Hoban Girls Basketball Tears it Up in More Ways than One

Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are nothing new to Hoban athletics. Sophomore soccer player Bridgett Martin underwent surgery for two injuries, while junior twins Ben and Max Hawk have each experienced football related tears, requiring surgery as well. Girls basketball, however, recently took the biggest blow, losing not one but two star juniors, Megan Hutson and Emma Tecca, to the trauma.

“Not only were they key players, but they were two of the best teammates to have who respected and loved the game so much,” senior point guard Leah Hall said.

Tecca, who is six months into the standard nine-month recovery, tore her right ACL during a 2017 spring AAU game, in which her knee “swung out of socket” due to contact from a defensive player.

“I was shocked and upset,”Tecca said. “I never expected it to be a torn ACL.”

Hutson, on the other hand, was injured in a December pre-season game while guarding another player. Unfortunately, she’s no stranger to injury—during her sophomore year, Hutson endured a torn labrum, meaning she not only missed all soccer season, but also a portion of basketball during the 2016-2017 school year.

“I just knew right away that it wasn’t anything good,” she said while reminiscing on the play. “But last year, I went through a similar season-ending injury, so I knew it was just a small setback for a major comeback.”

Hutson’s not the only one hoping for a major comeback. The rest of the team also wishes for fast recoveries for both Tecca and Hutson, as the two play integral parts on both sides of the ball.

“Emma was our leading scorer these last two years, so without her our problem is scoring,” Hall said. “Megan is one of the hardest defensive players as well as a really good rebounder. That’s what we are challenged with this year as well.”

With upcoming opponents such as St. Vincent-St. Mary, Magnificat and Walsh, both Tecca and Hutson’s skills will be missed. But the team continues to prevail, with an 8-4 record and high hopes of tourney success.

“Girls who haven’t gotten a lot of past varsity experience have stepped up and been major contributors to our team,” Tecca said.

Under student captains Leah Hall and Nicole Roberts, the team continues to set goals:  an NCL championship being one of those. However, losing two young stars does affect team morale.

“Our team morale changed in our discipline focus and maturity this year,” Hall said. “We are a work-in-progress, but I️ think we will get better. I️ just take everything a day at a time and continue to lead my team.”

And lead she does, as Hall, Roberts and various other teammates have played key parts of both players’ recoveries and spirits.

“After the scrimmage when I got hurt, the whole team came to the trainer’s room and gave me great hugs,” Hutson said. “When crutching out of the gym that night, Nicole Roberts ran up to me and gave me this big championship belt (that a player would get after playing a really awesome game) and said the team decided I should have it. Ever since, the team keeps me a part of them as a player, a teammate and a friend.”

While this season was anything but expected, expecting the unexpected is the new norm. Meanwhile, Tecca and Hutson, cheer on their teammates as mentors and examples of perseverance to other athletes, albeit on crutches, joining Martin and the Hawk twins in the ever-growing ACL injury club at Hoban.

“From this point on it is our roles on the team to get better for next season emotionally and physically and to be there for the team as accountable teammates,” Hutson said.