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Spartans' Gonzales on the mend after horrific injury
It's a situation that Bainbridge girls' basketball coach Terry Lande called the most "heartstopping" in his 30 years of coaching basketball.
He is referring to standout guard Davi Gonzales and the broken leg she suffered during the Spartans' 46-42 loss to Lakeside Friday night.
Lande, both teams and a good sized student section witnessed Gonzales take a pass from a teammate and make a one foot jump stop at the 4:17 mark of the first quarter.
That's when Gonzales went down with a compound fracture of her tibia and fibia in her leg. Lande said it was a clean break that didn't sever any arteries.
She was taken to Harborview that night and went in for surgery Saturday morning where she had a rod and four screws inserted into her leg. Gonzales, who received a visit from the team after her surgery, was released Sunday night.
"It was heartbreaking for the kids," Lande said. "Visually it was heartwrenching. Every parent and every kid saw it – and we had a pretty good sized crowd."
But Lande gave credit to the people who came to her aid.
"We're very fortunate that Jim Dow, who volunteers his time as a medic, was there," Lande said. "We also had two parents that were emergency room nurses who came out to help. The Lakeside trainer was very helpful and we are very fortunate to have a medical crew (at the Bainbridge Island Fire Dept.) three minutes away. The EMT's were just great. They also protected her so the crowd wouldn't see how ugly of a mess it was."
Lande said that her parents and Gonzales handled it well. Gonzales even waved to the crowd and gave a thumbs up as she was leaving on a stretcher to a standing ovation.
"There was just an outpouring of support from everyone. It's one of the most touching things I've ever seen," he said of the scene. "In a bad, bad situation, it couldn't have been a better situation, as weird as that sounds."
He also praised his players for handling the situation as best they could.
"Two girls were looking at her when it happened," he said. "During every free throw or time out someone was in tears. But the kids played their hearts out. It's one of the most inspired efforts I've ever seen."
The Spartans led for most of the game, but went down by five with 13 seconds left. After Bainbridge hit a three, Lande called timeout. The clock stopped with 2.5 seconds to play but Lande said he called the timeout right after the shot was made.
After the timeout, he noticed the clock was changed to eight seconds. He confirmed it with the referee, then went back to change the play.
When the girls went out on the court, Lande noticed the clock had been changed to four seconds. He argued with the referee over the change and was called for a technical.
"It wasn't pretty in the end," he said.
Now the challenge for Lande and the team is dealing with the loss of its top scorer for the season.
"The kids will handle it like Davi will handle her recovery," he said. "It'll be a rollercoaster. There will be good days and bad days. Some days we won't have any fun. But she will get better and the kids will give their best effort. That's all you can ever ask."
Lande said Gonzales will still be a part of the team.
"As I told the kids Sunday, you can call her coach," he said. "She'll be telling people what to do, what not to do. She'll be there for support. As good as a ballplayer she is, she's an even better person."
Bainbridge hosts North Kitsap at 7 p.m. tonight. They travel to Eastside Catholic with the boys' basketball team Wednesday, as the boys' game against the Crusaders Tuesday was canceled due to the impending snowstorm.
They travel to Cleveland Friday.