Injury-riddled Bulldogs take it on the chin

Injury-riddled Bulldogs take it on the chin

MAHOMET — The losses are starting to add up for the Mahomet-Seymour girls’ basketball team, but the ones on the scoreboard aren’t the ones most concerning to coach Nathan Seal.

Since the season started one month ago, two of his starters have suffered season-ending injuries. Senior Vanessa Heinold has undergone surgery on both legs. Sophomore Maddie See will have an operation for a torn anterior cruciate ligament the day after Christmas.

The first player that Seal summoned off the bench Friday, senior Tori Duvall, went out with an ankle injury in the first quarter and was unable to return. Her status for Monday’s game against Urbana has not been determined.

Following a 51-41 loss to a Bloomington Central Catholic squad that is 8-1 for the season, Seal is finding it tougher to keep preaching his mantra.

“It’s not about one person,” he said. “We play with who’s available and keep plugging.”

The Bulldogs (6-5) had no shortage of bright spots against the Saints. Junior Maggie Schmidt hit 10 of 10 free throws and scored a team-high 15 points.

Junior Mackenzie Joop was the game’s dominant rebounder, grabbing 14. Senior teammate Hannah Charter had 10 rebounds as M-S outboarded the visitors.

Seal was pleased by the production of Joop and Schmidt, his tallest active players at 5-foot-10.

“I told them they have to control the inside, and hopefully this is a catalyst of what is to come this year,” Seal said. “I see improvement. This is an unbelievably hardworking group, and the focus is to continue to get better.”

Junior point guard Allison Fritz is one of the few Bulldogs to have made a quick recovery. She suffered an ACL injury in May, near the end of the soccer season.

Six months later, she is back on the court, as active as ever.

“Her speed and athleticism really helps, especially against a team like BCC that presses so well,” Seal said. “Overall, the girls handled the press pretty well.”

Schmidt was the lone M-S double-figure scorer. Joop and Kristen Belyea each added seven points.

“We had to get to the rim,” Seal said. “In the first half, we did an excellent job of that (trailing 24-23).”

Fritz finished with three baskets — all on drives to the hoop — and shared the team lead in field goals with Belyea.

Friday’s game was the fifth that See has missed and the second for Heinold.

Judah Christmas Classic
Shelby Warner had 18 points as Chrisman beat Judah Christian 37-26 in tournament play in Champaign. Leslee Chambers led the Tribe with 21 points.

In Tri-County’s 62-19 win against Schlarman, Abby Smith (15 points), Amber Meyer (14) and Kyla Skinner (10) led a balanced attack for the Titans.