The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 9, 2014

Baxter Springs' Aleigh Grimes signs with Cowley

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Baxter Springs girls basketball coach Kris Crotts said he knows Aleigh Grimes has the toughness needed to play at the next level.

Crotts shared a story of her toughness while introducing her before she signed her letter of intent to play at Cowley College during a school assembly Wednesday at Baxter Springs High School.

Grimes played her senior season for the Lions with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee.

“I tried to play on a torn ACL before,” Crotts said. “When you plant and it slips out, it feels like bone on bone rubbing, and there’s a lot of shooting pain. I had it happen once, and I said I was going to get surgery.

“It happened to Aleigh during a game against Miller. It slipped on her. I could see the tears in her eyes. She was in pain.”

A few days later, Grimes played the majority of the game against Girard.

“In the locker room after the game I said, ‘You made it the whole game without it slipping. That’s awesome,’ ” Crotts said. “She said, ‘Coach, it slipped on me in the first quarter and again in the third quarter.’ ”

Grimes didn’t say anything to her coach because she knew it would mean she’d have to come out of the game.

“She played through it and ended up playing out the rest of the year,” Crotts said. “And she didn’t just play. She played well. She ended up honorable mention in the league on a torn ACL. Her toughness is second to none. I know with that attitude and toughness, she’s going to go on to the next level and do very well.”

Grimes earned second-team all-CNC honors as a junior and honorable mention as a senior.

She will join her older sister, Ashleigh Grimes, at Cowley College in Arkansas City. Ashleigh is a point guard, and Aleigh will be a forward.

Aleigh selected Cowley over Neosho County and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

“My sister went there to play basketball, and they have a good winning program,” Grimes said.

Cowley, which is coached by Todd Clark, finished the 2013-14 season with a 22-9 record.

Grimes had surgery on her knee after the season and said she will be ready for next year.

“She’s strong and can finish strong,” Crotts said. “She can rebound well and is physical.

“To me, a big part of college basketball is adapting to that physical play, and she already plays that way.”

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