The Haduck Sisters
Published: January 23, 2014
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The Haduck sisters have staked a claim on the point guard spot for the Riverside girls basketball team.
First Morgann, who is currently at Marywood, held the reins to the Lady Vikes offense. When Morgann was a high school senior, Madison was a freshman and got to play with her sister. Now a senior, Madison has slid over to off-guard to make room for McKenzie, who is a sophomore put in charge of starting the Lady Vikes offense.
It can be easy to figure out who the sisters are on the court. They may well be the loudest ones out there.
“We don’t fight as much [as we used to],” Madison said. “Having a sister on the team isn’t always the best thing.
“It’s sisterly love.”
That, like the point guard spot at Riverside and a strong desire to excel, has been passed down, sister to sister, starting with Morgann.
“Let’s just say they’re very competitive,” Lady Vikes head coach Jack Mekilo said. “They want to do what it takes to win.”
The passion for basketball runs deep within the Haduck family and the girls understand that sometimes that means corrections may be said louder than usual in the heat of the game.
“It’s what we do, but it’s always with good intentions,” Madison said. “We both have a little fire in our skins once we get going.”
McKenzie, having shouldered the responsibility of running the point as a sophomore, admitted it hasn’t always been perfect or smooth, and certainly not quiet.
“It’s fun, usually. When I do something wrong, she’s the first one to tell me,” McKenzie said of Madison. “I used to get mad at her for that, but now I know she knows what she’s doing. It’s a chance to learn more.
“I know the game, but we will yell at each other,” she added. “It’s always with good intentions. We still love each other at the end of the day.”
Mekilo appreciates their willingness to speak up when they spot something that can be improved because he knows they understand the game, especially from Madison, whose experience shows.
“Madison is our captain, and she does a good job. She’s not quiet, lets her opinion be heard,” Mekilo said. “I think we’re a better team because of it.”
Having coached all three sisters in his years at Riverside, Mekilo sees what has made them successful for him.
“They’ve come up through the program, been team manager, running the camera in eighth grade,” Mekilo said. “They really know our system. There are a lot of similarities; they’re all used to having the ball, they all have a good understanding of the game.
“There’s been a Haduck here since Day 1. I’ve been fortunate,” he added.
He has watched Morgann, Madison and now, McKenzie, develop into solid point guards. “
“I’m looking to be as good as my sisters, I want to make them proud,” McKenzie said. “I’m trying to be a key element on the team.”
It hasn’t been completely smooth, but the sophomore has been expanding her game.
“It started rocky,” McKenzie said of her season. “I was nervous starting, but as I got more minutes, I’ve been a lot looser. It’s gotten much more comfortable for me.”
Having her older sister on the court with her has helped McKenzie grow her game.
“In the beginning, she was a little timid. Now she’s not afraid to shoot or drive,” Madison said.
“I was afraid I’d miss,” McKenzie said. “I’ve been getting more open shots, and I’m getting more comfortable that my shot will fall in.”
McKenzie has been scoring more of late, with 13 against Mid Valley and Carbondale, and 15 against Lackawanna Trail, all Riverside wins.
McKenzie’s improvement shifted Madison to a different position and the senior needed time to adjust, but now enjoys the freedom of just being a cog in the offense, not being the initiator.
“It’s nice not to have as much pressure,” Madison said. “My teammates are helping out a lot.”
It is all adding up to the lineup gaining cohesion as the season has gone on, and will make Riverside a dangerous team come playoff time.
“It’s the first time we’re all playing together,” Madison said. “We’re doing a lot better.”
With Madison and McKenzie getting more comfortable, their competitive spirit is rubbing off. McKenzie has set her sights high.
“I try the best I can to be as good as them,” McKenzie said, “maybe even better.”
That will bode well for Mekilo and the Lady Vikes.