Missing a year of basketball was tough on so many athletes during the heightened threat of the COVID pandemic in 2020-21 but Maddie Malak of Rondout Valley came out of the pause in good shape.
The junior made good strides in her game since her freshman season and has proved a valuable asset for the Ganders. She’s averaging nearly 14 points, six rebounds and four steals per game, and this week was voted the Varsity 845 girls basketball player of the week for Jan. 17-23.
Malak gained 9,738 votes in the online poll at RecordOnline.com. Runner-up Ketura Rutty of Pine Bush had 7,787. Washingtonville’s Kathryn Argenzio totaled 5,191. Emma Spindler of Wallkill (2,680) and Gabby Murphy of Marlboro (2,372) finished 4-5 in the voting among a dozen candidates. A total of 30,935 votes were cast.
Malak scored 44 points across three games last week. She had 26 in a 77-42 win over Ellenville, 16 in a 51-47 win over New Paltz but just two against MHAL power Wallkill.
“She plays scrappy defense, she understands the game, she’s a competitor and she contributes offensively and defensively,’’ said Rondout Valley coach Sherry Cafiero. “She’s a team player and truly loves to play the game.’’
Cafiero said the 5-foot-6 Malak plays “big” for her size, allowing her instincts to be effective on the boards. She shares the point and off-guard positions with senior Magnolia Flamhaft.
“She passes well and sees the court,’’ Cafiero said. “She does a great job overall all-around.’’
Previous winners include Allison Bono of Chester (Dec. 6-12); Ashley MacCalla of Middletown (Dec. 13-19); Jah-esa Stokes of Pine Bush (Dec. 20-Jan. 2); Audrey Elisondo of O’Neill (Jan. 3-9); and Olivia Shippee of Monroe-Woodbury (Jan. 10-16).
The Varsity 845 girls basketball poll will return on Monday, Jan. 31, with online voting until Wednesday afternoon.
This article originally appeared on Times Herald-Record: Varsity 845 girls basketball player of week Rondout Maddie Malak