Cazenovia This is one example of deja vu that left the Jordan-Elbridge girls basketball team fuming - and its star senior, Molly Hourigan, hobbling.
The Eagles' 45-41 defeat to Cazenovia Thursday night at Buckley Gym was all but decided when, with 4:26 left, Hourigan was fouled, fell to the court and injured her left knee, forcing her out of the game.
If this all sounds familiar, well, it is. At the exact same point in the game, in the exact same venue a year ago (Jan. 14, 2011, to be precise), Hourigan injured her right knee - in the fourth quarter, no less - of a game against Cazenovia that was close, but lost, 54-39, after Hourigan went to the bench.
Here, J-E was after its third consecutive victory. After a rough first quarter where it only got one field goal (a 3-pointer by Grace Dungey), the Eagles, led by Hourigan, Dungey and Kelsey Soderberg, rallied to forge a 20-20 halftime tie.
Trailing 31-29 late in the third quarter, J-E surged in front with eight unanswered points to close the period. In order, Dungey and Amanda Wheeler hit jumpers, Hourigan (who had 10 points) hit a rebound basket and Soderberg got a steal and lay-up.
Both teams were struggling in the fourth quarter before Hourigan went down with J-E in front, 37-34. Momentarily inspired to do something for their fallen teammate, the Eagles doubled the margin to 40-34 on a Soderberg 3-pointer with 4:19 to play.
But that would be J-E's last field goal. Cazenovia outscored the depleted Eagles 11-1 the rest of the way, taking the lead on Maggie Carpenter's rebound basket with 1:31 left, the sort of play far more difficult to attain if Hourigan is in the paint.
Just the same, Carpenter hit on another rebound basket with less than a minute left to make it 44-41. Soderberg's tying 3-point attempt in the waning seconds was off the mark, and Caroline Franz's free throw with 5.5 seconds left sealed the Lakers' win.
The extent of Hourigan's injury was unknown, but her absence might seriously harm J-E's chances in the Section III Class B playoffs, just a couple of weeks away.