By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Lindsay Holden played her final game in a Lower Cape May Regional High School girls basketball uniform on Saturday.
The senior guard tied for team high in scoring with 12 points, making 4 of 9 three-point shots, in the Cape-Atlantic League all-star game at Ocean City High School. Her team, coached by Mainland’s Scott Betson, lost 71-59 to the team coached by Wildwood Catholic’s Steve DiPatri.
For Holden, it was a nice way to finish her career after a frustrating final two high school seasons.
She played in just nine games as a junior due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She then saw action in just nine more as a senior due to a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee suffered in the second game of the season against Wildwood Catholic.
“It was definitely difficult,” Holden said. “It stunk that we only got nine games last year and then this year I got hurt. But it’s all part of the experience. It’s all part of playing sports.”
Initially thought to be out for the entire season after her injury in the team’s final game before Christmas, Holden healed enough and grinded hard enough in her rehabilitation efforts to be able to make it back to play in Lower Cape May’s final seven games of the season.
“I was grateful I got to come back,” Holden said.
Holden is the youngest in one of Cape May County’s most well known basketball families. Her father, Pat, served as her head coach at Lower during her senior season and previously coached the boys team for more than a decade, long after a prolific playing career at Lower Cape May. Her deceased grandfather, George, was a longtime successful boys coach at Lower. Her uncle, Scott, is currently the boys coach at Lower.
And then there are her two older siblings. Her sister, Lauren, is Lower Cape May’s all-time leading scorer for girls basketball and won a South Jersey championship as a senior in 2015 before going on to a four-year career at Division I Fordham. And her brother, Pat, just finished his senior season at Division III Widener after becoming Lower Cape May’s all-time leading scorer in boys basketball.
Injuries and other circumstances prevented Lindsay from earning those kinds of accolades. If not for her injury as a senior and the COVOID-affected season as a junior, she would have easily surpassed 1,000 career points.
“I still got a lot out of it,” Holden said. “I’m grateful I was able to come back. I didn’t get a chance to score 1,000 points or accomplish more, but I’m still grateful for the opportunities to play. Especially this year. When I first got hurt I could have been out for the year.”
Holden was forced to play with a bulky brace on her knee once she returned. While it mitigated her usual quickness a bit, she was still able to be effective. Holden finished strongly, scoring 20 and 19 points, respectively, in her final two games, a pair of close losses to Cedar Creek and Cape May Tech.
She averaged around 13.5 points per game for the season.
“I was lucky to be able to play, even though I wasn’t 100 percent,” she said. “It’s a hard injury to come back from. Even if it was just a few games, I’m glad I was able to play again.”
Holden is set to play college basketball at Division III Neumann University next winter.
“I fell in love with the coach (Mary Beth McNichol) and everyone there has been very nice and welcoming,” Holden said. “It’s not too far from home and I like the campus. It’s a perfect fit for me.”
There’s no doubt she’ll get a lot of her experiences there as well.