WORCESTER -- The sight was all to familiar. The Hoosac Valley girls' basketball team watched helplessly as one of their senior co-captains lay on the court for the second straight game.
This time it was Erika Lucia.
Lucia watched Tori Rumbolt in agony Saturday afternoon in the Western Massachusetts Division II championship. Now Rumbolt, watching from the sideline in a cast, had to watch as Lucia lay on the court dazed in the state semifinal on Monday night.
"I knew that myself getting hurt really was kind of an affect to the team, and Erika was hard to watch because she's also one of the biggest leaders on the team," Rumbolt said. "I was just praying that she would get up and push through it because our team looks up to her."
Lucia took a hit to the head under Hoosac's basket with 6 minutes, 25 seconds left in the third quarter. She stayed on her feet before taking a few steps only to sit down and eventually lie down. She stayed there with coach Ron Wojcik and trainer Glenn Vaughan tending to her.
She stayed there for another 4 minutes before being helped into a chair beyond the baseline at the far end of the court from the Hurricanes' bench. She was eventually taken out of the arena in a wheelchair.
Rumbolt made her way down to the far end of the court on her crutches, holding a small cup of water. Just as Lucia did two days ago, Rumbolt offered some consoling words.
"I told her to stay strong and asked
Lucia's mother said via text message she sustained a concussion.
The sight of seeing another senior wheeled away was too much for the Hurricanes.
"Heartbreaking that you just lost both of your seniors their senior year," junior Jenn Gale said.
"It hurt us bad," Hoosac's third senior, Celina Sistrunk said. "We needed them."
Lucia's injury left Hoosac with just 10 players. With its fast-pace style of play, the Hurricanes weren't able to keep pace with Nashoba in the fourth quarter. They were able to withstand Drury's run on Saturday, but weren't able to catch the Chieftains.
"It's been tough [these last two games]," Wojcik said. "These guys keep getting hit in the face, and today, we weren't able to get back up from the knockout blow."