HIGHLAND – Due to a pair of tears in her knee, Vandalia junior Megan Godoyo may have her season ended prematurely for the second year in a row.
It was learned after Tuesday’s game, a 58-40 loss in the first round of consolation bracket in the Highland Tournament, that she had suffered tears to both her medial and lateral meniscus.
The tears occurred in the same knee in which she tore her anterior cruciate ligament at about this time last season.
“She may be out for the year,” said coach Michelle McNary. “She wasn’t moving very well, and got frustrated because that was bothering her.”
The second tear was not revealed until an MRI on Tuesday afternoon, so doctors had said that Godoyo could play in the game if she felt up to it.
Vandalia got within three points of Highland after senior Amber Bruno made a 3-pointer 35 seconds into the final period, but when the Lady Bulldogs made a layup 10 seconds later, it seemed to deflate the Lady Vandals.
“We pulled within three, and you’d think we were down by 20,” McNary said. “We gave up that layup right there, and they didn’t respond.
“There just wasn’t a lot of intensity for us.”
Highland went on to make it a 25-7 run over the rest of the game – including back-to-back 3-pointers off of Vandalia turnovers – on its way to eliminating the Lady Vandals (8-14) from the tournament with a 0-2 record.
Vandalia lost to Breese Central, 62-22, on Saturday in first-round action.
Bruno had a team-high 19 points against Highland, making four 3-pointers in the game, and junior Morgan Cripe added nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.
But as a team, the Lady Vandals committed 20 turnovers for 22 Highland points and allowed the Lady Bulldogs (9-11) to grab 11 offensive rebounds for 16 second-chance points.
“They outhustled us and crashed on the rebounds,” McNary said. “We aren’t boxing out on either side.”
Vandalia opened the game well, showing patience against Highland’s press defense, not committing any turnovers because of the pressure and trailing by just five after the first quarter.
That patience began to drift in the second period, however, and the team went to locker room down eight and eventually got behind by 11 with 2:46 left in the third quarter.
But a 7-3 run over the remainder of the period put the Lady Vandals in a position to try to make a comeback.
Tuesday, Jan. 15
Points: Bruno, 19; Cripe, 9; Kaitlyn Kershaw, 4; Morgan Whightsil, 4; Karlie Bright, 2; Makayla Tinker, 2.
Rebounds: Cripe, 8; Godoyo, 4; Madelyn Hosick, 3; Bruno, 2; Kershaw, 2; Whightsil, 2; Bright, 1; Haley Cothern, 1; Randi Evans, 1; Team, 1.
Assists: Cripe, 3; Bright, 1; Evans, 1; Hosick, 1; Tinker, 1.
Steals: Bruno, 1; Hosick, 1.
Blocks: Cothern, 1; Cripe, 1.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Breese Central 62
Points: Cripe, 10; Whightsil, 4; Bruno, 3; Hosick, 3; Godoyo, 2.
Rebounds: Godoyo, 2; Cothern, 1; Cripe, 1; Abby Dugan, 1; Kylie Sellers, 1; Tinker, 1.
Assists: Godoyo, 2; Cothern, 1.
Steals: Cripe, 2; Hosick, 2; Bruno, 1; Godoyo, 1; Tinker, 1.
VANDALIA – Besides junior Morgan Cripe having her best game of the season, there were few highlights for the Lady Vandals in last Thursday’s 50-point loss to Pana.
Committing 29 turnovers and allowing Pana to score 20 second-chance points, Vandalia was outworked and outhustled in the 83-33 defeat.
“You cannot give a good team three or four chances, and if you do, they will make them,” said coach Michelle McNary. “They are way better than us right now, and are working harder than us.”
The Lady Vandals were hoping to avenge the 52-34 conference loss to Pana from Dec. 13, but they instead watched as the Lady Panthers built a 55-18 halftime lead and kept starters in the game at the start of the fourth quarter despite a 34-point advantage.
Pana also scored on four fast-breaks in the final eight minutes, a play that McNary ordered off in a 72-11 victory against South Central the game before.
Cripe scored a season-high 13 points in the game and added three rebounds.
She showed some fundamentally strong post moves during the game, hitting a perfect turn-around jumper in the second quarter, while also making a pair of 3-pointers.
Early in the game, Pana’s coaches pleaded with their players to make sure that Cripe was guarded well in a game that saw her score her 100th point of the season, despite doctors saying her ankle injury is so bad that she probably shouldn’t even be playing.
“She is capable of doing that, and showed her moves tonight,” McNary said. “And she can step out and hit the 3, as well.
“If she could do that on a consistent basis, she’ll get shots, because teams will have a hard time guarding her.”
Senior Amber Bruno added seven points, while senior Morgan Whightsil and freshman Karlie Bright scored four for the Lady Vandals (8-12).
Vandalia did lead briefly, making the first basket when Whightsil charged through an open lane to the basket for a layup 1:41 into the game, but Pana followed with a 9-0 run, and then scored 35 points in the second period, 10 more points than Vandalia had allowed in a single quarter all season.
“We started forcing shots and not running our offense,” McNary said of the half, which also saw the Lady Vandals struggle to break Pana’s press defense. “Individuals were looking to score instead of running the offense, and when we missed, Pana got fast-breaks.”
The Lady Panthers had six fast-breaks in that half, and Allie Schoonover nailed a floater with half of a second left on the clock.
But the third quarter was better for the Lady Vandals, who outscored Pana, 9-6, over those eight minutes.
Fewer turnovers (four) and better shot selection made the difference, as Cripe and Bruno each made a 3-pointer, while Whightsil had a layup and junior Megan Godoyo made a free throw.
“We actually ran our offense in the third quarter, and looked to run some plays,” McNary said. “I told them at halftime to stop worrying about scoring their points, and to start working as a team.”
The first loss of 2013 snapped a three-game winning streak for the Lady Vandals, and the 83 points allowed were the most given up by the team since allowing 66 points in the second game of the season.
Thursday, Jan. 10
Points: Cripe, 13; Bruno, 7; Bright, 4; Whightsil, 4; Makayla Tinker, 3; Leah Francis, 1; Godoyo, 1.
Rebounds: Tinker, 5; Godoyo, 4; Whightsil, 4; Cripe, 3; Haley Cothern, 1; Abby Dugan, 1; Kylie Sellers, 1; Team, 1.
Assists: Bruno, 1; Cothern, 1; Tinker, 1; Whightsil, 1.
Steals: Godoyo, 3; Bright, 2; Bruno, 2; Randi Evans, 1.