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Chmyzinski’s grand night

  • Above, Turners Falls senior guard Maddy Chmyzinski slashes through the Lee defense on Thursday night as she became the first girl in program history to hit 1,000 points for her career during her team’s 52-33 victory in Turners Falls. Below, Chmyzinski is all focus at the free throw line. Recorder photos/Paul Franz

  • Maddy Chmyzinski is all focus from the free throw line on Thursday night where she became the first girl in program history to hit the 1,000-point mark for her career. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls senior guard Maddy Chmyzinski goes around the Lee defense on Thursday night as she became the first girl in program history to hit 1,000 points for her career during her team’s 52-33 victory in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Turners guard Maddy Chmyzinski dribbles the ball up the court on Thursday night where she became the first girl in program history to hit the 1,000-point mark for her career Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Turners forward Abby Loynd (11) cuts through traffic during her team’s 52-33 victory over Lee in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls forward Abby Loynd goes up for a shot against Lee on Thursday in Turners Falls where the hosts defeated the Wildcats, 52-33. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Turners forward Sarah Waldron (5) shoots during her team’s 52-33 win over Lee Thursday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz


Recorder Staff
Thursday, December 14, 2017
By JEFF LAJOIE

TURNERS FALLS — With 4 minutes, 8 seconds left in the third quarter, Maddy Chmyzinski was a long way from where she wanted to be.

Entering Thursday night’s game against Lee High School needing 13 points to become the first girl in Turners Falls High School history to reach the 1,000-point club, the senior had just four points — all from the free throw line. She missed her first 10 field goal attempts. Things just weren’t falling.

“I wasn’t making my shots,” admitted the senior guard. “It was very frustrating.”

But like all good players do, Chmyzinski persevered.

The team’s leading scorer each of the past two seasons drilled a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter to get within range. The weight was finally lifted from her shoulders with 5:20 remaining in the fourth quarter as Chmyzinski grabbed an offensive rebound off her own miss, and banked in a wide-open layup to score career points No. 1,000 and 1,001. She finished with 15 points on the night, sending Turners to an impressive season-opening 52-33 win over Lee in an independent girls’ basketball game.

“I was very nervous,” admitted Chmyzinski of the pursuit of 1,000. “But once I got it done, it was a huge stress-reliever.”

Chmyzinski, who had 987 points entering Thursday’s opener, scored just one point in each of the first and second quarters. Turners led just 19-17 at halftime, and she stood 11 points from the mark with just half of a game remaining.

“She was tight,” Turners coach Ted Wilcox offered of Chmyzinski. “Boy, was she tight there early on. But we just told her to relax in the second half and it’ll come.”

After sinking a pair of free throws early in the third quarter, Chmyzinski hit her first field goal of the night with 4:08 left. It was a 3-pointer, and she added another 3 with 57 seconds remaining in the third to lift Turners to a 36-21 advantage after the hosts outscored Lee by a 17-4 margin in the period.

Seeing a couple of field goals finally go in helped settle Chmyzinski into the flow of the game.

“Once the first one went in, I refocused,” she explained.

She hit a runner along the baseline to get her to 999 points early in the fourth quarter. That set the stage for the big moment, and the uncontested layup that halted the game and allowed Chmyzinski to celebrate with her teammates, friends and family.

“(Lee) kind of just left me open there,” recalled Chmyzinski of the moment. “It was very emotional. I cried.”

By then, the Powertown (1-0) had a lopsided victory well in hand against a perennial powerhouse in Lee. Chmyzinski finished with 15 points, helping the home team outscore the Wildcats by a 33-16 margin after intermission.

Dabney Rollins had a strong outing for Turners as well, scoring nine points in her season debut. Abby Loynd added eight points and 10 rebounds, and her offense in the second quarter helped keep the Powertown afloat. Chloe Ellis notched seven points and also pulled down 10 rebounds in the win, while Aliyah Sanders added six points.

Lee was led by Shannon Finnegan’s 19 points. She was the only Wildcat to finish in double figures.

It was Chmyzinski’s night however. She said accomplishing the feat at home was important, as the team next travels to Sabis International Charter School for an away game tonight.

“I wanted to get it done at home, in front of everyone that came here to support me,” she said. “It was exciting.”