In her final regular-season basketball game, Granbury Lady Pirate Lilley Vander Zee celebrated senior night at the James Wann Sports Center with 25 points and eight rebounds in a 52-36 win over Arlington Heights.
But was it her final game in a Lady Pirate uniform?
That may depend on whether the Lady Pirates defeat Cleburne in their bidistrict game Tuesday at Boswell High School.
Midway through the fourth quarter Tuesday evening, Vander Zee injured her pinky finger on her shooting hand and left the game. She returned to action, but afterwards left the gym in pain and was taken to the hospital.
Coach Leta Andrews said Vander Zee suffered a broken knuckle and was told she cannot play Tuesday. So barring a last-minute change of medical advice, Vander Zee will not be on the court against Cleburne.
“I would love to have her out there, but we can’t go against what the doctor says,” said Andrews Thursday morning. “But the girls will be ready. We’ve had good practices, and they’ve had to play without her before.”
Andrews said the team had to rally with Vander Zee out with a back injury and became a better team as the season progressed. Vander Zee returned just before the start of district.
The finger injury is the latest occurrence in what has been an up-and-down senior season for the 6-4 all-state post who has signed with the University of Texas. It also comes on the heels of the announcement that she is among the nominees for the McDonald’s All-American Team.
With second-year coach Jamie Calahan, the Cleburne Lady Jackets have improved from 10-21 to 21-12 and finished second in 8-4A. Granbury (20-13, 11-3 in 7-4A) finished third in its district.
Andrews said it is possible Vander Zee could return for the second round.
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Arlington Heights 2 15 14 5 – 36
Granbury 16 13 11 12 – 52
Granbury (20-13, 11-3 in 7-4A) scoring – Lilley Vander Zee 25, Morgan Northcutt 11, Shelby Cline 5, Kali Jones 4, Ashley Bonugli 3, Bailey Cole 3, Whitney Matos 1.
Granbury rebounds – 33 (Vander Zee 8, Cline 7, Bonugli 6).
Granbury assists – Bonugli 4, Lauren Clough 3.
Granbury steals – Vander Zee 5.
Granbury free throws – 13-22