Selfie celebration: Mariah Modkins captures the moment for her team after Kent State’s 72-66 win over Buffalo in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, a game that turned out to be the last of the Flashes’ season. That’s Asiah Dingle behind Modkins and Megan Carter in the lower right corner. (Photo by David Dermer for Kent State sports.)
I’ve been thinking for two days about what to say about the end of the basketball season.
I guess it just boils down to this: I’m really sad.
I agree with the cancellations. As many coaches have written, some things are more important than sports.
But I think about senior Megan Carter, who played her heart out through knee surgery, shoulder surgery, illness and academic struggles for five years at Kent State. I know how excited and determined she was about the MAC Tournament when I interviewed her last week.
I think about senior Sydney Brinlee, who didn’t get a chance to play in the last two games because she was sick.
I think about senior Ali Poole, who lost the start of her senior year to a knee injury in practice last summer, then lost the rest of it when she tore her ACL diving for a loose ball in January. She was on the bench every game after her surgery and got to help cut down the net when the Flashes clinched a tie for the MAC East championship.
From a purely basketball standpoint, I’m sad I didn’t see the Flashes make a run for the tournament trophy.
Everything was in place. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds had lost. The No. 3 Flashes had just won their biggest game of the season and were playing the best basketball of their season, winning five out of their last six.
Of course, we’ll never know what might have been.
Everybody but Carter and Brinlee will be back next year. The team has some really good new players coming in. But Central Michigan and Buffalo and Ohio and Ball State have a lot back, too.
In any event, I’ll be happy to see the Flashes in the fall.
— Carl Schierhorn