By GREG MENGELT
Just over a year ago, Cody Bachman and the Borden Braves were rolling their the boys’ basketball program’s best regular season in school history.
Borden had just one loss and was headed toward its third sectional title in six years. Probably more.
Then it happened. Just a simple practice rebound. No one around. Bachman landed on two feet. On balance. Nothing unusual about it.
But somehow, two bones snapped in Bachman’s lower leg. His season was done. Rehab was in his future.
“I remember the look on his face, just the pain he was in,” Nash said. “Once we got him in the ambulance, I can remember going in the lockerroom, the kids were upset and in shock.”
Borden recovered and went on to win another sectional title before suffering a 68-48 loss to Orleans in the regional. It was the same Orleans team the Braves had beaten with Bachman just 42 days earlier.
Bachman returned in November for his senior season, helping lead Borden to a 16-3 with its regular-season finale tonight at winless Salem.
With Bachman back in uniform, the No. 10 Braves appear to be headed toward yet another sectional championship. Maybe more.
“To come back from that injury and perform like he’s performed, to defend like he’s defended, I can say enough good things about his character,” Nash said. “He’s a tough cat.”
Bachman, who began as a freshman at Christian Academy, has led the Braves in scoring in two of his last three games. But it’s his team-first and his defensive mentality that Nash appreciates most.
“Cody’s selfless,” Nash said. “He’s the kind of kid that’s going to go out and score 10 points per game, seven or eight rebounds and four or five assists. And he’s going to defend the best player. All the intangibles you can’t teach, Cody does that for us.”
On Thursday, Bachman spent time answering questions about the accident, having coaches for parents, potentially facing his former teammates in the sectional, the rest of the Borden Sectional field and the Braves’ chances in the upcoming sectional, which begins Tuesday against South Central.
• QUESTION: What do you recall about the accident?
• BACHMAN: “We were in the middle of practice, about 10 minutes left. I went up for a rebound. I came down, I heard a noise. Then I felt it. The tibia and fibula both snapped in half.”
• Q: Is there any explanation for why it happened?
• BACHMAN: “The doctors said it was a freak accident. They said it happens every once in a while but it’s rare.”
• Q: Was it just the way you landed?
• BACHMAN: “I landed fine. I remember both feet coming down square. I’ve landed just that way several times before, but It just snapped.”
• Q: After the leg break, what do you remember from the rest of the day?
• BACHMAN: “After I looked up, I remember my teammates faces. We had high expectations. We still had a pretty good post-season.”
• Q: How painful was it for you sitting on the sidelines and watching your teammates in the tournament?
• BACHMAN: “Sitting on the sidelines was worse than the break, to tell you the truth. Watching the regional, it sucked.”
• Q: Did you feel like if you were out there things might be different?
• BACHMAN: “I don’t want to sound cocky, but it would have been a different game plan. It would have been different. I’m not saying I would have made up 20 points, but maybe a point here or there. It was pretty tough for me — sitting and watching.”
• Q: Obviously you came back and expected to do well. Has it helped the feeling of helplessness from last year that you’re having such a good season this year?
• BACHMAN: “We had high expectations last year, but we had even higher expectations this year. We wanted to go undefeated, but we had some low points. We’ve had an all right season so far.”
• Q: How close do you feel like you are to 100 percent?
• BACHMAN: “I rehabbed over the summer. By the time conditioning came around, I was 80, 90 percent. Now I’m back to normal. There are basically no limitations.”
• Q: How far do you feel you can go in the post-season?
• BACHMAN: “Everyone has the goal going into the state tournament of a state title. But we just want to build on what we did last year. We think we have a good chance in sectional. Everyone feels that way. We have a good chance in regional, but we just have to come out and play.”
• Q: You started out at Christian Academy as a freshman. Do you every look at the News and Tribune or our web site to see how your former teammates are doing?
• BACHMAN: “I mean, they’re a team that’s in our sectional. I want everyone in our sectional to do well until they get to the sectional. I keep up with all of them pretty consistently.”
• Q: So no special feelings toward your former teammates and school?
• BACHMAN: “I still have friends on the team. I hope they do well, expect when they play us.”
• Q: You could play Christian Academy in the sectional championship. Is that what you’re hoping for?
• BACHMAN: “My freshman year we played them in the sectional. It was a hard thing, but you have to put yourself first. I’m closer with this team now. They’re going to come first.”
• Q: Obviously, Borden is the sectional favorite. Besides you, how do you assess the field?
• BACHMAN: “This year’s field, it’s about as equal as it can get. We play South Central our first game. We beat them the first time, but they’re capable of coming out and beating us. New Wash has their best team in years and they’ve won nine or 10 games. Christian Academy I think has won 10 games. Rock Creek and Lanesville are good every year. I guess we’re the favorite — that’s what everybody said — but it wouldn’t surprise for anyone to come out. Any given night, anybody can win.”
• Q: What’s it like having two parents who are basketball coaches?
• BACHMAN: “Win or lose, we talk about it a little. They don’t go too far. They help me a little. It was more of an advantage when I was younger.”
• Q: Who’s taught you more about basketball — your mom or your dad?
• BACHMAN: “My dad would want me to say my mom, so I’ll say my mom. She’s been around it for a while.”