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Maynard to lead Panthers after ‘banner’ year

(Editor’s Note - The Times News has historically done feature stories on basketball players who reach the 1,000-point mark in their career. Panther Valley’s Maddison Maynard achieved the milestone late in the 2022-23 regular season. Her story never appeared last season, and instead will be running today as somewhat of a precursor to the upcoming season. In addition to this story, the Times News Winter Sports Season booklet will be appearing in Thursday’s paper).

Talk about having a good year.

Last season, Panther Valley’s Maddison Maynard’s performance on the basketball court earned her 10 postseason awards - one of which put her name on a banner that hangs upon the gym wall.

On Feb. 1, Maynard (during her junior year) scored her 1,000th point on a layup against Mahanoy Area. She now has scored 1,102 points.

Now, Maynard has the chance to break the all-time school scoring record of 1,572 points held by Erika Dubosky.

“I really didn’t think I’d get to my 1,000th point until my senior year,” said Maynard, who will be a four-year varsity starter for the Panthers. “I know I have a chance to break the all-time record, but my focus is on helping our team have a great season.”

Panther Valley head coach Rob Kovac says that Maynard - who averaged over 22 points a game last year - has no limitations with her athletic abilities on the hardwood.

“Maddison can score in a lot of ways,” he said. “Her signature move is to drive to the basket with exceptional footwork, and she can score with either hand. She can be explosive, and can overpower defenses in tight spaces.”

Kovac explained that another feature of Maynard’s game is the ability to score from the perimeter.

“She’s worked really hard at her outside shooting game, so now she’s a threat to score from anywhere on the offensive side of the court. Her side-to-side footwork and ball movement give her the ability to find open lanes for scoring opportunities, and we expect she’ll draw a lot of fouls with her aggressive moves to the basket.”

Maynard’s performance on the court last year earned postseason awards that included Times News Athlete of the Week, Blue Ridge Communications Athlete of the Week, First Team Times News Area All-Star, and Second Team All-State 2A Girls Basketball Team. She also led the area in points per game scoring average.

PV is expected to be one of the area’s best girls basketball teams this year and if that is to happen, Maynard will be a significant reason why. She has raised the bar pretty high for her team’s expectations this year.

“I think we can win our league, and then set our sights on winning the districts and go far in the state tournament,” she said. “We hope to still be playing basketball in March.”

Following her graduation next spring, Maynard - currently ranked second academically in her senior class - will attend college and major in behavioral neuroscience or biological psychology. She has also set her sights on continuing her basketball career at the next level.

“As of right now, I’ve had one scholarship offer to play in college. I’m looking at several schools, but I have not made a decision as to where I’ll go yet.”

College plans for Maynard are in her very near future, but for now, she prepares to lead her team into making memorable moments on the hardwood.

If her shots keep falling through the net, she will move up the list of all-time Panther Valley scorers with a chance that come the end of this season, she might look up and see her name at the very top.

Maddison Maynard helps hold the 1,000-point banner that was presented to her when she reached the milestone last season. With her are her parents Bill and Jennifer Maynard. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO