WHEELING - For athletes, injuries sometimes are the most deadly of opponents.
So when John Marshall's Kylie Howard tore her posterior cruciate ligament (or PCL), everyone feared the worst.
However, according to Monarchs coach Mark McCormick, looks may be deceiving.
John Marshall’s Kylie Howard
is back on the court.
File Photo by Tony Viola
''With Kylie's injury, obviously it wasn't as bad as what they thought,'' McCormick said. ''She just sat out for a while and just rested it.''
But with Howard on the bench, the basketball started to have a hard time finding the basket.
''We struggled pretty mightily (with her out),'' McCormick noted.
JM went from 10-2 to 11-9.
On Feb. 15, after missing nine games, Howard returned to the starting lineup against University on JM's senior night.
''I was really happy I could come back and play my senior night,'' Howard gleamed. ''I felt really good out there.''
The senior led her team with 21 points
''I've never coached a girl that has had that competitive desire,'' McCormick said. ''All my girls have it, but for someone who has an injury and wants to compete, regardless of what the outcome may be, you can't ask for anything more.
"I think our girls feed off her. I don't want to say she sets the tone because we're a team, but I just think having her back in the lineup is kinda like getting back into an old habit. It just kinda fits.''
Though the senior is back in action, she still isn't quite back to full strength.
''I don't feel 100 percent, but I'm definitely getting there,'' she said. ''I rehab after practice for about an hour a day and pretty much just rest and ice.''
With basketball season winding down, Howard still has high hopes for softball season as she returns as reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in West Virginia for the sport and will try to lead John Marshall to back-to-back West Virginia Class AAA state softball titles.
The 25-Point Club
Angela Staffileno, Brooke: Staffileno poured in 33 points to beat Oak Glen.
Kelsey Daughtery, Frontier: Daughtery scored game-high 28 points in a victory against Magnolia.
Mallory Chapman, Magnolia: Chapman finished the night with 26 points in a loss against Frontier.
Marissa Goodright, Meadowbrook: Goodright poured in 32 points in a loss against Harrison Central.
Katie Ellzy, Harrison Central: Ellzy scored 30 points in a victory against Meadowbrook.
Chase Harler, Wheeling Central: Harler scored a game-high 26 points in a victory against Clay-Battelle.
Dan Monteroso, St.Clairsville: Monteroso poured in a game-high 37 points in a victory against Martins Ferry.
Brennan Czuchran, Buckeye Local: Czuchran scored 25 points in a victory against Shenandoah.
Kyle Michalo, Buckeye Local: Michalo poured in 39 points in a victory against Barnesville. He also finished the night with 32 points in a victory against Bellaire.
Cody Schau, Martins Ferry: Schau drained 30 points in a victory against Harrison Central.
D.J. Shoemaker, St. John: Shoemaker scored 27 points in a loss to Hundred.
Perigon West, Steubenville: West fired in 26 points in a loss to St. Clairsville.
Mark Winters, Magnolia: The senior standout scored 30 points in a victory against Buckeye Trail.
Brandon Bailey, Conotton Valley: Bailey poured on 26 points in a victory against Bishop Donahue.
The Downtown Ace
Lindsay Jones, Paige Shriver, Hundred: Jones and Shriver both knocked down four 3s in a victory against Beallsville.
Bryce Jones, Bishop Donahue: Jones hit four 3s in a victory against Beallsville.
Justin Hammers, Wheeling Central: Hammers knocked down four 3s in a victory against Clay-Battelle.
Joel Mott, Grant Burner, East Richland Christian: Mott hit five 3s while Burner added four 3's of his own in the loss to Hundred.
Isaac McGee, Barnesville: McGee knocked down four 3s in a loss to Buckeye Local.
Nate Olmstead, Harrison Central: Olmstead fired four 3s in a loss to Martins Ferry.
Karli Bonar, Shadyside: This Face in the Crowd fired in five 3s in a victory against Caldwell.
The Offensive Explosion
Teryn Jarrett, Beallsville: Jarrett exploded for 32 points behind five 3's in a loss to Bishop Donahue.
Haley Robb, Wheeling Park: Robb finished with 26 points behind four 3s in a loss to Wheeling Central.
Brett Price, River: Price exploded for 29 points behind five 3s in a victory against Monroe Central.
Anthony Wallace, Linsly: Wallace scored 35 points Saturday as Linsly closed its season with a victory against Western Reserve, 57-54, in overtime. The Cadets finished their season at 11-12.