Scoggins: ‘Maddyn the Magician’ making a name for herself
Maddyn Greenway found her spot on the floor and let it fly.
The shot came in the first half of the girls Class 2A state basketball semifinals Friday evening. Greenway was standing on the Cambria logo on the Williams Arena court.
In basketball parlance, this was a Steph Curry three-pointer. So far behind the line that you wondered if Greenway had lost track of her location on the court.
The Providence Academy freshman didn't even hesitate.
"Sometimes I have to ask for forgiveness," she said, giggling.
Nah, just Maddyn being Maddyn. The ball swished through the net.
"We call those layups for her," teammate Grace Counts said.
Maddyn the Magician put on a show at the old Barn over three games as Providence Academy repeated as state champions, culminating with Saturday's 74-60 victory over Albany.
The Lions finished the season with a 29-game winning streak, which included a victory over traditional large-school power Hopkins and a 126-point scoring barrage vs. Minnehaha Academy.
Greenway scored 60 points in that game to become the first ninth-grader in Minnesota history to reach 2,000 points in a career. She averaged 38 points in state tournament games.
She led the state this season in scoring and assists and finished fifth in steals. As a freshman.
"She's special," Albany coach Aaron Boyum said.
The Gophers hired a new women's coach Saturday morning in West Virginia's Dawn Plitzuweit. Before even moving into her new office, she should schedule a visit to the Greenway home for a formal introduction. And brush up on her Vikings football history.
Greenway's dad, Chad, was a fiery competitor in his 11 seasons as a Vikings linebacker. His wife, Jenni, was a track star at the University of Iowa. Their oldest child displays both of their athletic traits on the basketball court.
"She competes really hard," Chad said.
Not just in basketball. Maddyn also is a standout soccer player, and she won a state track medal as a member of Providence Academy's winning 4x400 relay team last spring.
"Her plan is to continue to play three sports," her dad said.
My reaction to watching Greenway play basketball for the first time at the state tournament was the same as my first impression of Paige Bueckers as an eighth-grader at Hopkins:
Whoa. This is different.
Greenway's skill level is unique. What stands out beyond that is her toughness and confidence. She plays fearless, which makes it easy to forget that she's still just a freshman.
Division I scholarship offers are rolling in already. Listed at 5-8, Greenway might lack ideal height for an elite-level point guard, but she is a blur on the court. She plays faster than everyone else and she never stops pushing the pace.
Does that speed come from her mom, the track star?
"We have three state records in my family in track in South Dakota," Chad noted. "The Greenway side has some speed [too]."
Greenway, the dad, has engrossed himself in girls basketball since retiring from football. He said his "first job" post-football was to oversee the Wayzata girls youth basketball association. He's been president for six years.
"What I realized is how talented Minnesota girls basketball is," he said. "Every time you go play somebody, there is a Division II or Division I girl on almost every roster."
The Greenways enrolled their kids in Providence Academy so that all four girls can be together in the same school building. Besides Maddyn, they also have a sixth-grader, second-grader and kindergartner.
Sister Beckett will be a seventh-grader next year and the plan is for her to play varsity basketball with Maddyn. They will be teammates for three years.
Providence Academy, in Plymouth, was founded in 2001 so its athletic profile is still relatively narrow. The dominance in girls basketball spurred by Greenway's arrival could rival DeLaSalle's run of championships, though Albany and Minnehaha Academy will push them for supremacy. In fact, Albany led the title game at halftime.
Greenway took over in the second half with her defense and relentless speed to create scoring opportunities for herself and teammates. She finished with 31 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists.
She will rest on Sunday. Then track season starts.
"We'll still be celebrating," she said. "But yeah, track practice Monday."