Vikings second leading scorer still bothered by ankle injury
Published 3:06 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004
By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
Niles' girls' basketball team faces possibly its toughest challenge of the season tonight in a physical Benton Harbor team. The task of beating the Tigers will be even tougher, though, if the Vikings must do it without their second leading scorer and all-time 3-point leader Brandie Radde.
It's something Niles doesn't want to do, but something it may be forced to do if Radde isn't cleared to play by a doctor today because of an ankle injury.
Radde, a junior, didn't play Saturday against Ottawa Hills because of pain in her left ankle, pain head coach Jim Arnold said she had been feeling for a couple games.
Initially, Niles' team trainer said the pain was a muscle problem caused by the type of shoe the Vikings wear. So, Radde switched footwear, but the pain persisted.
Radde saw a doctor on Friday who referred her to an orthopedic surgeon in South Bend, Ind., Arnold said. The first doctor suggested Radde not practice or play until she has a chance to see the surgeon today.
Niles didn't need her help Saturday in handling Ottawa Hills, coming up with a 55-24 victory to stay undefeated this season at 7-0.
The Vikings' opponent tonight is much tougher, though, in Benton Harbor. Arnold said the Tigers have two of the best guards in the state who will be hard to stop.
If Radde's doctor today give her the go-ahead, she will play, Arnold said. If not, she will sit out her second straight game. Arnold said that the pain in Radde's ankle has subsided considerably since she consulted the first doctor on Friday.
Radde has been walking on the ankle, but icing it quite often, Arnold added.
On Saturday, junior Megan Scameheorn started in Radde's place. She scored two points, but dished out seven assists.
If Radde doesn't start tonight, Scameheorn will again fill her slot. With Scameheorn, Niles has a smaller lineup than with Radde. Radde is 5-10 and plays a guard/forward role, while the shorter Scameheorn, standing at 5-6, give the Vikings a three-guard set.
Arnold said the Vikings defense will have to be strong and aggressive to stop the Tigers' attack. Not only do they have fantastic guards, he said, but they are big and strong down low and rebound the ball particularly well.
As if a game between two of the tops teams in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference weren't enough, there is a bit of a revenge factor underlying tonight's contest. A team of Benton Harbor players beat a team of Vikings this summer in the Michiana Basketball Academy league.
Not only did the Tigers win, but they won big - by 24 points. Arnold said the loss isn't the driving force behind his team's desire to win tonight, but it shows how good Benton Harbor can be.