South Range’s Maddie Durkin reaches 1,000 points
By BROOKE MEENACHAN
Maddie Durkin has set many goals for herself in high school. One of those being to reach 1,000 career points for South Range (9-7, 6-0 Inter-Tri County Red) in basketball. She needed 17 points in Monday night’s game against Crestview to make that happen.
She scored 26 in the Raiders’ 62-36 win over the Rebels.
“I definitely wanted to get it. My whole family came, so that was a little nerve-racking, but I’m excited that they came and was happy I got to reach 1,000 points in front of them,” Durkin said.
The junior struggled to find her shot at the beginning of the game, mainly because Crestview would double down in the post everytime she got the ball.
“I was definitely getting frustrated, but I just had to keep my cool,” she said.
Crestview held Durkin to eight points in the first half.
South Range head coach Tony Matisi knew Durkin was worried she wouldn’t reach the milestone by seeing the frustration on her face.
“I’ve been around this game along time and I’ve had quite a few kids and everyone of them presses. I knew it would happen with her. It happens to everybody. I told her to play through it. It’ll come,” Matisi said.
It did come.
Durkin scored her first basket of the second half at 6:17 from a rebound off of her own shot. She netted another bucket a minute later to reach 12 points.
Durkin had a chance at two more points after a technical foul on Crestview’s Alexis Gates during a loose ball, but the junior couldn’t convert.
She made up for it less than 30 seconds later by sinking back-to-back free throws. She hit two more to end the third quarter with 16 points.
Durkin had eight minutes to score one bucket. She did it in the first eight seconds off a floater down the lane.
“I’m very proud of her. Her reaching that goal as a junior is something that she will always remember,” Chris Durkin said.
Durkin says having her family there to experience the feat with her is what she’ really remember.
“It means a lot. My brother came home from college. I’m sad my sister couldn’t make it, but I’m just really happy the rest of my family was here to see this,” she said.
“Whenever I’m in town, I do my best to make it to a game,” said Chris Durkin. And he’ll be able to catch a few more now that he is transferring from Virginia Tech to Youngstown State to play football.
“The coaching staff that recruited me left during my second season,” Durkin said. “With injuries and a new staff, I didn’t see myself getting on the field.”
Durkin hopes he’ll get that chance with the Penguins.
“I’m very excited to go out there and compete again and potentionally get out on the field and play in front of the home crowd.”
Durkin said the decision wasn’t easy.
“I had long discussions with my family and my close friends. So, they helped me make the decision to come back home.”
His family and friends weren’t the only two things that were convincing. Youngtown’s run at a National Championship this season also played a big role.
“I saw what Pelini did with this program. If they could use me, what an opportunity to play for YSU and my hometown,” said Durkin. “It was a really comfortable feel. We’re able to get everything worked out. Now that I’m able to play there, I’m looking forward to spring ball start.”
Durkin was the quarterback at Ursuline before graduating in 2014. At Virginia Tech, Durkin took on a new position at tight end and he’ll most likely see that same spot with the Penguins.