Wilcher return good news for Blazers
River Forest, 01/10/13--Trinity's Maryam Wilcher shoots a basket over McAuley's Lauren Carlson. Trinity High School hosted Mother McAuley High School in girls basketball Thursday evening. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 28, 2013 5:13PM
RIVER FOREST — Maryam Wilcher’s freshman season for Trinity wasn’t supposed to start out this way.
Wilcher sprained her right ankle in the Blazers’ second game of the season and was unable to play for another 13 games.
Wilcher returned Jan. 10 for a GCAC Red game against visiting Mother McAuley. The guard from Berwyn missed her first four shots and picked up two fouls in the first half to send her to the bench. Her only basket in the 64-57 win was a putback early in the second quarter to put Trinity ahead 24-9. She finished with three points and a rebound.
“I felt 100 percent,” Wilcher said. “I know I have not played. I’ve rested a long time before making a comeback.”
Wilcher’s return was a rare dose of good news. Two other Trinity players are out for the remainder of the season. The biggest loss is senior guard Mikayla Leyden, a Chicago resident, who was the leading middle hitter for the volleyball team in the spring.
Leyden also injured her right knee in the second game against Proviso West Nov. 20. She returned to score 27 points against Resurrection, but then tweaked her knee again against Regina Dec. 4.
Doctors discovered she had torn her meniscus and she underwent surgery Dec. 12, ending her season after four games.
“It’s tough because I know I can’t do anything to help the team whatsoever,” said Leyden, who started last season. “I can energize them — obviously, that’s one thing I can do.”
Freshman Amber Reese, whose twin sister Arielle plays for the JV team, also is lost for the season after tearing the ACL in her right knee against Resurrection. Reece and Wilcher are among four freshmen listed on Trinity’s varsity roster, along with Annie McKenna and Kaitlyn Aylward.
“I don’t know of any other programs that do what we have had to do due to injuries,” Trinity coach Ed Stritzel said.
Stritzel has been forced to rely on his younger players earlier than planned. Against Mother McAuley, Stritzel started two seniors (Taylor Nazon, Shannon McGinnis), two freshmen (Wilcher, McKenna) and junior Lauren Prochaska.