ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Maddie Schires blossoming into ‘easy leader to lean on’ for Beavers

Now in her second year as a Beaver, the Youngstown State transfer has assumed a much larger role. Among active players, only Trinity Yoder has logged more minutes in a BSU uniform than Schires, meaning she’s now the savvy veteran in a young locker room.

120722.S.BP.BSUWBB Maddie Schires.jpg
Bemidji State senior Maddie Schires (10) dribbles with the ball during the first half against Minnesota Duluth on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at the BSU Gymnasium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
We are part of The Trust Project.

BEMIDJI -- A season ago, Maddie Schires came into the Bemidji State women’s basketball program as a sponge.

She got to absorb the process, the culture and the leadership on a team filled with and led by experienced veterans.

One year later, she’s now looked at in the same regard.

“Obviously Brooklyn (Bachmann) and Syd (Zerr) were huge parts of the program last year,” Schires said. “Learning from them and being able to carry on what they have built here has been a really great experience for me.”

112622.S.BP.BSUWBB Maddie Schires.jpg
Bemidji State senior Maddie Schires (10) looks to pass the ball during the first half against Minnesota Crookston on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, at the BSU Gymnasium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Now in her second year as a Beaver, the Youngstown State transfer has assumed a much larger role. Among active players, only Trinity Yoder has logged more minutes in a BSU uniform than Schires, meaning she’s now the savvy veteran in a young locker room.

ADVERTISEMENT

“None of the super seniors were here during the postseason, so it was Trin and I,” Schires said of last offseason, when the program lost six players to graduation. “That’s where I kind of realized that there needed to be bigger roles this upcoming season.”

She’s taken that challenge seriously, and it’s evidenced in the huddle and on the court. The 5-foot-8 senior guard has drawn from last season’s minutes as a reserve and converted it into experience for this year’s starting job. A role like that carries extra responsibility, but it suits her well.

“She’s been an easy leader to lean on and be a captain because of what she does on and off the court,” Bemidji State head coach Chelsea Stoltenberg said. “She’s very, very coachable, and that just comes with time, too. She’s very mature that way.”

021222.S.BP.BSUWBB Maddie Schires.jpg
Bemidji State's Maddie Schires (23) shoots in the first half against Wayne State on Jan. 29, 2022, at the BSU Gymnasium.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer

This year, Schires is more decisive from the arc and won’t flinch when she’s open. She ranks second in the NSIC with 2.9 made 3-pointers per game (at a 35.7% clip), and her 11.1 scoring average is second only to Yoder on the team. She’s even tied for the team lead with six blocks so far this year.

“She knows what she’s really, really good at on both ends of the court,” Stoltenberg said. “(Our guards) need to run the show and allow our bigs to flow through them. (Our toughness) needs to come from the maturity and the poise of our guards to get us going on both ends.”

The Beavers have extensively played their three freshman forwards -- Alyssa Hill, Brooke Theis and Rachel Koenig -- in the early goings of the season. Their performances have started to answer some of the biggest questions that BSU had coming into the year.

“Playing with young bigs is always difficult because we rely so heavily on our interior play to open up our offense,” Stoltenberg said. “Throwing them to the wolves is going to be great for us in the future, and it’s good for them now. But that’s definitely something we’re focused on a ton. … We have talent. It’s just the consistency of using that talent.”

111222.S.BP.BSUWBB Maddie Schires.jpg
Bemidji State senior Maddie Schires (10) shoots a free throw during the second half against Valley City State on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, at the BSU Gymnasium.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

Now that she’s been around the block, a player like Schires is invaluable to help facilitate that process. They’ll all have their next chance this weekend when Bemidji State (3-4, 0-3 NSIC) plays against Minnesota State Moorhead (4-3, 1-2 NSIC) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, in Moorhead and against Northern State (6-3, 1-2 NSIC) at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, in Aberdeen, S.D.

ADVERTISEMENT

And Schires, of course, will be ready to roll.

“I’m pretty confident, and that comes from my teammates trusting me and the coaches trusting me,” she said. “This year, it being Trin and I as the only ones with experience, that confidence has to come pretty quick.”

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
What To Read Next
“800 games, that’s one thing you do know – you know exactly what to expect,” Tom Serratore said. “... This is what it’s going to be like for the next month."
Trailing 45-44 early in the final quarter, Bemidji State went on a 7-0 run on a 3-point basket by Isabel Majewski and four free throws by Trinity Yoder.
The visiting Beavers (15-8, 10-7 NSIC) built a 20-point lead in the second half before Minot began its rally.
The Beavers outshot the Tommies 71-38 in total attempts and 32-21 on goal, but were unable to find the back of the net.