GIRLS BASKETBALL

Coleman’s health keys Cherokees’ hot start

2013-12-16T18:00:00Z 2013-12-16T19:02:14Z Coleman’s health keys Cherokees’ hot startMichael Raines Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 16, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

MORGAN TWP. | Shoulder injuries are tricky have been known to sideline professional athletes for weeks or months.

Morgan Township point guard Trina Coleman was having none of that.

When she tore the labrum in her left shoulder early last December, Coleman didn’t head to the bench. She played through the pain and finished out the season.

“She played her best basketball last year in January and early February, towards the end of the season and probably when she was in the most pain,” Cherokees coach Kevin Krieger said. “We ask her to do a lot of things for us, both offensively and defensively. To have her back fully healthy is a great blessing for our team.”

While it’s true Coleman is healthy, she faced a long road to get back. Shoulders are funny that way.

“You don’t realize how much you use your shoulder to do everyday things,” Coleman said. “The recovery process, the physical therapy, was pretty hard.”

Coleman missed the entirety of Morgan Twp.’s summer program due to more than six months of rehab. Once she returned to the floor, she had to regain her shot and get back into basketball shape.

The senior struggled with her shot selection in early games this season, Krieger said, but now she’s back as the total package — and Morgan Twp. is off to a 7-3 start, its best since 2010. The Class A Cherokees have wins against four 2A teams, 3A Wheeler and a tough road victory at 4A South Bend Clay.

“She’s our unquestioned leader on the court,” Krieger said. “She does a real good job of helping the other players in their roles. She and her teammates have really bought into the team philosophy and she has gotten others involved from the point guard position.”

Running the point, Coleman is more than just a scorer. She racks up assists and steals, creating offense out of defense and putting the ball in the hands of her teammates.

She’s also a formidable scorer. Coleman recently became the seventh player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.

“She’s been an impact player for us for all four years. We had some losing seasons before she came to us as a freshman, and as a freshman she started on a team full of seniors,” Krieger said. “By the end of that year, she was probably our best all-around player. She has continued to work on different aspects of her game throughout her career and improve on those each year, which has helped her become very consistent.”

That consistency allowed Coleman to reach the scoring milestone spending nearly all of last season playing through the shoulder pain. Although she’s more focused on team-oriented goals, Coleman said she was thankful for her accomplishment.

“I didn’t even know exactly how many I needed to get to 1,000. I didn’t pay that much attention to it,” Coleman said. “But having started as a freshman, I was hoping I could reach that goal and I did, so I’m pretty excited about it.”

Now, Coleman is hoping to finish her senior season the way it started: with a lot of winning.

“Normally, the beginning of our schedule is pretty tough. We’re 7-3 right now, so it feels really good,” Coleman said. “We’re getting into PCC schools, so it’s going to be tough, but I’m still looking forward to it. I think we can keep moving forward and extend our winning record.”

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