Marshall senior Jalen Boone's injured shins haven't exactly healed, but she has figured out a way to play with the pain. Boone suffers from chronic stress fractures in her shins, more severe than shinsplints and more painful. After discovering the condition, she rested for four months entering the season and did not return to the team until the Christmas break. Though Boone rode an exercise bike to keep fit while recuperating, it has taken her some time to get back into playing shape.
Boone seems to be fine now. She has recorded four double-doubles in the last six games, leading Marshall to three straight wins to finish the regular season.
"She has just figured out what she needed to do to be able to play," Marshall Coach Noel Klippenstein said. "She has developed the mental toughness and a sense of self-sacrifice to help the team win."
Marshall (9-12, 4-8) ended up in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Virginia AAA Liberty Conference. After tiebreakers, Marshall was seeded sixth for the district tournament and is scheduled to face Lee in the first round. The two teams have met three times this season, with Lee winning twice.
"They know who to focus on for us and we know who to stop, so it makes it a fun matchup," Klippenstein said. "It's just a matter of playing the game."
Lake Braddock proved it can do without sophomore center Abby Robertson, but the last six games showed it can do much better with her.
Robertson missed nine games earlier in the season with a broken right foot, and the Bruins went 5-4 in her absence, thanks to junior guard Casey Quigley, who averaged 20 points per game in that span. But after Robertson's return, Lake Braddock (12-9, 8-4 AAA Patriot) went 5-1 to finish the season and earned the third seed in the Patriot District tournament. The Bruins are scheduled to play T.C. Williams in the first round.
"We did all right when she was gone, but we've done much better now that she's back," Lake Braddock Coach Derek Fisher said. "There is definitely a shortage of good post players, and to go from not having one to having one was a big difference."
The senior forward has averaged 23.3 points per game in her last four outings, including a 30-point effort in a victory against Lake Braddock and 25 in a victory against Jefferson. Dodds, an All-Met player, was 16 of 25 from the free throw line during that stretch to lead the fourth-ranked Spartans to another Patriot District regular season championship and the top seed in the league tournament.