Mountain Iron, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- For fans who will have the chance to watch the Mountain Iron-Buhl girls' basketball team play at the MSHSL Class A tournament, be sure to take notice of the bulky black brace on the starting point guard's right knee.
"I'm just speechless," senior Sarah Overbye said. "I never thought I was going to recover to be able to go back to state. I never did, but my team helped me through that. Now look where I'm at."
Instead, first look where Overbye was just a year ago -- sitting on the sidelines as her team won the Section 7A championship.
"I got taken out going for a full-court lay-up," she said. "I didn't think I did it so I wasn't worried about it. I went and saw a doctor two weeks later, got an MRI, and tore my ACL. I was out completely."
This fall, Overbye's bad luck continued. During preseason, she partially tore her meniscus after a collision with another player.
Once again, though, the Rangers senior battled back.
"It's extreme. It's 24/7 icing, ice baths, and therapy. It's tough," Overbye said of rehabbing her knee injuries. "I sometimes want to quit, but I know that my team's pushing me to keep going because I'm a senior captain, and I have to lead them too."
It's that same team that Overbye leaned on to get through her darkest days.
"My family was there through it all, but my team means so much to me," she said of the Rangers. "I didn't want to let them down."
And in the eyes of head coach Jeff Buffetta, it's Overbye that means so much to his team.
"She does all of the little work for us. She shows up every day and practices hard," he said. "You just know that in big games she's going to do whatever she can to perform."
During the state tournament, then, a quick glance down to her knee brace and Sarah can be reminded of how far she's come.
"That year, about a year and a half, of therapy and holding this, it means a lot," Overbye said.