The Sickles girls basketball team could be without its top player until the end of the calendar year.
Gryphons star center Amber Henson, a Duke recruit who is one of the nation's top senior girls basketball players, has missed the last four games after suffering some complications of the recent surgery on her left knee, Sickles coach Mark Key said.
Key said he might not have Henson in back for the Basketball Brothers Invitational, an annual tournament over the holiday break in Fort Myers that draws the best teams from across the state.
Henson had arthroscopic surgery on the knee in early-September, and returned to the lineup in Sickles' second game of the season, but she's played in just three games this year, averaging 20.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 6 blocks a game.
Henson hasn't played since a 74-61 loss to Jefferson on Dec. 1. Key said Henson's knee had to be drained after some recent swelling.
Sickles (7-3) could also be without starting point guard Bre Crum, who has picked up the scoring slack in Henson's absence, for the next week. Crum, who leads Hillsborough County with 30.7 points a game, twisted her ankle in pregame warmups before Sickles' loss to Chamberlain on Friday.
Crum has scored 30 points in her past six games and also averages 4.9 assists and 5.1 blocks a game.
Crum and Henson have combined for 66 percent (338 of 510) of the Gryphones' scoring this season, so Key will need other players to step up. Sophomore guard Sara Hartman, primarily a perimeter shooter who averages 9.4 points a game, is the only other player who averages more than 3 points a game.
-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @EddieHometeam)