Montgomery returns to basketball actionNovember 9, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG — Myah Montgomery knew how excited she was for this — to finally be back out on the basketball court again and not on the sidelines.
Southridge girls stood at 7-5 going into its game Dec. 17, 2019 at Heritage Hills. The Raiders had already equaled the number of wins they had entirely the year before, and had Myah Montgomery leading the way. She already set a team record 42 points earlier that season Nov. 16 against Northeast Dubois.
But Montgomery injured herself not even 10 seconds into the game against the Patriots. She did not return and the Raiders lost, 48-21, that night. Montgomery knew something was wrong after her knee went in that night.
“I was hoping it wasn’t anything big, but I was just expecting something really bad, I guess,” Montgomery said.
It turned out to be a torn ACL, which prevented Montgomery from taking the floor for the remainder of her sophomore year. Southridge’s season took a nosedive as a result of the injury. The Raiders went 2-10 for the rest of the 2019-20 season, as their star player was forced to watch from the sidelines.
“The toughest part was whenever I was hurt, and I didn’t have my surgery yet, was just sitting and watching the practices and the games, and not being able to actually go out there and do it,” she said.
Montgomery’s surgery happened in January, and did different activities to strengthen her quad, hamstrings and getting her leg to bend again. The junior was cleared in June and resumed athletic activity on the volleyball court during the fall season, but the team missing her the rest of her sophomore year only leads one to hypothesize how differently things would’ve been if she had never gotten hurt.
“I think we would’ve kept progressing and getting better every day, and just doing really well,” Montgomery said.
Raiders coach Greg Werner knows the value that Montgomery brings to the team with all that she does, calling her an “outstanding, unbelievable basketball player.” Werner believes Montgomery is one of the best basketball players in the state.
“She would’ve made all-state last year if that was not case,” Werner said.
Fellow junior Mikah Goeppner, senior Kennedy Nalley and sophomore Marie Tempel stepped up in Montgomery’s place, and now Montgomery herself is back in the mix. And with her return happening today at Princeton against the Tigers, she’s also encountered some challenges with what has changed.
“With my ball handling, as always, I need to stay lower, and then with my knee, I know I can do everything, but it’s just the mental part of it,” she said. “You think you can't — it’s just because of your knee, you feel like you can’t, but I know I can.”
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