Kayla Madden, Ashland Girls Basketball

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
February, 2019
Article Body: 

With a group of her friends already playing basketball in the third grade they pushed Kayla Madden to give the sport a try when tryouts were posted. Madden went home and asked her father, who had played basketball in high school, to teach her the sport so she’d be ready for the tryouts in a week. The third grader learned enough to make the team.
“I love sports, any sport,” Madden said. “But honestly I really wasn’t sure why I fell in love with basketball, there was no one real reason I just loved playing it as it was fun.”
It wasn’t long (three years) after she took up playing basketball that her father suggested that she play AAU Basketball as well. Madden gave it a shot, be in order to do so she probably would have to give up soccer. She loved AAU so much she now plays fall and spring basketball for the team as well as her high school season.
“The competition was much better and when I found myself having success I knew this was for me,” she said.
Entering high school Madden found herself very nervous during tryouts, especially as it was Coach Dave Lyth’s first season at Ashland. Not only did she have to impress the new coach but the rest of the girls on the team.
After being named to the team, she was also named the team’s starting point guard.
“Not only was I nervous being a freshman playing varsity basketball, but I was also going up against juniors and seniors and I was the starting point guard,” Madden said. “We didn’t have a great season (we went 5-15) but it was definitely a good learning experience.”
As a player Madden finds herself a pass first individual, but her coach wishes she would shoot more, especially when she’s open,
“I’m more of a distributor,” Madden said. “I don’t need to score as long as I’m helping the team win.”
Unfortunately, the Ashland Coach wants his now junior point guard to shoot more.
“As a freshman she started the first game of the year and has continuously started for us over the years. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a 14 year olds shoulders,” Lyth said. “She’s a gym rat and is continually working on her game. As a freshman she averaged about 12 points and last year I wanted to make her more of a shooter and she put up 16 points per game.”
During her first two years playing in the Tri Valley League with her Clocker teammates Madden was named to the TVL All Star team as well as being the runner-up in the MVP voting.
“I didn’t even know what that meant (being named to the All Star team) when Coach Lyth told me. If coaches selected me as a freshman then I must be good,” Madden said. “Being the runner-up for MVP was definitely surprising as there were so many other girls that I felt were deserving. This will defiantly boost my moral.”
Last year the Clockers went 16-4 and advanced into the Division 2 Central Tournament, where they earned a first round bye, but was then sent home falling to Nashoba in the next round. The tournament experience seemed to bite Madden and she wants to get her team back there once again this season.
So far the Clockers have begun the season in shaky grounds going 1-3 but the team’s senior captain is due to come back soon. Individually Madden says she’s not one that’s into goals.
“It doesn’t matter to me if I score 2 or 20 points as long as I help the teams win,” she said. “As long as I’m playing the best that I possibly can, that’s all that really matters.”
Coach Lyth somewhat agrees with his junior point guard, but would like to see the team turn the corner this season and get back to the post-season only with different results.