Friday, October 31, 2014

Tigers Brace for Season without Hallie
December 26, 2013 by Brian Lavrich | No Comments

Junior Hallie Thome tore her ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. The Tigers were the favorites to win the CVC Chagrin after beating Kenston early in the season.

The holidays are a great time of celebration. However, for the Chagrin Falls girls basketball team, it’s a time for regrouping this year.

Star post Hallie Thome, a major Div. I recruit, was injured during a 41-30 victory over Padua Franciscan.

The injury is a torn ACL and will keep Thome, a junior, off the court for the season. Thome is set for surgery this Friday.

Thome, who is 6-foot-5, was averaging nearly 20 points per game this year after she averaged 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots per game last season, will be missed.

Chagrin Falls coach Brittany Anderson obviously was hurt seeing Thome go down.

“It’s sad,” Anderson said. “We want nothing more then to give her our full support. But everyone is being positive and wants to move forward.

“We’re still focused on this season. We have to push through and fight through things.”

Thome agreed with her coach.

“I don’t want to be sad,” Thome said. “I want to look at it in a positive way. My senior year, I’ll be more then ready to go.”

The Tigers won their first game without Thome, 65-16, over Orange. However, Chagrin Falls has now lost two straight, dropping contests to Cuyahoga Heights (31-19) and Mentor (63-32).

Chagrin Falls is 6-3 and 3-0 in the CVC. The Tigers next take to the floor on Monday against North Royalton at home.

The Tigers started the season with high hopes. Last year Chagrin Falls went 20-6 including 9-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division. The Tigers shared the division title with rival Kenston and advanced to a Div. II regional semifinal before losing to eventual state champion Hathaway Brown.

Even without Thome, the girls are a confident bunch.

“I know they can do it,” Thome said. “It will take a few games to bounce back. I have all the faith in the world. It’s not a worry to me.”

Twin sister and second leading scorer Hannah Thome agreed with that belief.

“We have the same goals, we just have to work harder,” Hannah said. “We have to fill the gap.”

For now, Hallie is doing what she can to help her teammates.

“I can talk to the players off the court,” Hallie said. “In practice, I’ll watch and try to help. I’m another resource.”

Hannah said Hallie’s wisdom is more then welcome.

“She’s constantly putting in her input and trying to help,” Hannah said.

Anderson said Hallie Thome isn’t your normal junior.

“She’s played a ton of basketball,” Anderson said. “She has our season, AAU and the offseason. She has a high basketball IQ. It’s extremely beneficial. Her mind is constantly going.”

Things are just a little bit different. Well, actually a lot different.

“Now, we really don’t have a post,” Hannah said. “Now, we’re more of a guard team. We have to keep moving and never stand still.”

Anderson spoke of some of the changes.

“We had to change our offense pretty significantly,” Anderson said. “We did a lot through the post. Now, we don’t have a true post player. Our tallest player is a guard (6-1 Hannah). We have to be creative.”

Hannah is second on the team at 11.7 points per game.

“When we make team goals, we don’t say ‘We can win the CVC if we have all our starters.’ You don’t make those concessions,” Anderson said.

As far as individually, Hallie was asked how the injury is going to affect her as far as the recruiting process is concerned.

She said so far most college coaches have been supportive.

“If coaches walk away, that will just narrow things down,” Hallie said. “I’m not worried about it.”

She admits she’s not close to making a decision. Thome said she has visited six schools and plans on visiting more in the near future after she’s gotten back onto her feet.

But right now Thome is focused on being the best teammate she can for a Chagrin Falls team that still has high expectations.

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