Morgan Township teenager Madi Lemmons is making memories again.
The 6-foot-2 guard added a few more to his notebook last week. These are even more important to him because he didn’t have the same opportunities last season, where he missed all but eight games.
“Basketball season is the season where I create some of my best memories, and my best friends are on this team,” Madi Lemmons said. “It’s such a great atmosphere, I was so ready to be a part of it again instead of sitting outside.”
Among the moments Madi Lemmons won’t soon forget was scoring on a layup late in the fourth quarter of the Cherokees’ 28-24 victory over Kouts in the Class 1A Morgan Township Sectional championship game in Valparaiso. Saturday.
Madi Lemmons finished with 10 points for Morgan Township (17-7), ranked No. 12 in the final 1A state coaches poll and advanced to the Winamac Regional to play No. 5 Marquette (21-4).
Clutch scoring has become Madi Lemmons’ signature, according to her cousin Josie Lemmons, a junior guard.
“This was a perfect example of what he did and contributed to our team,” Josie Lemmons said. “He did a great job of being a scorer when we needed points.”
Madi Lemmons is second on the team after the forward with an average of 9.9 points. Peyton Honchar12.8 points. However, Madi Lemmons was the No. 1 player who entered the match with just one loss. He was the top scorer of the first round with 15 points in Morgan Township’s 36-34 victory against 6 Tri-Township.
“I’m really proud,” he said. “We went through a really tough regional group and overcame a lot in this tournament. “I was so impressed with how everyone came with great attitudes and stayed motivated through it all.”
Madi Lemmons could not play at the end of the season last year. During an AAU game in the summer of 2022, he dived for a loose ball and collided with an opponent, suffering a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm. He wore a brace in the hope that he would be able to make it through the high school season.
“Playing in the games was definitely painful,” he said. “As the season progressed, the situation got worse. I wanted to play so badly with my teammates and win games. It was a difficult decision to shut him down.”
Morgan Township coach Rick Budka knew Madi Lemmons was hurting and decided to talk to the player who was averaging a team-high 15.0 points at the time.
“We talked to him and told him he was just a sophomore,” Budka said. “If he wanted to come back and play as a junior, he would still have to play two seasons. But if he continues to play injured like this, his basketball career could be over.”
Madi Lemmons underwent Tommy John surgery on January 12, 2023, and was given a nine to 12 month recovery timetable. He said he is trying to use both hands while his right arm is healing.
“I was so eager to play that I jokingly started shooting with my left hand,” he said. “I was stuck for a while until I was ready to shoot again with my right arm.”
The moment came ahead of schedule for Madi Lemmons, who returned for preseason workouts.
Speaking of practices, Morgan Township has at least one more week of practice this season.
“We all really wanted this,” Madi Lemmons said. “That was our whole discussion last week. We wanted to see each other again on Monday to continue training. We call each other family and we weren’t ready to give that up yet.”
Dave Melton is a freelance reporter.