Girls basketball overcoming injuries


Lia Kelly

Kayla Henning, junior, dribbles down the court at Dec. 4 game against Glenbrook South. Henning recovered from an ACL injury offseason.

Eli Cohen, Benji Fervoy and Will Wambo

With a mix of upperclassmen leadership and up-and-coming talent, the Kits look to continue improving. Despite being plagued with injuries, the team is shooting to make it even further into March than their regional exit last season.

“One of the biggest challenges we’ve had this season is our injuries,” coach Brittany Johnson explained. “It has made us a much deeper team, but it’s not a great thing for our kids that have been hurt.”

Junior Kayla Henning was one of the team’s best players last winter, making a huge contribution as the team’s leading scorer, despite only being a sophomore. Henning suffered an ACL tear over last offseason, an injury considered career-threatening for many athletes. However, Henning made an irregularly quick comeback, and was back on the court for the start of this season.

“[Henning’s absence] allowed a lot of people to step up and those people now are in a lot of big roles for our team,” Johnson said. “Having her come back on top of what we already have healthy, is when we become the team everybody wants us to be.”

Henning’s comeback was surprisingly quick, and thus, she is yet to be back where she was just half a year ago.

“My first doctor told me I would be missing this season, and it was out of the picture for me,” Henning said. “But then my second doctor told me depending on how much work I put into it is how fast I’d come back.”

Due to a loss of speed, Henning shifted from the point guard position to playing on the wing. Many would think that moving a star player’s position would harm the team’s overall chemistry, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I think the biggest difference from last season is that we have a better bond,” junior forward Ambrea Gentle said. “We’ve been playing well this season and pushing each other to our maximum effort.”

Gentle was one of the many players who found herself in the spotlight with Henning’s offseason absence. The junior forward is one of the team’s leaders and top scorers this season, Gentle is scoring well with her back to the basket. Using her tall __ frame to become a double-double machine, Gentle is a key part of the Kits’ success.

Gentle tallied 16 points and nine rebounds against previously unbeaten Glenbrook South on Dec. 4.

Thus far, ETHS is off to a 10-2 record, as they head into the Montini Holiday Tournament over winter break.

The Kits look to further prove why they’re considered one of the top teams in Illinois as they face rival Loyola tonight in Beardsley Gym, at 7 pm.