At best, Kayla Anderson and Adriana Vickery give 80 percent in games.
There are plays they simply take off. They will not, under any circumstances, dive for a loose ball.
And none of their Mountain View High girls basketball teammates question their commitment.
Anderson and Vickery are playing this season with torn anterior cruciate ligaments in their knees — decisions made independently of one another and with the help of their parents and doctors.
They are aware of the risks of permanent damage but felt they’d be more likely to regret sitting on the bench their senior seasons.
“We’ve played with each other for so long. It’s senior year, a big year. We have the opportunity to do something great,” Anderson said. “I just wanted to be able to contribute to that and keep playing one more year with everyone that I’ve played with growing up.”
That quest for something great begins at 1:15 p.m. Thursday against northern Idaho champion Post Falls (19-2) in the first round of the 5A state tournament at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
Although the Mavericks (20-4) are the two-time defending champions with four returning starters, their odds of a three-peat will depend — at least in part — on two left knees.
“Senior leadership is priceless,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “When you have the amount of senior leadership that we have, they are going to take care of things on the floor. They should have the composure. They know. They’ve been there before.”
Anderson and Vickery were starters last season, helping the Mavericks average a state-leading 68.3 points per game. They have a 48-2 record against Idaho teams the past two seasons.
And after a successful offseason that included winning the 64-team River City Classic in Portland, the Mavericks felt confident as the 2016-17 school year started.
“We looked smooth,” Skogrand said. “It was just fun to watch. The season looked very bright, and then here we go. Two of the four starters go down with not just an ankle sprain, but we’re talking an ACL.”
Anderson was the first casualty in late August, and Vickery was injured in the second game of the season.
“For both of them, I think it was pretty devastating,” Skogrand said.
It isn’t the first ACL tear for Anderson, who missed her sophomore year with the same injury to her right knee. This time, the prospect of missing yet another season seemed too much to bear.
Vickery felt the same way.
“I believe that we’re the best team in the state. I think that we could win it all,” Vickery said. “It would be torture to sit on the bench and watch my team play without me. I just knew that I could still help, so I did.”
Both girls wear a compression sleeve and a knee brace for practice and games. They leave the gym everyday with ice bags affixed to their left knees.
There are days when they wish they could give more to their teammates.
“It’s not easy,” Anderson said. “I kind of think people might think, ‘Why are those two running so slow?’ or ‘Why didn’t she go for that?’ ”
Anderson is scheduled to have ACL surgery Monday, then Vickery on Tuesday.
In the meantime, they have a championship to defend.