COLUMBIA — Jade Holly planted her feet an inch from the purple 3-point line. Propelling herself up with a flick of her shoes, Holly sent the ball on its path to the basket.
When it fell through the net, Holly not only had her first points of the season, but her first points in nearly a year.
In her first game back since tearing the ACL in her right knee last December, the sophomore scored a game-high 15 points to lead host Hickman to a 34-27 victory over Waynesville.
Getting back on the court was a little stressful for Holly.
"It wasn't like nerves last year as a freshman, it was an anxious feeling," Holly said.
Last year, after putting up 19 points in Hickman's season-opener, Holly was injured in the Kewpies' second game on Dec. 5. She had surgery on Dec. 23 and spent a day on crutches before beginning a seven-month-long rehabilitation process.
Back to full strength, Holly continued her fast scoring start from last year with her performance Monday night. After she knocked down her first points of the season in the second quarter, Holly followed it up with another 3-pointer minutes later. When the game ended, she totaled three baskets from beyond the arc.
Hickman coach Tonya Mirts said Holly made an immediate impact.
"She's always someone who can get open," Mirts said. "Whenever we're in trouble, she's always someone who can relieve pressure."
Mirts was also impressed with Holly's ability to come back from her injury and become an offensive force once again.
"Really, other than two games (last season), the last time she played competitive basketball was when she was in eighth grade," Mirts said. "She's a tough kid."
Holly admitted her nerves played a role in a handful of missed shots throughout the game, but she said she was confident about Hickman's next game against Helias.
"I think I'll shake all that off for Thursday's game," Holly said.
The junior varsity game begins at 6 p.m. at Hickman with the varsity contest set to start right after.