Knee injury a step back for Spencer


March 29, 1995|By BILL FREE

Unreal. Unthinkable. Unbelievable.

All those words describe the misfortune that has befallen senior Nicole Spencer in her final months at South Carroll High.

The two-time Carroll County Girls Basketball Player of the Year will undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee April 12 and will be walking with the aid of crutches TC for four weeks and then face a summer of extensive rehabilitation.

This all comes just a little more than two years after Spencer went through a lot of physical and mental pain after she had the same injury to her right knee.

That first serious knee injury forced Spencer to miss half of her sophomore basketball season and dedicate herself to several months of rehabilitation in order to come back for her junior volleyball and basketball seasons.

Now the 5-foot-9 forward has to do it all over again if she hopes to make the Brigham Young University women's basketball team as a walk-on next fall.

Spencer suffered the left knee injury in the second quarter of the state Class 3A region championship game against Walt Whitman March 4. She said her left knee collided with a Whitman player's knee and "everything moved except my knee."

She had to leave the game (which turned out to be her last in a South Carroll uniform) and the preliminary indications were the injury could possibly be another torn acl.

Spencer had those fears confirmed four days later.

"At first I was upset," said Spencer. "But afterward I accepted it. I realized it wasn't going to ruin my chances to play in college."

Spencer, who averaged 17 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals as a senior, said she didn't have to look far to find out why she has had two serious knee injuries.

"It's probably hereditary," said Spencer. "My dad [Dave Spencer who starred for Mount Airy High] had the same injury to his knees."

Never one to complain or make excuses for a bad game, Spencer now concedes that the left knee had been bothering her in practices and games during her senior season.

"I had trouble with it all season," she said. "It wasn't bad enough to keep me from playing."

Westminster loses Mays

The fast-starting Westminster High (3-0) baseball team will have to do without senior center fielder Steve Mays for at least 10 days.

Mays cut his right hand while playing basketball last weekend and received 10 stitches. Mays was a defensive standout for the Owls basketball team and was a first-team All-Carroll County choice.

"The loss of Mays is going to hurt us," said co-coach Guy Stull, whose team travels to Linganore tomorrow.

The Owls have outscored three Howard County opponents, 30-7, behind the power hitting of Ryan Starliper and Paul Reter and the pitching of Mike Peters, Chris Cash and Andy Marsiglia.

South Carroll (3-1), Liberty (2-1) and Francis Scott Key (2-1) also have gotten off to good starts in baseball.

The Cavaliers outscored three Howard County opponents, 15-3, for a 3-0 record before being upset by Atholton, 9-4, Monday at home.

First-year coach Bradley Collins' team had been riding the pitching of Kile Maxcy, Ronnie White, Zach Hollman and Tommy Lewis before running into Atholton.

Liberty has been living on the edge, beating Mount Hebron, 6-4, and Hammond, 4-3, before losing to Glenelg, 5-4, Monday. The Lions also have played to a seven-inning 7-7 tie with Oakland Mills in a game that was suspended due to darkness.

Liberty coach Steve Insley said: "We've been struggling at the plate like I thought we would but our defense and pitching [led by Daryl Knight and Chris Devins] has been outstanding."

Francis Scott Key also won its first two games, beating Boonsboro and Williamsport at home, before losing Monday to South Hagerstown.

The season-opening victory over Boonsboro gave the Eagles a measure of revenge for a 10-3 opening-round loss to Boonsboro last year in the 1A West Region playoffs.

North Carroll is 1-1 after beating Hammond, 11-7, Monday. The Panthers were leading Glenelg, 3-1 after five innings in the season opener before the Gladiators rallied for six runs in the sixth in a game that was suspended due to darkness.

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