It was a bad holiday for the top-ranked team in Class 1A last week.
Blackhawk Christian lost three times in four games at the Holiday Hoops Tournament late last week, albeit against higher-class competition.
But of vastly bigger long-term consequence is the loss of center Drake Thompson. The junior broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his foot against New Haven during the tournament. The 6-foot-8 double-double machine will undergo surgery on Tuesday and is expected to be out 10 to 12 weeks.
His availability for the postseason is uncertain at best.
"There was not any contact on the play (Drake got injured)," Blackhawk Christian coach Marc Davidson said. "He just landed on it wrong."
Thompson suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Braves' 74-68 loss to New Haven last Thursday.
"At the time I felt like it was just a bruise and went a few more possessions, but it didn't feel right," Thompson said. "I took my sock off and iced it for the rest of the third quarter then played the fourth quarter."
Unfortunately for Thompson and the Braves, post-game evaluation revealed the true extent of the injury.
"It's hard," said Thompson, who amassed 26 points and 16 rebounds in the New Haven game. "Up to this point I didn't realize what it's like to sit and watch a game and not be able to contribute at all. It's really tough to watch my team playing out there and not be able to play with them."
Blackhawk Christian (7-4) went 1-2 the rest of the tournament without their standout in the post - losing to Hamilton Southeastern and Norwell and beating Gary Lighthouse. With a deep postseason run still the goal, the Braves now must find a way to move on.
"We will make a few minor adjustments," Davidson said. "Someone else has to step up."
Blackhawk Christian will look to two players to pick up the production lost with Thompson. Senior J.P. Visser can mix it up inside while 6-foot-3 junior Kyle Zurbuch will see an increased role as well.
Zurbuch is nursing a sprained ankle, but should return soon.
"Our fundamental principles will stay the same," Davidson said. "We may do a little more defensively in full court. Offensively, Drake was a huge presence on the inside, but the way we shoot it, I still think we are going to be a tough team to guard."
There is no doubt that Blackhawk Christian is till one of the more talent-laden teams in Class 1A. With a little luck, the Braves could get Thompson back just in time.
"I'd say it looks doubtful at least for sectionals," said Davidson on Thompson's potential return. "If we can keep rolling we will see how he's doing, but it's the type of injury where you don't want to rush him back. It is common with injury to re-injury the toe, so we will monitor his progress and see how he's doing."