Maddy Huhn would be comfortable all by herself in a gym any day of the year, including Christmas.
“Shooting hoops,” the senior guard at Carlsbad High said. “I put on my music and work on my game.
“I love being in the gym alone.”
But for her to work on her game in the offseason, which involves a hefty dose of 3-point shots, isn’t easy.
Nearly every missed 3-point attempt bounces a long way from the basket.
So unless she can find some company to chase down the bouncing basketball, the 5-foot-8 scorer has to do that herself.
She takes about 600 shots in her “shooting hoops” time.
“It’s getting harder and harder to get someone to shag rebounds,” Huhn said. “I almost have to bribe someone to do that.”
During games, Huhn doesn’t miss all that many.
As a junior, she made 109 of her 3-point attempts, tied for fourth best in the San Diego Section, according to the CIF record book.
She has 290 3-pointers in her three-year Lancers’ career.
In a nonleague game on Jan. 22 last season against Bishop’s, the Sacramento native fueled a 22-9 surge in the first quarter, but the Lancers ran out of gas and lost the game 74-62 in part because Carlsbad was outscored 21-9 in the fourth quarter.
Huhn, who scored 32 points in that game, hit eight 3s, including one from near the half-court logo.
“I look to see what the other girls’ reaction is when I pull up for a really deep one,” Huhn said. “I’ve gotten a lot of crazy reactions.
“Generally, they can’t believe what they just saw.”
Carlsbad is coming off a 20-13 season, but now Huhn has switched from the off guard to the point guard.
Huhn led the team in scoring with an 18.5 average along with 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
Huhn has already shattered the school scoring record for girls.
Counting games already this season Maddy Huhn has 1,504 points, which eclipsed Vanessa Nygaard’s school record. Nygaard is currently the coach of the Phoenix Mercury.
“Getting that record would mean everything,” Huhn said before the season started. “I had a goal to break records at Carlsbad, but that’s crazy to beat out someone like Vanessa Nygaard.”
Huhn has already wrapped up her college recruiting, signing a national letter of intent to play at Miami (Ohio).
“Mom has been my coach forever, and it has been an amazing ride,” said Huhn, who began playing in the Carlsbad Rec League. “It will be culture shock going to the Midwest since I’ve lived my life in California.
“I’m anxious to see what people in the Midwest are like, to see what life is like elsewhere.
“I don’t necessarily want to come back to California after college because I’m open to living anywhere else.”
Huhn’s record for 3-pointers in a game is 10 and her high game is 42.
“Shooting from the logo is her sweet spot,” Carlsbad coach and mom Donna Huhn said. “She started shooting 3-pointers in fourth grade and I just kept pushing her further out.
“Her shot is now effortless because that’s her normal range.”
There are moments, however, when coach mom becomes a bit too much for the sharpshooter.
They have developed a safe word for those times.
“After a game, she’ll say, ‘Mom, Apple,’” the coach said. “It has been the best experience of my life coaching her.
“When we’re on the court, I’m Coach Huhn, not her mom.”
Added Maddy: “I try to call her Coach, but most times it comes out as Mom.”
Next year, the coach won’t have a Southern accent like her mom does.
Huhn will be on her own.
Girls basketball preview
CIF Finals: Feb. 23-25
Defending champions: La Jolla Country Day (Open), Del Norte (Division I), Fallbrook (Division II), Maranatha Christian (Division III), Victory Christian (Division IV), Palo Verde (Division V)
2021 Player of the Year: Breya Cunningham, La Jolla Country Day
Preseason Top 10
1. La Jolla Country Day
2. Mission Hills
3. Mount Miguel
4. Bonita Vista
5. Del Norte
6. Mater Dei Catholic
9. Cathedral Catholic
10. El Camino
Others to watch: Scripps Ranch, San Marcos, Rancho Bernardo, Bishop’s, La Costa Canyon, Mt. Carmel.
Players to watch
Kendal Alloway, Eastlake, Sr.
Bailey Barnhard, Del Norte, Jr.
Mariah Brown, Mission Hills, Jr.
Katlyn Buchanan-Lamb, Bonita Vista, Sr.
Kiana Cadigan, Del Norte, Jr.
Alexa Cote, Westview, Sr.
Breya Cunningham, LJ Country Day, Sr.
Kailaini Gary, Mater Dei Catholic, Sr.
Maria Gorbushin, Mission Hills, Jr.
Keira Heinricy, El Capitan, Fr.
Madison Huhn, Carlsbad, Sr.
Zanna Hurst, Mount Miguel, Sr.
Katelyn Johnson, Poway, So.
MJ Johnson, West Hills, So.
Nevaeh Mageo, Oceanside, Sr.;
Mya McKown, Poway, So.
Jennifer Moreno, Mount Miguel, Sr.
Sierra Morris, Imperial, Sr.
Gizel Navarro, Cathedral Catholic, Sr.
Jillian Nowicki, Our Lady of Peace, Jr.
Genessa Ong, Mission Hills, Sr.
Mackenzie Parsons, Poway, Jr.
Tajianna Roberts, LJ Country Day, Jr.
Ixchel Rojo, Mount Miguel, Sr.
Jasmine Sandoval, Escondido, Sr.
Sumayah Sugapong, LJ Country Day, Sr.
Amaya Tone, El Capitan, Jr.
Calissa Tyrrell, Del Norte, Sr.
Kyara Walter, Mission Hills, Jr.
Jada Williams, LJ Country Day, Sr.
Mahliya Wilson, Bonita Vista, Jr.
Monahan is a freelance writer.