College basketball

Viking to Mariner, Ogden continues to make court waves

Former Searsport standout on way to 1,000 points in college — just like high school
By Zack Miller | Jan 22, 2020
Courtesy of: Maine Maritime Academy Athletics Melinda Ogden.

Castine — When Melinda Ogden stepped onto the court for Searsport District High School all eyes were on her, a scenario that started her freshman season.

The former Viking standout from 2012-2016 amassed about 1,200 points and helped lead Searsport to the regional playoffs her junior and senior seasons.

Now, Ogden is in her sunset year as a starting guard on the women's basketball team at Maine Maritime Academy, and, again, is on the cusp of breaking the four-figure point barrier, as the Mariner sits at 926 career points with nine games to play.

"Scoring 1,000 points in my college career would be a great accomplishment," said Ogden. "I would hope that my example would inspire younger athletes.

In high school, Ogden was a wizard with the ball in her hands and deadly accurate from most distances after crossing midcourt — including beyond the 3-point arc. Her hard-charging, aggressive style — and tremendous skill — has continued at the next level.

"I have had nothing short of a great experience in my career playing at MMA. From year one to now, I have evolved tremendously as a player, teammate, and leader. This program has done so much for me and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Knowing that the clock is winding down in my final year is all too surreal. It’s going to be difficult hanging up the jersey for good."

Ogden's 926 career points to date puts her ninth on the Mariners' all-time leaderboard — 126 behind Monica Locke (1,040) for eighth. Alayne Felix, who graduated in 2019 and is a former teammate of Ogden's, holds the top spot with 1,743 career points.

Ogden, an NAC second-team all-conference selection last year, also holds the school record for most 3-point field goals made (218) and 3-point field goals attempted (666), both of which she broke this season, and will continue to add to as the campaign continues.

The former Viking entered the 2019-2020 season 13th on the school's scoring average (minimum 40 games) leaderboard at 8.7 points, a stat which will increase once the season comes to a close in February, as will the other statistical categories.

"It’s a pretty amazing feeling knowing that all of my hard work and dedication has paid off," said Ogden. "Anything is attainable if you work for it, but my primary focus has been to perform well on both ends of the floor first and foremost."

The 5-foot 7-inch international business and logistics major is one of four seniors on a Mariner squad that is 12-4 on the year — and 4-1 in the North Atlantic Conference.

Ogden's 14.2-point average is the highest of her career, as she helped the Mariners rattle off 12 consecutive victories, after MMA dropped its first three games of the season, before the Mariners fell to Husson University of Bangor 57-48 on riday, Jan. 17, which ended the 12-game win streak.

The Winterport native also has averaged career highs in minutes (28.4), field-goal percentage (39.8), 3-point field-goal percentage (36.5) and fre- throw percentage (72.5).

"Over my four years here at MMA my teammates, coaches, and I have put in countless hours to improve on all aspects of my game," said Ogden. "From where I started to where I am now is distinctly different. All the time that I have spent in the gym, and advice my coaches and teammates have given me, has allowed me to become a better defender and offensive threat. Without them I wouldn’t be the player that I am today."

Despite her offensive prowess, the 22-year-old said she did not know what she was walking into in her first year on a college court.

"High school basketball did not prepare me for all the things that I would see at MMA," said Ogden. "There was a major learning curve for me as a player who sat in a two-three zone [defense] as a center for my entire high school career.

"There was so much I hadn’t learned, but the one thing that prepared me most when looking back was the support of my hometown. They gave me the confidence to play at the next level."

Ogden still has one larger goal in mind, not just for herself, but for the team, namely "winning a championship."

"Not only do I want to experience that feeling of winning for myself, but for my teammates and my coaches," said Ogden.

Ogden said she has no regrets during her time as a Mariner, and she "loves this program and wouldn't trade a single moment."

"This program is not just about basketball," said Ogden. "It’s about giving to something bigger than yourself, working hard, and doing the right thing always. I am so blessed to be a part of such a great program and the Mariner family."

Ogden is the daughter of David Ogden from Greenfield and Paula Wing from Monroe.

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