AMHERST -- Tori Rumbolt sat helplessly on the bench during halftime. The rest of the Hoosac Valley girls' basketball team readied itself for the second half of its Western Massachusetts Division II championship.
She wasn't going to play another minute in the game, and likely for the season.
As the Hurricanes returned to the court, Erika Lucia stopped, put a hand on her shoulder and had said a few words.
"She just told me to hang in there and stay strong," Rumbolt recalled by phone from her home late Saturday evening. "She said ‘I promise that we'll pull through this for you, Tori.' "
The moment epitomized what their friendship has become through the course of the season.
"Me and Erika have become very close this season, especially being the captains together," Rumbolt said. "She's just the person I go to about everything. Whenever I'm down or anything like that, I go to her and she knows how to pick me up ..."
Lucia has been coming off the bench for Rumbolt all season, but not like she did on Saturday.
It was a sight no one wanted to see. Rumbolt lay on the court clutching for her right ankle. The lone senior in the starting lineup was done.
It was time for Lucia to step in, and she knew it.
"I told coach, I said ‘Coach, I will be Tori this [second] half,' " she said. "I told him that because she's a good player and it sucks that she's gone right now."
Filling in for Rumbolt
The points weren't coming, but the looks were better than what the Hurricanes had in the first quarter. Then she tried a 3-pointer. It didn't go, but her ankle did. She suffered a fracture on the left side and a severe sprain on the right.
"I came down and [Emily Moulton] was boxing me out, and as I was coming down, I completely rolled my ankle," the co-captain said. "I was just in a lot of pain, but I was trying my best to get up so I could walk off, but unfortunately, I couldn't."
It was up to the other senior co-captain to fill in. Admittedly, she was nervous playing in the biggest game of her career. She was able to limit the nerves by focusing on defense and rebounding. If Hoosac was going to win, it was going to have to play better defense than Drury.
She gave coach Ron Wojcik no reason to taker her out.
"Erika played a great game on the boards for us," he said.
Her teammates took notice too.
"Erika came in really strong for us. She may have not scored [much], but her defense was huge," Robinson said. "Defense was our game tonight. We just needed to stop Drury from scoring, and without her coming in confident and filling those shoes, Tori has big shoes to fill, that's amazing. It was awesome to go to her."
Said Meg Rodowicz: "Erika stepped up big time. I'm really proud of her. Tori's a really strong player and losing her, it was just terrifying. But Erika stepped up big time."
She'll need to do that same again today, as the Hurricanes continue their season in the state semifinal against Nashoba at the DCU Center in Worcester. Opening tip is 6 p.m.
It's the first time the program has been beyond the Western Mass. final.
"We don't play big games like this most of the time," Lucia said. "So it's like we're nice and relaxed, but I'm going to definitely have to get my mind into the next one."