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Published: March 04, 2009 11:30 pm   

GIRLS BASKETBALL: DeMarco’s return lifts Grand Island

Jenepher Banker always knew Brooke DeMarco was a special player. It just took a while for everyone else to find out.

DeMarco broke a bone in her leg in the second-to-last JV soccer game of the year and panic immediately set in for the sophomore.

“Her mom called me from the hospital because she was so worried about Brooke being able to come to tryouts and being on the varsity,” Banker said.

“I really wanted to be on varsity and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to because of my leg,” DeMarco added.

Banker, for one, had no doubt DeMarco was a varsity player, allowing the veteran coach to be patient during the youngster’s long rehabilitation.

“At first, I think she was projected to miss only a few weeks, but it ended up way longer than that,” Banker explained. “That definitely hurt us, but it was worth the wait.”

DeMarco returned midway through the Vikings’ season, giving GI immediate help in the post.

“She’s active, she’s long and she’s a good athlete,” Banker said. “She just works her butt off inside. She’s got a nose for the ball and she can finish inside, too.”

DeMarco, who admitted that it took a while for her to feel comfortable back on the court, said a lot of her success has to do with her teammates.

“These girls have helped me a lot,” she said. “They have been really supportive and helped a ton with my confidence.”

DeMarco’s confidence is currently sky-high after putting together one of her best games of the season (six points, eight rebounds) during Saturday’s Class A-1 semifinal victory over Williamsville East.

“That one felt really good,” DeMarco said. “I’m so happy to be able to contribute.”

“Saturday showed why the addition of Brooke was so huge,” Banker said on the eve of the Vikings’ A-1 title game matchup with league rival Kenmore East.

“We haven’t had her for either time against Ken East this year, so that should help a lot.”

Contact reporter Nate Beutel at 282-2311, ext. 2262.


• WHO: 4-Grand Island vs. 2-Kenmore East

• WHAT: Section VI Class A-1 Final

• WHEN: 6 p.m. today