Senior Matthews injured, KHS drops opener in Spears debut
New Kingfisher girls coach Gerrett Spears is confident his team can get over the setback of losing its season opener.
Another setback suffered last Tuesday night will be considerably tougher to overcome.
The Lady Jackets started slowly, dug themselves out of a large deficit and then watched it climb back up again in a 55-38 loss at third-ranked Newcastle.
However, during a third-quarter comeback that saw KHS cut its defi cit from 13 to six points, senior guard Hanna Matthews went down with a knee injury.
It was determined after an MRI Wednesday that Matthews completely tore her ACL.
“We were really nervous to start the game and you could tell,” Spears said. “But once we settled down, it was a different game.
“After Hanna got hurt, our girls were visibly upset.”
Matthews is a three-year starter who had seven points and two assists before being injured in a non-contact play.
Family members said they are weighing options in regards to surgery or rehabilitation, which might give her a chance to return this season.
“It completely changes things without her,” admitted Spears.
Even with Matthews on the court, KHS struggled early on.
The Lady Jackets had several miscues against Newcastle’s zone trap and the Lady Racers jumped out to a 17-6 lead.
KHS adjusted in the second quarter, but still trailed by 13 at the break.
The third quarter belonged to KHS as the defense helped force a turnaround and the deficit shrunk.
The comeback was short-lived as Newcastle pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Turnovers were Kingfisher’s biggest issue. Twenty-nine of them led to 19 points for Newcastle.
The Lady Jackets were led by Allison Green, who came off the bench to score nine points.
She had five in the fi rst quarter and eight in the fi rst half.
Jenni Beebe joined Matthews in scoring seven points. Beebe also led the team with nine rebounds.
Newcastle had three players in double fi gures, led by Reagan Fox’s 15.