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Westerly postseason roundup: McLaughlin second team All-State

WESTERLY— Westerly High’s Maddy McLaughlin stepped up her game this season and earned considerable recognition from the Division I girls’ basketball coaches.

McLaughlin was voted to the Coaches Association All-State second team, the All-Class (Division I) first team and the Division I-South first team.

McLaughlin, a junior, was seventh in the All-State voting and the only underclassmen on the first or second team.

“Madison is really a special basketball player. She is one of the very few in the state that has a combination of talent, skill, power, mental toughness and work ethic and it converts on the court,” Westerly High Athletic Director Jamey Vetelino said.

Vetelino coached the Bulldogs in their final game after head coach Holly Misto and her staff resigned the night before the Division I quarterfinal game against higher seeded North Kingstown. Westerly lost 59-49.

McLaughlin is one of three Bulldogs to garner postseason honors.

Sophomore Alyssa Valentini made the Division I-South third team and junior Izzy Carey received honorable mention.

McLaughlin led the Bulldogs in scoring by a considerable margin, averaging 15.8 points. She also averaged 4.9 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.1 rebounds. The last three statistics are similar to those McLaughlin put up in 2013 when she was named to the Division I-South third team. Her scoring jumped from 9.4 points to the 15.8.

“She is a fierce competitor and can play four different positions both offensively and defensively,” Vetelino said. “Her junior season was outstanding and she and her teammates had some big shoes to fill. They certainly did all of that and Madison picked up more than her fair share.”

The 5-foot-7 McLaughlin, who primarily played guard and forward, scored in double figures in 21 of the team’s 25 games. She had a monster game against Cumberland on Feb. 8, scoring 35 points and assisting 10 field goals. Westerly beat the Clippers 64-49. Cumberland was 7-6 overall and 2-7 in Division I play when it left Federico Gym that night.

As many fine players as Westerly has had in recent seasons, the 35 points are the most since Meredith Ward put in 38 in a 63-62 loss to Portsmouth on Feb. 13, 2007.

“What she does next year can be really special with some hard work this offseason,” Vetelino said.

The coaches picked four All-State teams of five players including honorable mention, and did the same for All-Class in Division I. There were 15 teams in Division I and five in Divisioin I-South.

Valentini emerged in her first varsity season, helping the Bulldogs go 12-13 overall and 9-9 in Division I-South in what was essentially a rebuilding year.

The 5-7 Valentini played in all 25 games, starting 14. She averaged 7.8 points and 3.6 rebounds. She had a career-high 18 points against a very good Bay View team on Jan. 24 and reached double figures nine times. She also had a season-best nine rebounds in that game.

Carey, a 5-11 post player, averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in her first year as a starter. She had 19 points and nine rebounds in the season finale against North Kingstown, which went on to win the state championship.

The awards are the first for Valentini and Carey.

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