Allie York’s basketball career, put on hold by a knee injury she suffered prior to the start of last season, resumes tonight.
York will be back on the court for the Lady Marshals when they visit Ballard Memorial to open the season.
“I don’t feel like I’m fully back yet,” the 5-9 forward said. “But I’m working on it, definitely. Just trying to make myself better.”
York saw action in 26 of 29 games as a freshman and averaged 4.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. The next year, she hit for 11.3 points, second only to Taylor Meadows’ 13.4, and led the team with 7.5 rebounds per contest.
Then came the injury, the surgery and the rehabilitation. York was unable to participate, except as a fan, as Marshall County won its second straight (and 21st overall) First Region championship. She was in uniform and on the court when the team returned to the Sweet Sixteen in Bowling Green, but was not cleared to resume playing.
That’s over and done with now, said York, who is looking forward, not back.
“It’s definitely behind me,” she said. “I’ve forgotten about it and I feel like it’s made me grow as a player and everything. I just realized that there’s a lot of worse things that can happen to you.”
Fellow senior Toni Fehrenbacher relishes the prospect of York’s return to action.
“To have her last year would have meant the world,” Fehrenbacher said. “I’m definitely glad to have her back.”
York, Fehrenbacher and junior Alyssa Barnard will be the primary front-court players for coach Joseph Simmons this year. They will work to fill the void left by the graduation of center Alex Brown, who scored 7.1 points and averaged 6.2 rebounds per game last year.
Barnard averaged 5.6 points and 5.8 rebounds and Fehrenbacher 4.1 points and 4.7 rebounds last year.
An even bigger gap will have to be filled in the backcourt, which will be missing Meadows and Mariah McKenty, who led the team with 17.1 and 9.2 points per game, respectively. Junior Bailey Greer will run the team from the point guard spot, where she averaged 6.6 points per game last year as a sophomore.
Another junior, Melissa Ross, is a possible fifth starter for the Lady Marshals. Ross saw action in 35 games last year as a sophomore. Michaela Manley also had a busy sophomore season, playing in 28 varsity games.
Amanda Bailey, a 6-1 junior, could develop into an inside force if she can overcome knee injuries that have restricted her court time the last two seasons.
The two seniors are looking forward to helping nurture a huge crop of 14 freshmen on the Lady Marshals’ roster.
“I feel like it’s our job to get everyone else and ourselves in the right positions, so we can be the best that we can be,” York said.
“We’ve just got to get them going, get them a lot of minutes,” Fehrenbacher said.
Marshall County won last year’s season opener against Ballard at home, 45-39, and held on for a 63-61 win later in the season at Ballard.
On Thursday, the Lady Marshals meet Massac County, Ill., in Hoop Fest action. Marshall County will try to extend a six-game winning streak against the visitors from Metropolis, who fought hard before falling 49-48 last year.
On Saturday, the opponent will be powerful Mount Carmel, Ill., led by Indiana University signee Tyra Buss and her 30-points-plus scoring average. The Lady Marshals defeated Mount Carmel in 2012 but fell 71-57 last year.