Bryant returns Mount Hebron seals title tie Vikings star comes back 7 months after injury

February 24, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

The visiting Mount Hebron Vikings made news yesterday by whipping Glenelg, 64-31, to clinch a tie for their 13th county title in 15 seasons under coach Dave Greenberg.

But the afternoon's biggest headlines belonged to Hebron senior forward Kris Bryant.

Seven months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, Bryant, last season's All-Metro Player of the Year, took the floor for the first time this season.

Wearing a protective brace and favoring the knee slightly, she had six points, five rebounds, a steal, an assist and a blocked shot in 10 minutes.

"I kept waking up last night expecting it to be today. When I got on the floor, I was real nervous," said Bryant, who has been practicing at full speed for four weeks with the Vikings and received medical clearance to play yesterday. "It was a lot harder mentally than physically. It was tough to focus and get into the flow of the game."

Bryant entered the game with 2:59 left in the first quarter and the Vikings leading, 18-3. She made a layup and grabbed a rebound in her first minute of action. She went on to make three of four shots, including a 14-footer from the baseline in the final period.

"What a credit it is to her. What a long haul it's been for her," Greenberg said. "This is more than we expected. We weren't counting on this. Maybe she'll be able to help us out down the road."

Bryant arrived at an opportune time, with the Class 2A, Region II playoffs looming next week. The Vikings (18-3, 12-1), who were missing starting forward Kristen Lloyd (illness) yesterday, are hoping for their state-record seventh state championship. He bron's lack of size has hurt it inside lately.

Bryant still is bothered by tendinitis in the knee, but reported no pain yesterday.

"It's like the beginning of the season for me," Bryant said. "I've got to show him [Greenberg] what I can do."

Said Greenberg: "She wasn't just a body out there today. She did some nice things, especially on the boards. Nobody knows how hard she's worked."

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