South Fayette’s Maddie Webber named 2023 TribLive HSSN Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Wednesday, April 5, 2023 | 7:30 AM
2023 Girls Basketball Player of the Year
5-11, senior, G
In some places, fire is welcome warmth and light. In other areas, it could be disastrous if not controlled.
In the belly of an athlete, fire is what separates the good players from the great ones. Consider South Fayette senior Maddie Webber’s belly officially scorched, much like the Lions’ opponents this year.
“I think what stands out most for me is how much she improved from year to year,” South Fayette coach Brian Bennett said. “She never became complacent and found different areas of her game to improve. You don’t become one of the best players in the state by going through the motions. Maddie constantly pushes herself to be better.”
Despite enjoying team and individual success, the 5-foot-11 guard’s drive to keep getting better never stopped.
“The key to our team’s and Maddie’s consistency was work ethic,” Bennett said. “We approached each opponent and practice with the mindset of, ‘This is another opportunity to get better.’ The kids never took anything for granted and pushed each other every day to improve.”
South Fayette (28-3) enjoyed winning streaks of four, two and 22 in a row between their three losses, which included a 61-54 loss to state power Archbishop Wood in the PIAA Class 5A championship game.
The highlight of those 28 wins was a second straight WPIAL championship.
Webber scored 16 points, had four rebounds, three assists and two steals in South Fayette’s title game victory over Oakland Catholic, 64-49.
For the season, the Villanova recruit averaged 17.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and three steals per game.
Webber passed the 1,000-point plateau earlier this season, finishing her career with 1,387 points. Her and her teammates built something special over the last couple of seasons at South Fayette.
“Maddie will be remembered for more than just being an outstanding basketball player,” Bennett said. “She was a great teammate and role model for the younger players. She took great pride in putting on a South Fayette uniform and representing our school district.”
TribLive HSSN had a chance to find out a little more about the 2023 Girls Basketball Player of the Year in a Q&A session with Maddie Webber:
How did it feel when time was winding down in the WPIAL championship game vs. Oakland Catholic?
I knew we had to stay focused, but I started feeling excitement since this was our second time winning a championship and just being proud of everyone
Compare the feeling to how you felt after winning the WPIAL championship as a junior?
I definitely didn’t have as much excitement as last year, but it did feel just as good and it gave me a little bit of satisfaction. I just felt even more proud this year though because we continued to defend our title
Was there more pressure this season or did you allow yourself to have some fun?
I think there was more pressure now looking back, but the only pressure put on me was from me because of my own expectations for myself.
Did you expect this kind of success with only three losses, a WPIAL title and a PIAA runner-up back in December before the season began?
I definitely knew what we were capable of but we never looked down on the team we were going to play. I think staying humble helped us be so successful. I never looked too far ahead but I was confident in us to go all the way.
You delivered consistent scoring all season despite opposing defenses focused on you. How tough is that and how rewarding is that as well?
It’s definitely tough when the main focus was on me sometimes, and being able to still help my team despite that is what feels good about it. It also allows me to kick out to teammates and find them easier.
How would you analyze how you did this season?
This was definitely my best season in my high school career because I was a threat all times on the court. I made the improvement of rebounding more and getting lots of deflections and steals. I’m proud of what I accomplished this year with my team and what I brought to help them.
You will be attending Villanova in the fall. What were some of the reasons behind your choice?
I love the campus, not too far from home, coaches are amazing, culture feels like a home and so supportive of women’s basketball, and I feel like I can learn so much while playing on the team.
Do you and your fellow seniors feel you have started something special for South Fayette girls basketball?
We feel like we helped start something special last year with the other seniors and then continued to help it grow. I think girls basketball at SF has definitely grown even more this year and will continue to.
What were your personal highlights from this past season?
Definitely my assists this year, scoring my 1,000th point in Delaware along with 30 points, my buzzer beater, and my last shot I took in Hershey.
What do you do for fun away from sports?
I love to go to the beach, paint with water colors, read, and do makeup on my friends.
Besides food and water, what three things would you need if you were deserted on a beach for a week?
Lip balm, a blanket and a book.
Three favorite meals?
Any pasta. Almost any wrap, like a chicken Caesar wrap. Tteokbokki, which is a Korean meal.
Favorite movie of all-time and why?
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” because it’s been one of my favorite movies since I was little and it’s just become a comfort movie.
Top three artists or bands you like to listen to?
Tame Impala, Steve Lacy, Drake.
People would be surprised to know “what” about Maddie Webber?
I played on varsity on my high school golf team freshman and sophomore years.
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2023 TribLive HSSN Postseason Awards
Tags: South Fayette
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