Madi  Townley (41

Comeback Season

Madison Townley Finds Confidence After Injury

DENTON — Madison Townley lost just seven games in four years on the Duncanville High School girl's basketball team. 

A 2016 graduate of DHS, Townley and her Pantherettes went undefeated her senior season and won the  2016 UIL Texas 6A State Championship.

Playing alongside some of the best offensive high school players in the country, Townley's role on the team quickly became defined. 

"I was a rebounder," Townley explained. "We had a lot of scorers and I wasn't as confident in my offense so I did a lot of the dirty work that isn't always flashy.

I don't think anyone else wanted to do it," she added.

When asked what was the most points she scored in a game at Duncanville, she had no clue.

"I know the most rebounds I got in a game, though," she quickly said. "21."

Townley's silent hard work would pay off.

Soon after becoming the head coach of the Mean Green in May of 2015, Jalie Mitchell, a Duncanville alum herself, gave Townley a call and offered her a scholarship on the spot — her first offer. 

Mitchell, who had spent the previous few years at Texas as an assistant recruiting Townley's older teammates had kept her eye on the hustle player.

Never speaking directly with her, but closely watching.

"She was a tremendous rebounder and had a motor that you knew couldn't be taught," Mitchell said. "I knew she'd be exactly what we needed for our program."

When Townley showed up on the North Texas campus there was no hesitation.

There was no nervousness.

"I knew I was prepared for this moment," Townley said. "I wasn't really scared. I want to be great and do everything on the court. Being a freshman wasn't going to hold me back.

I've always been someone who wants to be good at everything I do," she added. 

As a freshman, Townley played through a nagging shoulder injury that most of her teammates still don't know about. 

She'd miss six games that year due to two concussions she received, one happening at Old Dominion on Jan. 28, 2017 when she had a season-high 13 rebounds. 

"I hated missing those games," Townley explained. "I wanted to help the team but at times it felt like I couldn't. And I couldn't do anything."

Missing a few games here and there due to injuries as a freshman would be nothing compared to her sophomore season. 

During the summer, Townley's shoulder injury caught back up with her.

 While playing back at Duncanville, she tore the labrum and needed surgery.

Thus costing her the entire 2017-18 season. 

"It sucked," she said emphatically. "I was really gaining confidence in my offensive game and I knew now everything was out of my hands, for the most part."

Following surgery, Townley began rehab, which she described as one of the worst processes she's had to go through but never let it show. 

She never lacked confidence in the team but worried that she herself would not be the same.

But it was time to go to work.

"She brings her lunch pail every day," said head women's basketball strength and conditioning coach Rick Lefebvre. "She's almost militaristic about how she goes about working. She has a goal and she does everything that is required without question to try and achieve that. Never getting off path."

When Townley's rehab was complete, she was right back in the gym working on her offensive game, which she says is now ahead of where it was when she got hurt."

The coaches, while not surprised, have been blown away by her summer on the court and by her taking that next step in her basketball development.

"She's always been driven," Mitchell said. "But there's something different about this year. She seems even more hungry."

Townley admitted she doesn't like starting games.

She started one as a freshman and had one of her lowest statistical games of the year. 

But this year, off the field helped her see the game from a different perspective. 

A coaches perspective.

Townley said she now can read defenses better and understands better what the Mean Green offense is looking for and it has helped her develop more confidence in herself. 

"I'm not as loud as some but I believe in myself," Townley said. "I believe in my team."

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