STERLING – Laykin Miner had to fight off some bad memories Thursday.
Miner has torn her ACL in both knees, once as a freshman against Newman, and again last summer at Newman against another opponent during the summer league.
Miner, who just returned to action last week, shook off the memories and scored a team-high 12 points to lead Erie to a 43-37 Three Rivers North win at Newman.
It's been a long several months for Miner.
"I felt a little tentative when I felt how I had to walk in both ACL braces, but I'm used to it now," she said. "My dad [assistant coach Scott Miner] told me I needed to learn how to play 95 percent. I told him you're either going to get 100 percent, or I'm not going to play."
Erie has also had to overcome losing starter Peyton Rus to a late-season knee injury during volleyball.
"We had a great Warkins Tournament over at our place," Cardinals coach Brian Howell said. "We went 4-1 and played really well. That was Laykin's first game action. That's been a huge pick-up."
Miner's return was not without an injury scare, however. Early in the fourth quarter, with the score tied at 28, Miner went down. She limped off the court, but this time it was a minor ankle injury, and she returned a short time later.
"My ankles give a little bit, but they never break," Miner said. "I just needed to get taped up and go back in."
She did, and helped the Cardinals (10-5, 3-2) fight off the Comets' comeback bid that saw them rally from a 12-point, first-half deficit to tie before Erie regained control.
"We got some energy coming out after the half, but we didn't start with it," said Newman's Mary Alice Oswalt, who scored 13 of her game-high 16 points in the second half. "We always play half the game. There's always a time when we don't have any energy."
The Cardinals jumped in front 8-2 with six quick points from Miner, and never trailed. Erie led 12-8 after one quarter.
A bucket by Miner, a rebound putback by Courtney Cobert, who scored nine points, a bucket by Rachel Cobert, who pulled down 21 rebounds, and another field goal by Courtney Cobert made it 20-8 with 2:17 left in the first half.
The Cardinals led 24-13 at halftime.
Newman (4-10, 3-2) controlled the third quarter, outscoring Erie 13-4 to pull within two at 28-26. Kayci Howell hit a 3-pointer, and Julie Hurd (13 points) provided a three-point play to jump-start the Comets. Oswalt supplied the last five points of the third quarter.
Oswalt added the first bucket of the fourth quarter to make it 28-all with 7:35 to play.
Then came Miner's injury. But, the Cardinals responded, using an 8-2 burst to regain the momentum. Bailee Classen and Lexi Floming each hit a pair of buckets in the flurry.
Newman could get no closer than four the rest of the way.
"We expended a lot of energy coming back," Comets coach Jay Howell said. "You could see it in our shots after that. The girls played with pride in the second half. We have to show some of that at the start of the game, instead of just when our backs are against the wall."
Erie 43, Newman 37
Star of the game: Laykin Miner, Erie, team-high 12 points
Key performers: Mary Alice Oswalt, Newman, game-high 16 points; Rachel Cobert, Erie, 21 rebounds, 6 points; Julie Hurd, Newman, 13 points
Up next: Erie at Morrison, Newman at Amboy (both 7:30 p.m. Monday)