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Injuries are a part of any season, but Lincoln-Way East has had to adjust on the fly over the past two weeks with three separate injuries.
Senior Nathalie Hill was lost for the season with an ACL tear in her right knee, while leading scorer Meaghan McMahon is out indefinitely with concussion symptoms. Dana O’Grady missed two games with a concussion but has returned to the lineup.
“It takes the wind out of the team,” East coach Jim Martin said. “Nathalie was a vocal leader and a smart player on the court. Other kids have to step up.”
All three injuries were suffered in a 66-17 loss Jan. 15 at Bolingbrook. Hill planted funny on a jump stop in the second quarter, tearing the ligament, an injury that will require surgery. O’Grady took a knee to the back of the head late going for a loose ball while McMahon isn’t quite sure when the injury happened.
McMahon, the Griffins’ leading scorer, still has concussion symptoms and must pass a concussion test before returning to action, which could be as early as Saturday against Lake Zurich.
“It was just freak things happening in a game,” Martin said. “Complete accidents. Meaghan thinks she took an elbow to the head on a rebound. It’s a tough week ahead so we need to find some scoring with Meaghan out, but we’ll get through it.”
Haley McCabe and Erin Hayes have both stepped up into bigger roles for the Griffins.
Injury bug, Part 2: Minooka
Minooka has been without second leading scorer Erin Heide since mid-December. Heide suffered a stress fracture in her right foot, and her return date is up in the air.
“We’d love to have her back, but we’re learning to play without her,” Minooka coach Ray Liberatore said. “She’s another offensive weapon who can handle the ball. We’re asking Sydney Lilly to carry that load every night. Sydney’s done an excellent job, and doesn’t always score, but she makes things go for us.”
A senior guard, Lilly averages almost 4 assists per game for the Indians at the point position. Senior forward Larissa McLemen has been Minooka’s go-to player offensively, averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds.