TURBOTVILLE — The Warrior Run girls varsity basketball team concluded its regular season schedule with a dominant win over St. John Neumann Wednesday night, but the victory nearly came with a heavy cost to the Lady Defenders.
With the game well in hand with just under five minutes to play in the third quarter, sophomore forward Emily McKee stole an errant pass and raced toward the hoop for what looked to be a breakaway lay-up. McKee collided with the Lady Knights’ Naya Amos on her way up, came down awkwardly and immediately began writhing in pain on the court.
The gym fell silent as an emotional McKee lay on the court for several minutes while being tended to by the Warrior Run medical staff.
In the fourth quarter, however, McKee made her way back to the bench with a large ice pack strapped to her right knee and joined her teammates with a smile on her face. The mood lightened and the Lady Defenders cruised to a 67-21 victory.
Following the game, both McKee and Warrior Run head coach Rachael Herb described the sophomore’s injury as a hyperextended knee and the indicated that they did not believe the talented forward had suffered any ligament damage.
“They took a look at it and said that I hyperextended it, but they don’t think there is any damage to the ligaments in my knee,” McKee said.
“We think that she just slid on the floor a little bit and kind of hyperextended it,” Herb said. “We expect to have her back at practice tomorrow.”
McKee was nearly unstoppable prior to her injury as she controlled the paint on the offensive end and scored 15 points in the opening quarter. The Lady Defenders jumped out to a 25-6 lead after one period of play and McKee knew early on that her team’s game plan was working.
“Our inside-out game was really working and we’ve been hammering that in the first part of games, when they double down on me, I kick it out to our guards and they get open shots,” McKee said. “I’ve gotten really comfortable in our system (this season).”
The Lady Defenders were up 39-10 at halftime and 59-16 at the end of three so the PIAA-mandated running clock was in effect throughout the entire fourth quarter.
McKee finished with a game-high 27 points which included a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. Sydney Hoffman added 19 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks for the Lady Defenders while forward Marissa Pick pulled down a team-high six rebounds. In all, 10 different Lady Defenders found the score sheet in the win.
The Lady Defenders locked up the No. 3 seed in the District 4 Class 3A playoffs by virtue of their win and Towanda’s loss to Tioga. Warrior Run will host East Juniata next week in the quarterfinals and Herb believes that her team still has another gear as the postseason approaches.
“I think we still quite haven’t hit our peak,” Herb said. “I think there’s a lot more in these girls and as we get into the playoffs, we’re going to find that out.”
Warrior Run 67, St. John Neumann 21
at Warrior Run
Warrior Run 25 14 20 8—67St. John Neumann 6 5 6 5—21Warrior Run (15-7) 67
Sydney Hoffman 8 1-2 19; Gracy Beachel 2 0-0 4; Jordan Hofman 1 0-0 3; Marissa Pick 1 0-0 2; Emily McKee 9 9-9 27; Katie Watkins 0 2-2 2; Alayna wilkins 1 0-0 3; Lauren Watson 1 0-0 3; Leah Grow 0 0-0 0; Kaelyn Wilson 0 0-0 0; Abby Evans 0 0-0 0; Holly Hollenbach 1 0-0 2; Regan Campbell 1 0-0 2; Peyton Meehan 0 0-0 0; Jaz Hollenbach 0 0-0 0; Rachel Zimmerman 0 0-0 0.
25 12-13 67.
Hoffman 2, Hartman, Watson, Wilkins.
St. John Neumann (1-19) 21
Sheiana Tutler 2 0-2 4; Lily Reid 3 1-4 7; Michelle Pierce 0 0-0 0; Zuzu Shanaway 1 0-0 2; Maria Helminiak 2 0-0 4; Ellie Androvette 0 0-0 0; Naaya Amos 2 0-0 4; Jaden Nixon 0 0-0 0.
10 1-4 21.
JV score: Warrior Run, 49-12. High scorer: Warrior Run, Holly Hollenbach, 14.