Mandrell Worthy, a sophomore coming back from a serious leg injury, had 26 points, seven assists, six steals and five rebounds in a Metro Mountain win by the Crusaders.
SAMMAMISH — Mandrell Worthy removed all doubt about his health.
Just 10 months ago, the Eastside Catholic basketball player fractured his left leg in a tryout with AAU club Chaffey.
Worthy looked fully recovered Friday night.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore had 26 points, seven assists, six steals and five rebounds as Eastside Catholic subdued sixth-ranked O’Dea 66-51 in a Metro League Mountain Division game.
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“I went up for a layup in tryouts and my knee just gave out,” Worthy said of his injury. “My knee slid up and I broke my tibia off my kneecap.
“I had surgery on March 8. Then, I got a blood clot in my legs and it got up to my lungs and I had a pulmonary embolism.
“I started shooting again in August. They had me sitting out for, like, six months. I wasn’t rushing anything.”
Worthy, averaging 23 points after three games for the Crusaders, returned too soon to suit sixth-ranked O’Dea (1-1 overall and league).
O’Dea trailed 41-21 before slicing the lead to 46-41 with 6 minutes, 8 seconds remaining. But unranked Eastside Catholic (2-1, 2-1) went 10 of 11 at the foul line in the fourth quarter and beat the Irish at home for the second season in a row. Worthy made all eight of his free throws in the final 5:53.
Eastside Catholic’s biggest lead came when Worthy knocked down his fourth three-pointer in a span of 1:36 of the third quarter. Worthy hit 5 of 7 three-point attempts and shot 6 of 12 overall. The Crusaders sank 10 three-pointers.
“It breaks open the game, doesn’t it?” Eastside Catholic coach Bill Liley asked rhetorically. “That’s why we shoot the three.”
Austin Soukup, the Crusaders’ second-leading scorer last season, sat out much of the game with foul trouble. He finished with six points.
“My senior will have a lot better days,” Liley said. “He’s our leader, no question about it. He will bounce back.”
Max Hudgins came off the bench to score 12 points for E.C. He hit 3 of 5 three-point attempts.
O’Dea was led by 6-9 Jacob Lampkin’s 19 points.
Last year, the Crusaders cut down the nets in celebration after a rare 65-63 home win over tradition-rich O’Dea. The Irish came back to trounce Eastside Catholic 71-44 a month later.
Thursday night, Liley tweeted: “No scissors this year. There’s a different expectation level now at EC! Had fun with that publicity stunt last season.”
Said Liley after Friday’s game: “That was a one-time thing.”