Amanda Brown is one of the Marietta High girls basketball team's unsung heroes.
The 5-foot-6 junior point guard can do it all in the backcourt - shoot, drive, dish on offense, and play hard-nosed, tough defense at the other end of the floor. And, she has been doing all of this at the varsity level since she was a freshman.
Without question, the energetic Brown, who has a very positive, bubbly personality, is one of the reasons why Scott Cozzens-coached MHS is 11-2 so far this season.
Brown wasn't smiling, though, very much on the late afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 5, when she learned that her older brother Michael had been in an automobile accident on Hadley Hollow Road in Marietta Township.
The mishap was serious enough to send Brown's brother by air flight to the Columbus Grant Medical Center, where he was put in the intensive care unit and listed in critical condition.
"It was wild that night," Brown recalled. "That was a lot to take in and it's a lot to have on your shoulders."
Marietta High played host to Parkersburg South in a non-league girls basketball game at Sutton Gym that Wednesday evening. But Brown, of course, was not there.
Before the contest, Cozzens, his staff and the Lady Tigers team said a prayer for the Brown family.
When the game tipped off, Marietta struggled a little bit, and trailed South, the owner of a losing record (2-6), at halftime, 24-22. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers staged a comeback, and won 48-44.
Even so, and needless to say, Brown was missed.
Now, the question on many people's minds, "Would Brown be available for Marietta's scheduled game at New Philadelphia on Saturday, Jan. 8?"
Well, while not traveling on the team bus to New Philly, Brown did get to and play in that non-league contest, which the Lady Tigers won 53-45. She netted nine points, grabbed three rebounds, and had two assists as MHS improved its record to 8-1.
"I came from the hospital to New Philly then I went back up there (to the hospital) after the game," Brown said.
"Then he (Michael) came home," she said. "He wasn't up there very long.
"It's been hard, but he's doing a lot better, thank God. He's home. It's nice having him back."
So, with all of the adversity this month, how's Brown holding up?
"I'm doing good," she said, smiling.
Brown, incidentally, is an all-around athlete at Marietta High. She also owns letters in volleyball, softball, and track and field.
Zeps coach, player in head-on collision
While on the subject of car crashes, what are the odds of a head coach and protege traveling in opposite directions and colliding head-on on the highway?
Probably at best very remote.
But that's exactly what occurred during late Sunday afternoon of Jan. 9, when Shenandoah High girls basketball boss Lynn Miley and Lady Zeps player Miranda Redden accidentally struck each other on Route 313 near Senecaville.
A passenger in the Miley vehicle, Mallory Muffett, was also injured.
Redden actually had to be extricated by firefighters from her vehicle by mechanical means.
All three were rushed by United Ambulance to Cambridge's Southeastern Med, where Redden then had to be transferred by MedFlight medical helicopter to Grant Medical Center.
Fortunately, after being treated, Redden, Miley and Muffett were all discharged.
Before the accident, in Redden's last game at Frontier High on Thursday, Jan. 6, she scored 35 points in a Lady Zeps' 63-58 come-from-behind, overtime win.
She has not played in a game since the vehicle mishap. So, here's hoping that she returns to the hardwood as soon as possible.
After a couple of missed games, Miley is back on the sideline coaching her Shenandoah Lady Zeps team.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or firstname.lastname@example.org