Carroll's Pasta Playing Through Torn ACL in NAIA Tournament - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Carroll's Pasta Playing Through Torn ACL in NAIA Tournament

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It's safe to say that every player at the NAIA National Tournament is giving 100%. But for Carroll Saints senior guard Bailey Pasta, even at under 100%, she's giving everything she's got.

"We weren't sure if she'd have an opportunity to play, and being a senior we were going to give her that opportunity."

Nearly two weeks ago, in the first quarter of the Saints Frontier Conference semifinal versus LC State, Pasta tore her ACL, presumably ending her season. She sat out Carroll's championship versus Rocky Mountain, leading many to assume she'd sit out the NAIA Tournament. But you know what happens when you assume.

"I just gave it everything I had," said Pasta. "I mean yeah, I'm a senior, so I had to go out there and give it everything I've got, and couldn't hold back. I mean it can't get any worse."

"She and I had a conversation about it, and I think as my dad always said, 'you dance with the one that brought you,'" said Saints head coach Rachelle Sayers. "She has brought us here. She is our leader."

Pasta led Saints to victory in her return to the court with a 55-49 win over William Penn just 12 days after tearing her ACL. In 22 minutes, the senior went 1-8 with three points, but her impact went far beyond the box score.

"I thought that for our team's psyche to start her was sending a message that she's okay," said Sayers. "I think just them knowing that she was there is a calming factor."

"I just want to help my team as best as I can," said Pasta. "And whatever I can do to help them, that's what I'm trying to do."

So far, Bailey's best, even at less than 100%, has been enough for a Conference title, as well as a first round win at nationals. Proving that it doesn't take an ACL to win, it takes heart.

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