One basketball season into her college career and Maddax DeVault is still pleased she took the step of playing at the next level.
The Simpson College freshman said over the weekend she played minutes on the court during both varsity and junior varsity competition for the Storm this year. The school’s varsity team completed their season recently in the conference semifinals, going 16-11 overall.
“It has definitely been an adjustment. High school is one level, but college is a completely different level. This first year was a lot of getting acclimated and used to playing at that different pace and speed,” DeVault said. “I think this year was about learning and becoming acclimated with a whole new program, like a new set of plays.”
DeVault averaged 4.8 minutes and played in 17 varsity games this year. She said the Storm play a similiar high-pace, pressure defense-style game to what she became accustom to with highly successful teams in high school at Nodaway Valley.
The 5-foot-6 guard was 10 of 25 from the field, hit three 3-pointers and was 5 of 11 at the free throw line this year.
Fifth-year senior Anna Wanek (Dowling Catholic) and senior Cassie Nash (Lincoln Southeast) are two players DeVault specifically mentioned who were a big help to her learning on the go this season.
“There were a lot of people to look up to,” DeVault said. “It was an adjustment from high school. Getting to learn from them, be close to them and the rest of the team, that’s what makes the season and makes it fun.”
Without the daily responsibilities of high school softball this summer, DeVault is excited to refine her basketball game even more through pickup games and other opportunities.
In the meantime, she will be running track and field this spring at Simpson. The multiple state medal-winner and state champion hurdler couldn’t quite let that sport go yet.
“I knew I would regret it if I didn’t give track a chance this year. I’m excited to see how that goes too,” DeVault said. “My focus will probably be hurdles, and then some relays, like the 4x400.”
The Simpson women’s track and field outdoor season starts Saturday, April 1 in a meet at Wartburg. On Friday, April 7, the Storm compete in an outdoor meet at Central College in Pella.