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Girls basketball: GW's Harrison suffers knee injury

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Alanna Mobayed's time to shine might come sooner than later.

The rising junior guard at George Washington High School led the Patriots throughout four games played at the St. Albans Lady Dragons Summer Shootout on Tuesday, where a notable absence from the Patriot lineup was easy to spot.

Rising senior forward Kelli Jo Harrison, an All-Kanawha Valley selection as a junior, missed the event. Harrison averaged 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last year, but according to her AAU coach, has a torn ACL that will require surgery.

Harrison plays AAU basketball with the West Virginia Thunder, coached by Scott Johnson and based in Huntington. At approximately 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Johnson issued the following tweet:

"Everyone plz keep WV Thunder '14 F @kellijo50 in their thoughts and prayers as we have found out she has a torn ACL. Surgery next week"

LaMaster, who has been Harrison's coach throughout her high school career, had yet to be notified.

"The original MRI she had done here came back inconclusive, and they were having a second opinion of it done in Morgantown," LaMaster said about an hour after Johnson's tweet, following GW's 42-30 loss to St. Albans.

"I have not spoke to Kelli since that, or to her mom, so I don't want to go out on a limb and say anything," LaMaster said.

The news could force significant change to LaMaster's design for the 2013-14 season with only three days remaining in the three-week out-of-season coaching period.

LaMaster said that Harrison, a 6-foot-1 power forward and already a 1,000-point scorer in her prep career, injured her knee prior to the GW Summer Shootout that took place the first weekend of the three-week period, from June 14-15. He added that she had still participated in summer workouts including GW's first game of that event, although she did so with some discomfort.

The Patriots finished the 2012-13 season at 16-9 after falling to Princeton in a Region 4 co-final. Another 1,000-point scorer, point guard and Kanawha Valley Player of the Year Rachel Ward, graduated in the spring and will play at West Virginia State next season.

GW began its summer looking for new scoring options to replace Ward. The importance of that search just increased exponentially.

"What I'm dealing with this young team is what I've been doing all summer. We're playing over 35 games in 18 days. After we play that two-or-three games (in one day) I'm looking for that toughness," LaMaster said. "It's toughness, and being able to play on a high level.

"We had that the first two games here today, but we had a serious drop off in this last game. That said, St. Albans is very much improved. We've played a couple times this summer."

SA junior forward Breanna Propst and sophomore point guard Torri Wilson - second and third-team All-KV picks last year respectively - dictated the tempo for much of the game Tuesday, as the Dragons led by as many as 18 points in the second half.

Mobayed was a third-team All-Kanawha Valley pick as a sophomore. She averaged 7.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

"One of the issues I've had this summer is that I haven't had the whole team together, and I still don't. I have more players today than I've had," LaMaster said. "Alanna had an ankle injury, but she's back now."

Rising junior Hailey Stewart also missed time this summer with a concussion, but she played Tuesday as well.

"What I have gained, though, is when those players haven't been with me, that's given me the opportunity to play more girls," LaMaster said. "You like to win, but the 'Ws' aren't what's important in the summer, we'll worry about that in November.

"It's paid benefits. Those first two games today I could sub down and it wouldn't be much difference."

The Patriots will return to St. Albans today for the second day of action at the SA Shootout.

Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.taylor@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT


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