By MIKE ECKERT email@example.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — GLEN LAKE — Before every basketball game, Scotlyn Brengman straps a brace to her left knee.
It’s been years since she had surgery to repair a torn PCL. And as long as she keeps her leg strong, doctors have cleared Brengman to play without the brace.
But Brengman continues to wear it. She does it for comfort, but it also reminds her of what she’s overcome to get to this point.
“Sitting out and watching all of the games, it makes you realize you should have probably drank more milk,” Brengman joked. “But, yeah, it made me realize that you don’t want to take it for granted, because I love the sport so much.”
Brengman leads Glen Lake into the Class C district at St. Francis this week after an illustrious career with the Lakers. She surpassed 1,000 career points and is averaging a shade under 19 points a game this year. That’s a long way from where she was years ago, as a 12-year-old, when she suffered her knee injury while playing in an AAU tournament for the Glen Lake Effect.
“We were in a tournament in Midland and we were playing one of our first games of the day,” Brengman said. “I went to the ball and I fell down on my knee. I thought everything was fine, so I kept running and running. Then there was a snap. Later that night when we went to the hospital, we found out I tore my PCL.”
Within a week, Brengman had reconstructive surgery on her knee that included putting a rod in her leg to help the healing process.
“I was in a wheelchair for 3-4 weeks and then was on crutches for another four weeks,” Brengman said. “It was a long process for sure.”
Because of the injury, Brengman missed her seventh-grade season, but came back the following season. Brengman spent her freshman year at Traverse City West, but transferred back to Glen Lake for her sophomore season.
“Even in junior high, she was really dedicated,” Lakers coach Jason Bradford said. “She had dreams of going on to play at Michigan State. Going through, she worked in the gym and all summer long. I had her four years. Ever since her freshman year, she’s been a key player. Every year she’s developed. Last year was a different role than last year, as the point guard and having to score.”
For much of her high school career, Brengman’s been injury-free. Over the summer, though, she took a hit to her left leg and broke her foot.
“It didn’t heal right, so they had to do corrective surgery,” Bradford said. “She missed a lot of ball this summer. It was a slow start because she just got the okay as the season started. There wasn’t much she could do. For the first few games, she had a lot of pain in her foot.”
Brengman also had to miss a miss a couple of games with ankle sprains. But she’s healthy now and heading into her final run with the Lakers.
“Last week was our Senior Night, and that hit me that it was the last game on that court,” Brengman said. “It was quite emotional. Last year at this time, I was like ‘I’ve got so much more ahead of me.’ But now it’s here. Time just flew right by me.”
Whenever the run ends for Glen Lake, Brengman hopes it won’t be the end of her basketball career. She’s decided to go to Ferris State for the nursing program, and Bradford said he was in contact with their coaches last week to get the ball rolling for her to play for the Bulldogs.
“She works hard and is really dedicated,” Bradford said. “She wants to go on to the next level.”
“I’m a really big family girl,” Brengman said of why she chose Ferris. “I love being close to them. The campus was big enough, but if I need to go home it’s only a couple hours away. The campus was great, and I don’t know. It just fit me.”
The 16-4 Lakers have a bye in the first round and play either St. Francis or East Jordan in the Class C district semifinal on Wednesday.