The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

High School Sports

December 22, 2012

Watching and waiting

Bellevue’s injured star eyeing return

CLINTON — Some people take sports seriously. They play hard. They play to win, and they compete to the best of their ability.

Bellevue junior Ali Reeg is one of those people.

That’s how she played in a regional basketball final last year that clinched a berth in the state tournament for the Comets and extended their record to 25-0. That’s also how she was playing in July in the last softball game of the season for a team that went 4-33.

But something unfortunate happened in that softball game.

“The second baseman and me — I play shortstop — were running after a flyball,” Reeg said. “I called her off. She ducked out of the way and hit my knee.”

And that tore the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in Reeg’s left knee.

Reeg — who was the Herald’s girls basketball co-player of the year last season — had surgery late in July.

She’s not one to stay away from the basketball court, and she didn’t for the three weeks between the injury and surgery.

“I was out there shooting,” she said. “But then after the surgery, I was limited. I didn’t want to mess anything up, so I just did what they said.”

And that wasn’t much at first.

“The first four days out of surgery I just had to sit in bed, except to go to the bathroom,” Reeg said. “That first month was absolutely awful. I was so bored. It’s been hard.”

After a couple of weeks on crutches, Reeg started physical therapy. She graduated from physical therapy recently and has kept working.

“I’ve been in the gym pretty much every day, strengthening my leg and slowly getting back,” she said. “I lost a lot of muscle in my left quad, so I spent a lot of time in the weight room — not with weights, but resistance bands — trying to build that back.”

But a basketball was never far from Reeg’s hand. She said about a month after the surgery she was back at work on things that required limited mobility — free-throw shooting and ball-handling.

“That’s all I could,” she said with a laugh. “Especially free throws. Hopefully that helps my (shooting) percentage when I come back.”

Now, as almost five months have passed since the surgery, she can be more active.

“We bought a brace, and that’s helped with my confidence,” Reeg said. “I can run up and down the court. I’m not much side-to-side, yet. I can shuffle very slowly. I can tell when and what I can do. I’m progressing each week.”

As she’s progressing she’s got an eye on the schedule, too. The Comets play crosstown rival Marquette Catholic in the final Big East Conference regular-season game between the two schools on Jan. 8.

“I told my dad I want to get back for the Marquette game,” Reeg said. “Even if I could only play for two minutes, I wouldn’t care. But I don’t want to risk it too soon. I’ll have to wait until the 15th to 20th and slowly get back in. Jan. 24 will be six months after my surgery, and then I should be able to play a whole game.”

While the Comets (6-2) have missed her play on the court, she’s still been a presence around the program.

“I’ve been to every practice,” Reeg said. “In the beginning, I was just sitting there and icing my leg. Then I shot at a side basket and went to the weight room with them. Now I can participate. I run up and down the floor with my team. I can shoot layups and free throws and run some of the drills with my team. It’s been very nice.”

On the court, Kelsey Ernst — the Herald’s other co-player of the year last season — has been leading the way for the Comets. Ernst is averaging 18.9 points and 11.5 rebounds a game. Carly Rubel, Bellevue’s other post player, averages 11.3 and 8.6.

But the person who has taken on most of the responsibility from the void left by Reeg’s absence is junior Mariah Steines. Last year, Steines averaged 3.9 points a game, mainly coming off the bench as the shooting guard.

This year, she’s taken over as the starting point guard while Reeg is out and is averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 assists. She scored 16 points and dished out six assists in a six-point win over Preston last week.

“Mariah has done an amazing job,” Reeg said. “She’s stepped it up and she’s getting things done. She’s been scoring a lot of points lately, and that helps her confidence. She’s a great team player.”

Reeg said she thought having the other girls playing without her could help the team in the long run.

“It’s been extra motivation for them,” she said. “It’s a learning experience, and they’re getting better and better. We’re not dependent on one person. There’s talent in every single person on this team.

“I don’t know what it will be like when I come back. I’ll be slow at first. They’ve done a great job. I’m so proud of them.”

The Comets lost their first two games — which Reeg attributed to Steines’ position change and three new starters — but have reeled off six wins in a row.

“Now they’re kicking butt,” Reeg said. “I love watching them.”

Bellevue’s goal from about five minutes after losing in the quarterfinals of the state tournament last year was to return this year, and Reeg said that’s still the goal.

“We know we can do it,” she said. “They work so hard every practice. I’m working my butt off to come back. They could go far without me. As a senior, Kelsey will find a way. We’ll find a way.”

1
Text Only
High School Sports
  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

    Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jones leaves UNO program

    Jalen Jones is done with basketball — for now, anyway.
    The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
    He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-25-14 Football field Football facility receives makeover CAMANCHE — Camanche School District administrators expect updates to the high school football facility to be completed next week.Camanche Superintendent Tom Parker said crews have worked to make sure everything is complete before next week’s Clinton

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25-14 1B-Photo, Clinton track Clinton king of Brady DAVENPORT — It might not have been the blue oval, but Clinton track can place its mark at the top of the hill.The quartet of Barrion Collins, Marquis Robinson, Quavon Jones and Deshond Robinson won the high school boys division of the Battle Up Brady

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24-14 1B-Photo, Choice 2 Cinderella run ends DUBUQUE — The playoff run was fun while it lasted. Dubuque Hempstead, the No. 1-ranked baseball team in Class 4A entering Wednesday, ended Clinton’s chances at back-to-back appearances in the state tournament in Des Moines. The Mustangs knocked out t

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-23-14 3B-Photo, Clinton baseball Kings feel re-energized (with VIDEOS & PHOTO ALBUM)

    CLINTON -- There’s nothing like a postseason run to get the juices flowing again and jumpstart a baseball season that at times was trying.The atmosphere around the Clinton High School program is upbeat these days. One game away from a second consecut

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • AGWSR silences Marquette Catholic FORT DODGE — AGWSR of Ackley pitcher Ashley Sicard can add another win to her state tournament resume.AGWSR defeated Marquette Catholic (34-7) 2-0 with both runs coming in the third inning for the Cougars (28-6).In that third inning, the leadoff hitt

    July 23, 2014

  • Trio of Queens earn honors ELDRIDGE -- Three members of the Clinton High softball team were named to the All-Mississippi Athletic Conference honorable mention squad Monday.Junior Cara Brewer and sophomores Sydney Davis and Jenna Stremlow received the honors.Brewer, a catcher-t

    July 22, 2014

  • Assumption spoils Sabers' strong start MAQUOKETA—Things fell apart quickly for the Central DeWitt Sabers on Monday night, as they fell 5-4 to the Davenport Assumption Knights in the Iowa Class 3A District 7 baseball final, ending their 2014 season.The Sabers (21-19-1) had complete control

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-23-14 1B-Photo, Clinton baseball A rally fit for Kings (with VIDEO)

    ELDRIDGE — It would have been easy for Clinton sophomore Nick Houzenga to be discouraged as he took the mound in the bottom of the first inning of the River Kings’ Class 4A substate semifinal against North Scott.After all, the Lancers had already bui

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

Sports Updates
Facebook