Delone Catholic girls adjusting after losing Novak
For the second season in a row, promising Delone Catholic post player Jill Novak has suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Novak suffered a torn ACL in her right knee against Littlestown Dec. 20.
Three minutes into the game, Novak caught a pass on the block on the left side of the basket.
"She made a move and had a little contact with the Littlestown player," Delone Catholic coach Gerry Eckenrode said.
But that's all it took to end her high school career.
"It's tough, she's done," Eckenrode said.
Novak suffered a torn ACL in her left knee last December, but she recovered in time to start in Delone Catholic's season-opener in Camp Hill this year.
"She just loves the game, and she's only been able to play 10 games in two years," Eckenrode said.
Novak, a 6-foot-1 senior who was averaging 12 points per game and 10 rebounds per game, is expected to play at Millersville University next season. She hopes to return from the injury.
"She's already in rehab again," Eckenrode said.
The injury comes at a difficult time. Delone Catholic shared the YAIAA Division III crown with York Catholic last season and hoped to challenge for the division title and possibly a District 3 title this season. The longtime rival programs face off Wednesday.
"We're not where we have to be to play (York Catholic)," Eckenrode said.
"We didn't pick up the slack this week," Eckenrode said after Delone dropped its second game at the Boyertown tournament Friday. "We need to make an adjustment without her in the lineup."
Delone Catholic will finish the season without its best post player, Novak, and its most consistent outside shooter, Riley Vingsen. Both have suffered season-ending ACL injuries.
Playing two freshman and four sophomores, Delone Catholic will focus on improving.
"We just have to get better by the end of the year," Eckenrode said.