Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Martinez injures knee in Oregon hoops game

ACL surgery is feared, star out for soccer

Wood River High School point guard Kaitana Martinez (right) has a bittersweet moment with senior teammate Allie Heste-ness—as Martinez holds the State 4A tournament runner-up trophy after the championship game loss to Middleton Feb. 19 at The Idaho Center, Nampa. Photo by David N. Seelig

     Wood River High School three-sport athletic star Kaitana Martinez, 17, injured her right knee last Wednesday during a summer league basketball game in Oregon and is expected to miss the entire 2011 soccer season for the Wolverines.

     The initial prognosis was that Martinez tore her ACL, although she is scheduled to have an MRI exam today, Wednesday to confirm that diagnosis. Martinez’s ACL surgery is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 21.

     Ron Martinez, Kaitana’s father, said Tuesday that her doctor is 95% sure that her ACL has been torn, which would mean a rehabilitation period of four to six months. “We are hoping she will be able to play during her senior basketball season,” said her father.

     Last winter, point guard Martinez (17.0 ppg) led the WoodRiver girls’ basketball team to its best-ever 21-3 season and second place in the State 4A tournament. She was chosen as Great Basin Conference “Player of the Year” and made first-team All-State basketball.

     Her knee injury not only puts her senior basketball season on hold, but it also jeopardizes Martinez’s chase for the school’s all-time scoring record. “I feel terrible for K.T.,” said her coach Mendy Benson.

     Martinez, playing for the Idaho Flash girls’ travel basketball team in the End of Trail tournament at Oregon City High School, was injured after making a lay-up with five minutes left in a game against a team from Sacramento, Ca.

     She was playing her second game of the day in a “showcase” tournament, where college scouts check out some of the country’s top hoops prospects. After her injury, Ron Martinez rushed to the floor to help his daughter, who was in pain. He said her first response was, “Dad, I tore my ACL.”

     Despite her injury, Martinez stayed with the Idaho Flash team during the rest of the End of the Trail tournament, through Saturday, and then returned home to Bellevue—although the Idaho Flash continued their trip to another “showcase” event at Seattle’s University of Washington.

     “We wanted to get it evaluated and get K.T. on the road to recovery,” said Ron Martinez.

     This was Martinez’s third year playing with Idaho Flash. Her WoodRiver teammate Haylee Thompson is in her second year with the Flash, and she continued with the team to Seattle. Martinez was due to travel with the Flash later this summer to a Tennessee event. She won’t now.

     Last fall, midfielder Martinez helped the WoodRiver girls’ soccer team to a 14-4-1 record and fourth place in the State 4A tourney. She was the team’s second-leading scorer (16 goals) and scored the eventual game winners in two of Hailey’s top wins—over Century 1-0 in stoppage time and 4-3 over Twin Falls in the Great Basin Conference championship. It was WoodRiver’s seventh straight GBC title.

     In May, Martinez was chosen by the Idaho High School Activities Association as the overall winner of the Interscholastic Star Student Recognition Scholarship. She is scheduled to be a guest speaker at IHSAA Hall of Fame banquet Aug. 10 in Boise and will have her picture printed on all 2011-12 IHSAA state tournament programs.

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