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Female Area Athlete of the Week: Martini stays true on the basketball floor

Pequot Lakes junior is Female Area Athlete of the Week

Maci Martini
Maci Martini
contributed photo

Maci Martini continues to impress.

This time it’s on the basketball court.

The Pequot Lakes junior is averaging over 20 points a game and added to it last week with a 25-point performance against Detroit Lakes Jan. 14.

“My confidence has helped me a lot this year and I feel like I’ve been shooting a lot better than I have in the past years,” Martini said. “I know that my teammates can trust me and can count on me to score, so that helps, too.”

Martini also averages 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists as well as 2.1 steals a game for the Patriots who are currently 14-1 and ranked 10th in Class 2A.

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“She’s kind of picked up where she left off last year,” Lempola said. “She’s not just a terrific scorer, but an all-around player. I think that Detroit Lakes game was one of her most complete games of the season and maybe even of her career.”

The basketball success adds to Martini’s impressive junior athletic season. In the fall, Martini was named Dispatch All-Area Player of the Year in volleyball.

“Success breeds success and anytime you are put in those high stress situations the more the better,” Lempola siad. “We have a lot of multi-sport athletes on the team and it makes us that much stronger.”

Earlier this season, Martini reached the 1,000-point milestone when she scored 30 points in a win against Mora Dec. 30.

“That was an awesome feeling,” Martini said. “It was really fun because it takes a lot of hard work to score 1,000 points. It was a really fun night for my teammates and I.”

Lempola added: “It was a special moment for her, her teammates and her family. It was special too because it was her highest scoring total of her career.”

Last season, Martini was named Dispatch All-Area First Team when she averaged 17 points, five rebounds and 2.7 steals a game while shooting 39.5% from 3-point and 76.8% from the free throw line.

“I would say I’ve gotten a lot better at rebounding throughout the year,” Martini said. “That’s been something that I’ve tried to focus on. Also I think I’ve gotten better at driving and finishing at the basket and actually making the shot.”

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Her shooting has been more of the same this year as she’s shot 45.3% from 3-point and 80.4% from the free throw line.

“She brings a lot of energy and ability on the court,” Lempola said. “She competes hard and tries to make her teammates better.”

Martini said her favorite spots on the floor to score from are the corner 3-pointers and at the free throw line.

“I feel like I can take my time and it’s very routine,” Martini said of her free throws.

As a freshman, Martini led the Patriots in scoring at 11.5 points a game. She also grabbed 4.1 rebounds and swiped 1.7 steals a game

“Rebounding has been a big improvement,” Lempola said. “And on the defensive side of the ball as well. The other night I had her for six steals and she had eight rebounds, so she’s just doing a fantastic job.”

With her averaging over 20 points a game, Martini has adjusted her game because she’s seeing the other team’s best defender.

“Every game I just have to be ready to play,” she said. “My teammates need me to score and that’s my main role on the team, so I just have to work on offense in order for our team to be successful.”

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This season, Pequot Lakes has knocked off Crosby-Ironton twice. The Rangers feature Tori Oehrlein, who like Martini, sees the team’s best defender.

“She’s a very good player, so we know we have to be locked in for those games,” Martini said. “We have our game plan all ready to go against players like her which helps a lot.”

Even though she is still only a junior, Martini says she’s improved as a leader.

“My communication has gotten better now that I am an upperclassman,” she said. “I know that I can be the one that speaks up and I have had the most experience, so I can relate to the younger girls.”

Lempola said Martini leads by example.

“She’s a quiet leader and does it more on the court,” he said. “She’s the first one stepping up in drills in practice and gets the leadership position from there. We are glad to have her another year.”

Other notable performances:
Basketball: Alyssa Sadlovsky, Pierz, scored 20 points against Little Falls.
Tori Oehrlein, Crosby-Ironton, scored 33 points against Aitkin and 30 points against Upsala.
Olivia Peterson, Pillager, scored 24 points against Pine River-Backus.

Maci Martini
Year: Junior
School: Pequot Lakes
Sport: Basketball
Highlights: She scored 25 points against Detroit Lakes.

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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