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Prep girls basketball: 1,000-point milestone catches Maddie Young by surprise

The Lumberjack senior accomplished the feat in front of her mom and head coach, Heather Young, making the moment even more special.

Maddie Young holds game ball
Cloquet senior Maddie Young holds the 1,000 point game ball after reaching the milestone in a game against Hermantown on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.
Contributed / Cloquet Girls Basketball
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HERMANTOWN — When play was momentarily stopped, and the crowd erupted in cheers following a routine layup made by Cloquet’s Maddie Young in the middle of a game against Hermantown, it seemed as if everybody in the gym knew the significance of what had just transpired—everybody that is, except for Young.

“I was so confused why the crowd was cheering so loud,” Young said. “I was like, ‘Oh, maybe they’re just happy I finally put the ball in the net,’ but I really had no idea. It was a cool surprise.”

Young, a three-year varsity member of the Lumberjacks, entered the Jan. 13 matchup needing eight points to reach the 1,000-point milestone in her career, a fact she was unaware of prior to tip-off.

Her teammates, however, had been preparing to celebrate the achievement for weeks, and were quick to swarm their senior leader in jubilation as play was halted and the realization of the feat set in.

“They were all aware and they did a pretty good job of keeping it a secret,” Young said. “They had all gotten together and made signs a couple weeks before, just in case it would’ve happened (earlier). They actually brought the signs to a couple different games because they just never knew when I was going to hit it.”


“It was just really cool to see that they took the time to do that, and I’m just really lucky,” she added.

Young humbly praised her teammates for their role in helping her reach the milestone.

“If I didn’t have people to pass me the ball, I couldn’t score,” Young said. “I think it’s more of a team achievement, and I’m just really grateful and super lucky for having the teammates that I have.”

Young joins a short list of players in the Cloquet girls basketball program’s history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark, with the most recent being 2016 graduate Kassidy Steen, Allie Wojtysiak (2018) and Kendra Kelley (2019).

Watching the moment unfold from the bench was Maddie’s mom, Heather Young, who also happens to serve as the head coach — a position she’s held since the 2003 season. The mother-daughter duo has been joined together on the Lumberjack varsity team since Maddie’s sophomore season.

Cloquet's Maddie Young drives to the basket during a Wood City Classic tournament game against Mesabi East on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, at Cloquet Middle School.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

Coach Young, understanding of the challenges that can come with playing for a parent, said she’s proud of her daughter’s achievement, along with the endless amount of work she’s put into to get to this point.

“I give her a lot of credit. I never played for my parents, so I don’t really know how it feels, but I do know that there’s a certain pressure with that,” coach Young said. “I’ve appreciated that she is just the type of player that … deserves to be on the floor. It’s not just because she’s the coach’s kid. I’ve also appreciated that she does take in what we ask her to do. She wants to learn. She wants to get better.”

Quick to identify her mom as her biggest influence on her basketball career, Maddie Young said being able to share the accomplishment with her biggest supporter added even more to the experience.


“It’s just been really cool to grow up with her playing basketball. It’s something that we both love to do, and when you’re being coached by your mom it just means a little bit more,” Young said. “It’s a little bit more special.”

As the season rolls on and the section tournament inches closer by the day, the Young family has shifted its focus on a new goal that would make for a fitting end to Maddie’s illustrious career with the Lumberjacks: a trip to the state tournament.

Coach Young recalled bringing Maddie, three months old at the time, along with her to Williams Arena during Cloquet’s last trip to the tournament in 2004. Having the opportunity to return to “The Barn” together with Maddie as a player this time around would be a moment the two would cherish.

“It’s just really cool to think about just kind of the full circle like where we’re at right now in our program, and the positive things we’re seeing and where this group could go,” coach Young said. “To be able to have her get back to that Williams Arena, but as a player, would be just my greatest wish for her.”

While the individual milestone brought about plenty of excitement for Maddie, she said the team goal of finishing the season at Williams Arena surpasses everything.

“This was a cool milestone, but it’s definitely not my end goal,” Young said. “I’m really looking forward to finishing up the season with my team, and I think we’re going to end in a really special way.”

Related Topics: CLOQUET
Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
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