By Justin Haggerty
EGELSTON TOWNSHIP – In June, Mona Shores girls basketball standout Jordan Walker tore her ACL.
On Tuesday night, just six months later, Walker was back on the floor for the Sailors, scoring 19 points and pulling down nine rebounds to lead Mona Shores to victory over Oakridge 54-42 on opening night for both teams.
“For me, one of the biggest wins on the court was Jordan Walker coming back from her injury a lot like (the Minnesota Vikings’) Adrian Peterson came back from his,” said Mona Shores head coach Brad Kurth. “But she just did it with more character.”
One quarter was all Walker needed to shake off the rust.
Walker was held scoreless through the first eight minutes but hit two three-pointers in the first 90-seconds of the second and finished the first half with eight points.
“To have her playing the level she is, considering she’s been (medically) cleared for about 10 days, she’s really playing like a superhero,” Kurth said. “To give her credit for what she does on and off the court, she’s amazing.
“You can see that she is just kind of like a conductor. She has the basketball IQ to make the whole game change a little bit. You can see she’s still a little rusty, but that’s great.”
The Sailors built a 17-8 lead early in the second quarter, but the Eagles outscored the Sailors 15-6 down the stretch and trailed by just a point at halftime.
The Sailors took note of the threat and opened the second half on a 10-0 run to go up by 11 points just three minutes into the third quarter. Mona Shores led 39-30 at the third buzzer.
The Eagles’ Hannah Reinhold and freshman Sophia Wiard got hot in the fourth quarter and pulled Oakridge within five points, but it was too little, too late for the home team.
Walker took charge from that point, hitting six free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
“I thought that we would be able to move our feet better and play better defense and block-out,” said Oakridge Coach Terry DeJonge. “But at the end of the day, we just weren’t able to do that.
“Their team made more plays than our team.”
Freshman Alyza Winston scored 11 points and dished out four assists for the Sailors.
Reinhold scored 17 and Wiard finished with 12 points for Oakridge.