After suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee while playing AAU basketball in early July, there was hope that Kate Bauhof would return to the York Catholic girls’ basketball starting lineup in as few as six months.
Given that timeline, it was estimated that Bauhof, who led the York-Adams League in scoring at 19.5 points per game as a junior last season, could be back in the lineup in late January or early February.
It turns out that estimate was a bit too optimistic, even for someone as determined as Bauhof.
After a recent checkup with her doctors and the surgeons at OSS Heath, the decision was made to give Bauhof’s knee an additional three months to completely heal before resuming full basketball activities. As a result, no matter how far the Irish advance into the league, District 3 or PIAA state playoffs this season, the York Catholic standout will not be on the court.
The Irish stand at 8-10 overall and 8-1 in Y-A Division III.
Decision of precaution: Bauhof pointed out that the decision is one mainly of precaution, as opposed to any structural issues. She has not reported any setbacks during her rehabilitation.
“It’s really good,” Bauhof said Sunday, Jan. 28, during a York Catholic girls’ basketball practice. “It feels pretty strong. I just had my six-month appointment and everything is going pretty good so far. My hope was to be back (by now), but this is just kind of how things worked out.”
Despite the decision to not return, Bauhof couldn’t be happier with the way that her teammates and the Irish coaching staff has treated her throughout the process.
“It is great that coach (Kevin) Bankos just treated me as if nothing happened really,” Bauhof said. “And I kind of liked that. My teammates have treated me like nothing happened. All of that made it easier for me to feel as if I wasn’t injured.”
Didn't want to take risk: The St. Francis College (New York) recruit wanted to make sure she didn’t jeopardize her future at the next level by returning too soon. She consulted with her doctor, surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers and her parents before coming to the decision to end her senior season before she was able to play a single game.
“I think I’m just out for good this season,” she said. “I wanted to get a couple of different perspectives and opinions on it, just to see when I was still thinking about coming back. My surgeon just said that I’m still at a really high risk right now until we get to nine months. You can’t really see how your ACL is doing, you just kind of have to roll the dice and try, and I think that is a lot to do right now because we’re at the end of the season.”
Irish struggling: The Irish have struggled without the 2017 Miss Pennsylvania Basketball finalist. While only dropping one divisional contest vs. rival Delone Catholic, York Catholic has lost all nine non-divisional contests. As a result, the program that has captured 11 District 3 titles in the past 12 seasons is in jeopardy of not qualifying to defend its 2017 District 3 Class 3-A crown.
A victory over Hanover on Friday, Jan. 26, did catapult the Irish back inside the top six in the 3-A power ratings. With only the top six qualifying for the district draw, the Irish were positioned at No. 7 for most of the past month.
Brutal schedule: A lot of that can be attributed to the brutal schedule that the Irish take on each year. Their nine non-league setbacks came against Trinity, Dover, Cedar Cliff, Central York, Dallastown, Berks Catholic, Minersville, Archbishop Ryan and West York.
Central York, Dallastown and Cedar Cliff are in the mix to capture the District 3 title in 6-A. Archbishop Ryan is undefeated and state-ranked out of District 12, while Dover and West York are in the mix to compete for the District 3 5-A title. Berks Catholic is state-ranked and a top contender in District 3 in 4-A. Trinity is also state-ranked as well as the top team in District 3 in 3-A. Minersville is the top-ranked team in the state in 2-A again after capturing the PIAA title last year.
Difficult time: Bauhof certainly wishes she could do more than just attend practices and cheer her team on from the bench.
“It’s been a really tough six months with the rehab, but also with watching my team play,” she said. “I want to be out there with them and I want to be with my friends playing in my senior season. So that part has been pretty hard.”
Reach Ryan Vanersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.