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Jankowski Lets It Fly For St. Mary's
Jay Mumford

Ask St. Mary’s star leading scorer Shannon Flynn who would win a game of HORSE between herself and her teammate, small forward Maddie Jankowski, and even she doesn’t know.

“I have no idea”, Flynn said with a laugh. “That’s a good question, that would be a close one.” The other half of the dynamic duo doesn’t know either, but she’s taken turns with Flynn in carrying the scoring load for a St. Mary’s unit that fires from downtown with a vengeance.  A good chunk of the junior markswoman’s 14.4 points per game come from beyond the arc, and a Jankowski hot streak has gotten St. Mary’s back into some games that they appeared to be out of early on.

There’s no question, Maddie is a pure shooter”, said St. Mary’s Head Coach Tom Flynn. “She definitely gets her points.” With Jankowski drilling 50 triples on the season thus far -with a whopping 11 of them coming over the course of two games against Kellenberg and a good number of games with 5 and 6 treys drained- its safe to say that the 5' 9" junior can obliterate a 2-3 zone with the best of them. A golden touch can get you to the next level, but being a complete ball player is what keeps you there, and Coach Flynn is aware of that. "(Madeline will) make it at the next level because she can score with anyone out there and (because) she works extremely hard on all aspects of her game. You can find Maddie in a gym seven days a week (and) it's that commitment that will make her a success."  Hot shooting has gotten the Lady Gaels back into games and aided them in blowing teams off of the floor this season, but there’s always the ugly flip side of a team shooting themselves out of a game. That said, Jankowski too understands the importance of expanding her skill sets, and is keen to making herself even more dangerous.

“When I transferred in, the whole team concept was about defense”, she said in regards to her transition from Queens’ St. Francis Prep HS to St. Mary‘s. “I wasn’t used to that,  so defense is what I’m trying to step up on. I’m also working on taking it to the basket more.” Jankowski also had the perfect pre-season crash course via a competitive summer with Long Island Extreme AAU, where she learned from some of the area’s best. “Over the summer I played with (Boston College-bound) Kristen Doherty, Shannon and some of my (St. Mary’s), teammates, and that was the best team I ever played on. They’re all seniors and graduating, so this summer I’ll be playing AAU with the New York Heat.”

In the meantime, the Lady Gaels hop into the post-season this week with a duel against Holy Trinity. Should they win, its off to CW Post they go for the NSCHSAA semi-finals, a big enough stage to do some damage. With another summer, another season and the upcoming playoffs on the horizon, Jankowski is in a position to make leaps and bounds, and the fact that she’s already gotten one college offer is a promising start. “I got offered a full ride to Queens College and some interest from some other schools, but I have some time”, she said.

Coach Flynn agrees.  “Maddie is still young, but she’ll be fine. She can fill it up.”



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