Ed Phillipps profiles the Canon-McMillan girls basketball team.
(Photo: Canon-McMillan's Cheyenne Trest tries to get around Peters Township's Ally Zuccarini in a game last Saturday. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)
"It's a pretty common narrative in sports: A key member of the team goes down and their return lifts the squad to new heights.
But the Canon-McMillan girls basketball team put a new twist on that familiar story line. It wasn't a player who went down early in the season, but rather first-year coach Lou Waller, who was hired Aug. 13.
Shortly before the season tipped off, Waller's lower intestine required an emergency surgery due to an obstruction. That put him in the hospital for nine days, and Waller would eventually miss the first 10 games of the season.
"It was extremely difficult," said Waller. "I credit my staff because we were all new. It wasn't like we had a routine from years past.""