Sprain keeping Durango’s Garcia from participating

Durango’s Katerina Garcia can do a lot of things with a basketball.

Garcia’s past three years of on-the-court assault allowed her to establish herself as one of the best players not only the Southwestern League but in Colorado. A three-time All-SWL selection, the Demons senior signed to play for Southern Illinois University in November and was regularly scoring more than 20 points per game to lead the Demons to a 9-2 record this season heading into a game against Kirtland Central, N.M.

That was when the Demons’ season took a bit of a detour.

Taking the ball to the hoop, Garcia injured her left foot in the third quarter and didn’t return, resulting in a 58-49 loss.

“I couldn’t walk, and they thought I broke it right away,” Garcia said. “I was in so much pain, but it ended up not being too bad. It hurts when I put pressure on the outside of my foot.”

Garcia has a middle sprain to her left foot and spent this past weekend doing something with a basketball she hasn’t done in a while — not use it.

“This has been pretty difficult for me,” Garcia said. “It is very frustrating having to sit there and not be able to do anything.”

Garcia isn’t the only one feeling the pain, as the team has also struggled without her. This past weekend, Durango lost to Montrose 60-19 and fell 51-29 to Grand Junction. The two losses are two of the lowest point totals for the Demons since Garcia has been at Durango.

“I hate the feeling of not playing because when I can play, I know I am in charge,” Garcia said after the Demon’s loss Saturday to Grand Junction. “It is really frustrating but (the team) needs to learn, they need to learn to do it by themselves, I am leaving eventually.”

Garcia’s injury has not been given a timetable and her return depends on how much pain she is in. Garcia said she already has seen plenty of time on the sideline and wants to return as soon as possible.

“They don’t know how long it will take, but I am hoping for not very long,” Garcia said. “(Friday and Saturday’s) games were enough for me.”

Given Garcia’s aggressive style, it’s remarkable the past two games are the first she has missed since her freshman year when she missed one with a knee injury. Garcia’s toughness and confidence has allowed her to matchup with any player she faces.

“I would say I have a lot of confidence,” Garcia said. “I am not afraid of very much because I know when you are afraid, that is when you play bad.”

Garcia plays with such confidence that it spills over to her teammates regardless of their skill level. Without Garcia on the court, the Demons looked a bit lost and Durango’s tentativeness was apparent to Garcia.

“I have told them they have to stick it out and have confidence, because that is the one thing we are lacking right now,” Garcia said. “Their self esteem as a whole team has to be picked up.”

Garcia has enough faith in her teammates that they can keep the Demons in contention until she returns.

“I think they are very capable and (last weekend) they were just scared because they have never played without me,” Garcia said. “They need to realize they don’t need me, and they can do it by themselves.”

Durango (9-5, 0-2 SWL) continues its SWL play this weekend when it hosts Fruita Monument and Central.


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