COLUMBIA — After having her sophomore and junior seasons scuttled by knee injuries, Okawville's Megan Wienstroer is hoping to make the most of her senior season.
Wienstroer scored 14 points in leading the Rockets past the Columbia Eagles 34-20 Saturday in a girls basketball game.
"I found out last year, it takes a year before I really feel 100 percent, but I'm definitely getting there,'' Wienstroer said. "I definitely feel as good as I can be.''
Wienstroer tore the ACL in her right knee in late January of her sophomore season and she tore the ACL in her left knee in early January of her junior year.
"We lost her in January the last two years, but it isn't happening this year,'' Okawville coach Michelle Burianek said. "She's worked hard and she's brought herself back. I'm very proud of where she is at.''
Nobody could have blamed Wienstroer for giving up basketball, but that wasn't an option.
"I love basketball, that's plain and simple,'' Wienstroer said. "I've been playing basketball since the first grade. I went to my first basketball game when I was a week old, so I have always been around basketball. To not be able to come back and play, that was never a question. I had to do it.''
Being an infant, Wienstroer obviously doesn't remember her first game. Her mom took her to see Burianek, then known by her maiden name of Hasheider, playing for the Rockets.
"I'm like, 'Hey mom, when did I go to my first basketball game,''' Wienstroer said. "She said, 'Actually, Megan, when you were about a week old.' My mom and my coach are like second cousins, so they always went to the games. We're related to Hasheiders, so we were always supporting them.''
The Rockets improved to 5-3. They limited the Eagles to only seven points in the first half.
"We've been relying on our defense and we've been holding down the points,'' Burianek said. "That's one thing I am happy with. There's lots of thing we need to improve, but hopefully we can keep that going.''
The Eagles dropped to 6-3. They've lost three in a row after starting off 6-0.
"Our girls are a little bit down in the dumps right now, but I told them, 'You won six a row and you've lost three, we'll get this baby rolling again. We'll be back,''' Columbia coach Scott Germain said.
The Eagles were led by Savannah Wittenbrink with 10 points.
The Rockets also got eight points from Jolyn Lake, who scored all of her points in the first quarter in leading her team out to an 8-5 lead.
"I thought Jolyn came out and set the tone,'' Burianek said. "She always comes out and plays with a lot of fire, she always plays with energy and helps the rest of the team get going. She's a good leader out there on the court, and I was very happy with her play today.''
The Eagles fell behind 12-7 by halftime as they made only three of their first 24 shots. Their shooting woes continued in the second half as they trailed 27-14 after three quarters.
"We couldn't score,'' Germain said. "I think we shot about 14 percent in the first half. We couldn't get anything to fall. We played well defensively, we couldn't get the ball in the basket.''
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.