March 26, 2013

Senior standout Howell an all-state pick

From Staff Reports

— Dalton High School senior basketball player Maddie Howell was named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Class 4A all-state girls basketball first team.

It was the second big postseason honor for Howell, who was selected by coaches as the Region 7-4A Player of the Year earlier this month.

A three-year starter for the Lady Cat-amounts, Howell played most of her senior year with a stress fracture in her left ankle. However, she still managed to average 15 points, nine rebounds and three steals per game.

The 5-foot-9-inch forward/wing led Dalton to a 21-8 record and a third-place finish in the region. The Lady Cats lost in the first round of the state tournament to Redan, which advanced to the state quarterfinals before falling to Sandy Creek.

“She had a lot of roles this year, and she excelled in all of them,” Dalton coach Jeff McKinney said. “She was on the front of our press and was our best rebounder. She has always been able to score, but people don’t realize what else she meant to our team in so many different ways. She was much taller than her 5-9 frame.

“I would have loved to have seen what her numbers would have been if she didn’t play the whole year hurt.”

During her sophomore season, Howell was used as a wing as Dalton advanced to the Class 3A state championship game. During her junior season, Dalton won 18 games and went undefeated in sub-region play before being upset in the Region 7-3A tournament to miss the state tournament.

McKinney said during his time at Dalton two other players — Christen Brown in 2003-04 and Quaniesha McCurty in 2010-11 — have earned all-state honors.

“Maddie is probably one of the best shooters I ever coached,” McKinney said. “A lot of teams recognized that and put their best player on her, and a lot of other people obviously recognized that as well.”