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Molly Franson, of Andrew, makes a move to the basket against Tinley Park at Tinley Park H.S., Monday, December 3rd, 2012, in Tinley Park, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
It will be a second start to the season for Andrew’s Molly Franson when she returns to the lineup for Tuesday’s game against Thornton.
The first one didn’t go well at all for the 6-foot-2 senior, who during the Thunderbolts’ third game at the Glenbard East Thanksgiving Tournament re-aggravated her left knee, on which she’d had surgery to correct an abnormality.
“I passed the ball and I went to cut, then it just gave out,” Franson said. “I was like, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK.’ I tried not to freak out until I saw the doctor. I wasn’t going to think the worst until I got the news.”
As it turned out, the news wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t the worst, either.
Unlike her first injury, which left her bedridden for two weeks, off her feet for another six and on the sidelines for the entire 2011-12 season, Franson was told to take off a few weeks and allow the knee to settle down.
“It was kind of unclear,” she said. “I sprained my MCL, and because of all of the work that had already been done on it, they were worried about a couple of screws and a bone bruise,” Franson said. “But it was just sore. It’ll all heal by itself.”
As she has been since the injury, Franson was on the bench cheering on her teammates at the Lincoln-Way East Medieval Classic.
“It’s hard,” Franson said of watching rather than playing. “I wanted to come out my senior year and help our team make a name for ourselves, because we have the talent. It hurt, more than just the knee.”
When she returns she’ll bring back 14 points per game, possibly more, considering last season she shared the scoring load with All-Area player Tiana Karopulos.
“Having this happen at the beginning of the year kind of forced us to grow as a team. I think this tournament they showed the most improvement from Day 1 to the last day,” Franson said. “We should look at this and say, ‘Here is how far we’ve come and here’s how far we can go.’ And I think we will, for sure.”
Hannah has it all
As a volleyball player Hannah Henderson played several different positions during her career at Stagg. She was second on the team in kills, digs and blocks and third in service points.
As a basketball player she’s the team leader in assists, steals and free-throw shooting and second in scoring and rebounding.
Throw in being a big contributor on the soccer team, and you’ve got someone who will be one of Stagg’s most-remembered three-sport athletes.
“And as good an athlete she’s been for Stagg High School, she is an even better person,” Chargers basketball coach Bill Turner said. “She excels in the classroom and is in the top 10 percent in her class.
“She is our catalyst on both ends of the floor and is a tenacious defender who we always assign to guard the opponent’s best player. She’s a leader and role model for others to emulate.”
Player of the Week
Kayla Kieklak, of Lincoln-Way North, is the Southtown Star Girls Basketball Player of the Week.
Kieklak, a sophomore guard, averaged 21 points per game and had the game-winning basket in North’s 54-52 win over Lincoln-Way East in the Medieval Classic title game. She was named the tournament MVP.