The role of bystander isn’t one that Whitney Jones is accustomed to.
But when the Skowhegan High senior suffered a broken left foot in November, Jones was relegated to that unfamiliar position for the first few weeks of basketball season.
However, Jones, who injured her foot in an MBR Showcase game, is thanking her mother for seeking a second doctor’s opinion.
“We went to the ER the next morning after the game and (the doctor) said it would probably be the whole season, then we went to an athletic orthopedic specialist in Scarborough and he said that it would probably be four to six weeks,” Jones said.
That’s certainly good news for coach Heath Cowan and the Indians, as Jones, a 2010 BDN All-Maine third-team selection, should be back in the lineup by mid-January.
“I was happy that I got (my rehab) out of the way early, I can play in the tournament now and all that stuff,” Jones said before Skowhegan played at Hampden on Friday.
The Broncos beat the Indians 58-48, Skowhegan’s first loss to an Eastern Maine team since Messalonskee beat the Indians in the 2009 regional final.
Skowhegan went 21-0 en route to winning last season’s Class A regional crown before being upended by Scarborough in the state final.
“I want to get out there and play but I try my best to encourage my teammates,” Jones said.
Jones said she suffered the injury when she went up for a rebound and landed the wrong way.
In Jones’ absence, several underclassmen have been playing as Skowhegan started two freshmen and a sophomore against Hampden, and their experience will pay off in the long run.
“They’ve done a nice job fitting in,” Jones said. “Practices help obviously, even just getting to know our veteran players helps a lot.”
Having Jones on the bench does give Cowan some help on the sidelines.
“He does ask me questions throughout games and talks about plays with me,” Jones said.
Jones is also one of the state’s top softball players as she signed a letter of intent to attend Seton Hall University earlier this fall.
“I actually didn’t think that I would miss any of softball, of course I’m missing winter practices and stuff right now (but) I don’t think that I’ll be that far behind,” Jones said.
Jones has been working out daily, and while she is still wearing a walking boot, she said her foot is doing “much better.
“I go to the gym nearly every day and I’ve been riding the (stationary) bike, stuff like that,” she said.
Jones is eager to resume her role as Skowhegan’s point guard, but she knows she has to remain patient.
“I wish I could be playing right now obviously (but) I can’t even jog right now,” she said.
Games to watch
While most folks certainly have some last-minute Christmas shopping to get out of the way this week, there are plenty of pre-Holiday schoolgirl basketball showdowns on tap this week.
Bangor and Brewer will renew their longstanding rivalry Tuesday night as the Witches host the Rams at 7.
Coach Katie Herbine earned her first varsity victory on Friday thanks to Bangor’s 56-18 thumping of Lawrence of Fairfield.
Other key matchups Tuesday night feature Nokomis of Newport trying to rebound from a tough loss to Winslow on Friday when the Warriors host a Belfast club that upset Camden Hills on Dec. 14.
Two St. Croix Valley foes will renew their rivalry on Wednesday when defending Class C state champion Calais hosts Woodland, with tip-off set for 6:30 p.m.
The Blue Devils knocked the Dragons out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals en route to the gold-ball game.
A couple key matchups on Thursday feature Bangor hosting Messalonskee of Oakland and Mount Desert Island hosting John Bapst in Bar Harbor.
The Trojans have won their first three games while the Crusaders are off to a fine start as well, winning their first two games before losing to Presque Isle on Saturday 45-40.