COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge standout Ricky Kreklow might not be fully healthy when the Bruins' boys basketball team plays Friday in the semifinals of the Class 5 state tournament at Mizzou Arena.
The starting junior guard landed awkwardly on his right foot Monday during practice, re-aggravating an injury he suffered early in the season. Kreklow has a bruise on the bone in the ball of his foot and minor ligament aggravation in his ankle.
Kreklow first injured his foot the William Jewell tournament in December. Kreklow only missed one full game and most of another because of the injury, but his foot has been sore since then. When the accident happened, Kreklow and his teammates didn't know what to think at first.
“It was frustrating,” Kreklow said. “I was thinking that it might just be a stinger. Then I realized, when I went home, that it was still sore. It’s been happening since December, and I didn’t want it to happen now, of all times.”
Coach Jim Scanlon said Kreklow won’t practice again until Thursday. He said Kreklow will be able to play, but how he does Thursday will determine how much he plays in the semifinal against Chaminade at 3:20 p.m., Friday.
“If this was in December, I’d be out for about two weeks,” Kreklow said. “I need to be careful going into this weekend. This is something you can aggravate pretty bad if you aren’t safe.”
If Kreklow can only play limited minutes on Friday, senior guard Travis Ward will pick up the extra time. Ward said he is ready if needed, but hopes that Kreklow will be his normal self once the game starts.
“I’m ready if they need me,” Ward said. “He brings a lot to the table for us. I like my role. I could take a bigger role, but what we’re doing is working.”
This injury brings back nightmares for Ward, who said he remembers when he was a freshman in 2006 and the Rock Bridge varsity was ranked No. 1 and former Bruins player Alex Austin got hurt during the postseason.
“I was thinking, ‘Why now? Not this again,” Ward said. “Hopefully it’s not that bad and he can play.”
Before the semifinal game, Rock Bridge will host a pep rally at 2:30 p.m. in their gym. Tickets for the semifinal game are seven dollars and are available at the Rock Bridge High School main office until 11 a.m. Friday.
CLASS 5 STATE SEMIFINAL
Rock Bridge (27-2) vs. Chaminade (25-4)
WHEN: 3:20 p.m.
WHERE: Mizzou Arena