By Joseph Staszewski
All Kathryn Gibson could do was sit and watch her teammates and the pain was much worse than anything she was feeling in her knee.
With Gibson in the lineup Archbishop Molloy girls’ basketball squad was 8-1 to start last season, including a win over eventual state Federation Class AA champion Long Island Lutheran. They still excelled after she tore her ACL in January, but lost to Christ the King in the diocesan title game and then again, this time by just seven points, in the CHSAA Class AA final.
“I was starting to heat up right before my injury,” Gibson said. “I was starting to play better and I thought I was getting to my peak and then that injury. Not being able to play with my friends also was kind of hard.”
Stanners coach Scott Lagas still believes Gibson’s shooting stroke and poise was the missing piece that would have gotten his club over the hump.
“I think so,” he said. “I definitely think so”
It is the main reason Gibson said that emotional pain from the injury far outweighs the physical. She called it the hardest thing she’s ever gone through in her life.
Now, her body has healed and she is currently going about showing what Molloy missed last season. Gibson is back making a major impact for the Stanners.
“I just wanted to prove to myself that I’m the same player,” Gibson said. “I’m going to put it all out. It’s my senior year. I’m going to put it all out on the floor.”
She is Molloy’s most experienced player at the moment and is leading the team both on and off the court. Gibson began the year, averaging over 24 points per contest over the first four games. She can shoot the three and has good-enough court vision to find open teammates.
Gibson has had to score less, now that the rest of the Molloy’s roster is finding its confidence. She still makes the big play when needed, including a huge 3-pointer to seal a win over Immaculate Heart Academy at the Francis Lewis Winter Ball. The Stanners are off to an 8-1 start this season.
“I love her,” said junior wing Jenna Mastellone. “She is always talking on the court”
Communication is more important, with plenty of faces new to the varsity and a new offense to learn. Lagas is appreciative of how Gibson has helped ease the process.
“She is a great communicator,” the coach said “Her teammates like her and she communicates with the team. She has had to.”
Gibson will only improve as she gets more games under her belt, which could result in more success for Molloy. The team wins at the same level as last year’s if you ask the Stanners. Gibson is happy to be apart of it this time.
“We realized people underestimated us because we lost an Aryn [McClure], a Kaitlyn [Mahon] and Emer [Moloney],” Gibson said. “We can still compete high with all these teams.”
Less then a year after her injury, so can she.