Meagan Crosby’s physically and emotionally painful journey back from a broken leg suffered during last year’s basketball tournament took a triumphant turn when the Oak Hill center was in the starting lineup of Saturday’s season-opener against Saint Dominic.

“It feels so good,” she said. “Basketball is my life. I’m always playing it. I play year-round. So that six months where I just couldn’t do it and then I had restrictions was really hard. But it’s good to be back.”

Crosby, a senior, required a rod and three screws in her left leg after breaking it during last year’s Western Class B preliminary round loss to York.

Although her love for the game runs deep, Crosby admitted she had doubts in the days after the injury whether she had it in her to get back on the court for her senior season.

“The first week was really hard coming back from surgery,” Crosby said. “I had people showing up at my house and saying, ‘You’ll get through it,’ Once I started to get off crutches, I felt like ‘Yeah, I can do this.'”

“As soon as I was able to get back I went back and did some summer ball,” she added. “It’s a long process.”

First-year head coach Charlie Castonguay kept a close eye on Crosby during summer ball and even held her out of some games so as not to put too much stress on the leg.

“She’s got a lot of heart, that kid,” Castonguay said. “All summer long, she just battled. She plays with a lot of pain sometimes. We won’t know it. And she won’t tell you. She just wants to play.””

“I was a little nervous at first because it’s very traumatic,” Crosby said. “But once I started getting into it I kind of just forgot about it and kept playing through.”

Crosby scored two points in her return, a 60-28 win over the Saints.

• • •

Monmouth coach Scott Wing was pleased with how his young team responded to its opening night jitters in its 60-35 win over Lisbon on Saturday.

“I’m pretty happy with the overall game,” Wing said. “They played solid defense, especially early in the game. Some of our kids were a little nervous in the first quarter, especially our freshmen. But they seemed to have settled down by the second quarter.”

That was a especially true of freshman guard Tia Day, who scored 11 points in about a four-minute span in the second period, including three 3-pointers en route to a game-high 17 points.

Another freshman, Abbey Allen, added nine points of the bench.

Day and Allen are two of six freshmen on Monmouth’s 13-girl varsity roster. All six got into Saturday’s game, although Wing expects three or four to be regular contributors.

Wing went into the season feeling one of the keys to the Mustangs’ season would be how well the newcomers would jell with the veterans and how they would react to the speed and physical nature of the varsity game.

“I think they’re a pretty impressive group of kids,” Wing said. “They’re fitting in well with the older kids and it’s starting to come together pretty well.”

The Mustangs rookies and veterans will be thrown right into the fire for their next four games — at Carrabec tonight, home against Mountain Valley Saturday, then next week at Madison and at Dirigo.

“I’d much rather have those games towards the end of the season, especially with such a young team. But we’ll see where we are afterwards,” Wing said.

• • •

Cony’s rebuilding project got off to a painful start on opening night with a 46-13 loss to Brunswick. The Rams managed just one field goal against the Dragons.

But there were signs of improvement in their home opener on Wednesday, a 46-37 loss Lewiston. Led by Sydney Cheever’s three 3-pointers, the Rams connected on six 3-point attempts and 13 field goals overall.

“Progress is coming,” Cony coach Ted Rioux said. “It’s just going to be slow. Offense comes slow.”

Rioux expects his team to pick things up quicker at the defensive end.

“At the defensive end, we’re not getting enough stops and we’re not rebounding,” he said. “Those are the two things you need to do.”

Cony graduated seven seniors from last year’s 13-7 squad that reached the Eastern A semifinals.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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