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CLIFTON – Although her team’s season ended in last Thursday’s Tolono Unity Regional, Jori Maynard’s season continued thanks to an arsenal she rarely used during the season – the 3-point shot.
Maynard made nine 3-pointers prior to Paxton-Buckley-Loda’s regional final game against St. Thomas More to advance to the 3-point shootout at Thursday’s Clifton Central Sectional -- and give her some ideas on how to score more points in the future.
“I kind of surprised myself going this far because I never shoot 3-pointers, but maybe this will open my mind,” Maynard said.
Maynard could not make it to the super-sectional round. Instead, Alysha Basel of Beecher, Maddie Merritt of Tri-Valley, Bailey Trimble of St. Joseph-Ogden and Meghan Huggins of Warrensburg-Latham will shoot at the University of Illinois-Springfield Monday.
“It feels good (just to get to sectionals),” Maynard said. “I did my best. I guess I just had an off night.”
Panthers head coach Clarissa Gross was one of a handful in attendance supporting Maynard.
“Not many other girls are able to say that they made it to a sectional, and she has nothing to hang her head about,” Gross said. “I’m proud of her. “We’ve been excited all week. She’s been in the gym shooting around getting her prepared for it.”
Maynard will be a senior next season. She, along with her freshman sister Kellyn, will be part of a team that will lose five seniors – and, according to Gross, “probably 75 percent of our scoring.”
“We’re losing some very key players,” Jori Maynard said. “Like Coach Gross said, we have some big shoes to fill, but we’ve got a good group coming in. We’re just going to give it all we’ve got hopefully have a good season.”
“Obviously, we’re losing a lot of our points,” Gross added. “The summer is going to be spent in the gym shooting.”