Following the loss of three starters and an injury to another, defending Class AA champion Wyoming East had some holes to fill on its roster coming into the season.
Amongst the vacancies was a role for a leading guard who could create her own offense while also keeping up the intensity on the defensive side of the ball the helped the Lady Warriors to a title last season.
Enter Maddie Clark.
The sixth man as a freshman last season, the sophomore guard has elevated her game to a new level. During the week of Jan. 10, Clark averaged 20.5 points per game, helping the Lady Warriors to a 2-0 record that week.
For her efforts, Clark has been named the Week 6 Lootpress Girls Basketball Player of the Week by the Lootpress sportswriters.
The award is sponsored by Bodyworks and The Law Offices off Brandon Steele.
It was an impressive week for Clark who has had to grow up fast for the Lady Warriors.
She scored 23 points against Bluefield to open the week after quarantines the week before led to a long layoff. Her most impressive came two days later however in a. rematch against previously unbeaten Logan.
Despite a 15-point loss against the Lady Wildcats just two weeks prior, Clark scored 18 points to hand Logan its first loss and deliver the Lady Warriors a signature win.
“I really took the energy from my teammates,” Clark said. “I felt like it was really good with them and the crowd helped us a lot. We moved the ball around a lot too and that helped.”
After the first 16 minutes of the Logan game it didn’t appear to be Clark’s night. The sophomore was just 1 of 7 from the line but the performance of her teammates helped them hold a lead at the intermission.
Out of the break she shined, converting on 7 of her 9 free throw attempts in the second half. Her biggest play came in the winning seconds of there game. With East up 3 points, she caught the inbounds pass and bolted for the basket, converting on the layup as she was fouled.
“At halftime I really thought about it,” Clark said of her rough showing from the line. “We went into the game and wanted to come out with the win. I needed to help my team anyway I could.”
For East head coach Angie Boninsegna, there was little doubt Clark would rebound. It’s a part of her personality.
“I think her positive personality came through,” Wyoming East coach Angie Boninsegna said. “Her first half against Logan she was off. But she believed in herself and capitalized. She’s a positive person and stayed positive and that has an impact on her teammates. It’s very infectious.
“She’s worked really hard and we put a lot on her earlier in the year. She didn’t play like a freshman last year and was really pivotal in our state tournament run. She’s helped our offense a lot and has kept up her intensity on defense as we’ve worked through some injuries and sickness and she’s helped us a lot.”