense. And my ballhandling is something I’m trying to get better at as well as my all-around game. It’s a different game than high school.”
Though she is a senior, Finn has one year of eligibility remaining as a result of being sidelined her freshman year with a knee injury. She will graduate in May with a degree in Management but will return for another season while she pursues her Master’s of Business Administration at Bentley.
Finn likely could have scored at least 2,000 points at Winthrop had she wanted to pad her numbers. But she’s always been the consummate team player, a pattern of leadership by example and exceptional team-first performance that she’s continuing for a Bentley team that hopes to bring home the school’s first-ever national championship.
“When the shots are there – I’ll take them, but we have a lot of great players on this team so everyone chips in when they can,” said Finn.
Asked whether Bentley can win that elusive national championship this season, Finn replied, “Absolutely. We’re not there yet but we definitely have the potential to be there if we work hard and keep pushing toward that goal.”