During the fourth quarter of the Girls Varsity Basketball team’s game against Gaithersburg Jan. 26, senior forward Sunny Paul went down with an injury that was heard throughout the gym. As she fell to the ground, a Trojan player fell on top of her leg, breaking it. She was helped off the court by her teammates and taken to Shady Grove Hospital.
Prior to this matchup, the Lady Coyotes were 14-1, and had defeated Gaithersburg once already. The game was a tight battle, and the Coyotes were starting to pull away until Paul went down. The injury took away all the momentum, and their focus shifted to the status of their teammate. The final score was 54-45 in favor of Gaithersburg.
Senior guard Phylicia McInnis said, “It was hard to focus the rest of the game, we just wanted to know if Sunny was okay or not.” A broken leg meant that Paul will be out for the remainder of the season. She says she was fortunate that it was a clean break meaning that no surgery would be necessary.
“It really stinks and I wish it didn’t happen but it is what it is,” Paul said.
Before the injury injury, Paul was the team’s third leading scorer, averaging 12.3 points per game. With several colleges recruiting her to play for them, this injury brought uncertainty about her future.
“It makes me even more motivated to play basketball in college, but I haven’t decided for sure yet,” Paul said.
The Lady Coyotes still hope to make a deep playoff run and use Paul’s injury as more motivation. Although unable to participate, Paul attends every game and practice to support her teammates and cheer them on.
“I’m still a part of the team even though I don’t play,” Paul said.
There is still lots of optimism throughout the team with other players willing to work hard and step up in Paul’s absence.
“We have lots of talent and I think we will be fine as long as we play hard,” Mcinnis said.
The Coyotes have beaten every team in their division with the exception of a tough loss to Richard Montgomery earlier in the season. They will look to avenge their loss tomorrow night in the Sectional Finals at 6 p.m..