For the second straight year, a Fort Hays State senior women's basketball player will see her senior season cut short by injury.
FHSU guard Lanie Page will be sidelined for the season after tearing her ACL on Dec. 18 against Harding in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., FHSU coach Tony Hobson confirmed.
"You can't replace what she does, because she's such a unique player," Hobson said. "She's a guard and she leads us in blocks (15) by a mile, she's our leading free throw percentage shooter (91%), second-leading 3-point shooter (35%). She just does a little bit of everything; she tips so many balls.
"We just have to try to get along without her. We're not ever going to be as good as we would be with her, but we have to be as good as we can be without her."
Page was in her third season with Fort Hays after transferring from Kansas State. A third-team All-MIAA selection last year, the 6-foot-3 Wamego product was averaging 8.8 points this season.
"We’re bummed,” FHSU senior forward Belle Barbieri said. “Lanie’s a good player. We can’t really replace her, and we miss her out on the court. Coach talked to us earlier (Saturday) and said we all just need to be the best players we can be and cover each other’s weaknesses on the court. That’s what we’re working to do — be the best player each individual can be and just come together as a team.”
The injury brought a bad case of deja vu for the Tigers, who lost senior point guard Carly Heim for the season to an ACL tear last year in the second semester of the season. The Tigers still managed to win the MIAA and reach the Central Regional title game.
"We kind of went through this thing last year with Carly, and we came through it and did well," Barbieri said. "Most of us are trained to know that even if we have one player gone, that doesn't mean the season's over. We're going to keep working hard and be the best players we can be."
Junior forward Whitney Randall has stepped into Page's spot in the starting lineup.
Hobson said the Tigers will explore the possibility of obtaining a medical redshirt for Page, who played in 10 games this season.
"We will probably file one, but I think she was in a couple too many games," Hobson said. "I think the limit is around eight games, she played in 10. We will explore that, but it doesn't look good for that.
"I just feel bad for her."
FHSU (10-2, 1-2 MIAA) was set to face Pittsburg State on Monday night at Gross Memorial Coliseum.