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Nagel, Bay Port moving forward after injury

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Bay Port senior Emma Nagel is out for the season with a torn posterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. (WLUK)

SUAMICO (WLUK) -- Emma Nagel was on the fastbreak, going up for a layup when a Sheboygan North player fouled her.

Nagel landed on her right leg, but her right knee responded strangely. She knew something was wrong, but wasn't quite sure what and even if it was serious.

Eventually the Bay Port senior found out and it wasn't what she wanted to hear.

Nagel's season was over as she tore the posterior cruciate ligament. Furthermore, the rehab time is anywhere from three to six months which means the all-state soccer player could miss the soccer season this spring.

The player who made the game-winning basket in the 2019 Division 1 state title game would not have a chance to help her team defend the state title. Despite the news, Nagel isn't hanging her head.

"I broke down a little in the doctor's office, but it's going to be alright," the Drake soccer recruit said. "I know I'm going to be fine."

Bay Port has won 36 of 37 games since the start of the 2018-19 season. The Pirates have been the state's best team, but without Nagel can the Pirates continue their march?

Then team's mindset has not changed.

"Our goal is going to be going to state, hopefully, but losing one of the best players on our team does stink," said McKenzie Johnson, the team's leading scorer at 16.2 points per game. "We have to work together, keep playing as a team and hopefully get back there,"

"We have two ways to deal with this, we can either cry and be sad and then watch our season kind of disappear or we can continue to move forward and do something special," coach Kati Coleman said.

Nagel, who averaged 10.2 points per game in five games this season, has complete confidence in her teammates.

"Our goal is to still win conference," she said. "Our goal is still to do something similar to what we did last year, so I don't think anything really changes except for my physical presence on the team.

"I'm still going to be their biggest fan and cheer every single one of them on because I know they can do it."

While the 5-foot-11 Nagel isn't a 20-point scorer, she's an all-around player who defends and rebounds well. Johnson said all the players need to pick up their game to keep the goal of winning back-to-back conference titles and state championships alive.

They are playing with Nagel in their hearts.

"We know we have to play for her so it pushes us a lot more," Johnson said. "If we're tired, we look at her and realize we have to play for her because she can't play anymore.

"We have to come together and it's going to push us to do our best and we're going to play harder."

"I believe this team has as much capability as they do with me as they do without me," Nagel said. "I told them they can go just as far. I believe in them."

With Nagel by her teammates' side, the Pirates seem up for the challenge.

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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