It was a simple lay up on a fast break. Kendall Utter had done it a hundred times.
But when the Washougal High School senior landed awkwardly on her knee during a Dec. 28 game against Molalla, she severed her ACL and tore her MCL and her meniscus.
“I’ve played with Kendall for six years. Our game has grown up with each other,” said fellow senior captain Maddie Down. “To be on the court without her just doesn’t feel right. It’s unbalanced.”
On Friday, the Panthers opened league with a home game against R.A. Long. The Lumberjills used their size and strength to snatch a 43-34 victory. Washougal fought hard throughout the game, but couldn’t get the ball in the basket in the fourth quarter when R.A. Long went on an 11-5 run.
“We struggled against their 6-2 girl,” said head coach Charlie Boyce. “Our girls always play hard. We matched their intensity, just not their execution. We missed way too many free throws.”