Injuries have put a damper on Benilde-St. Margaret's quest to successfully defend its Class 3A girls basketball state championship.
The Red Knights' two best players, senior 6-foot guard Olivia Olson and junior 5-10 guard Kendall McGee, are cheering on their teammates from coach Tim Ellefson's bench because of injuries.
Olson, committed to Michigan for college, suffered a broken left hand early in the Red Knights' season opener. She had six points, seven rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot before exiting an 85-63 loss to Class 2A defending state champion Providence Academy.
Olson, who averaged 22 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game last season, is expected to be sidelined at least four weeks. She is the state's No. 1-rated player in the Class of 2024 and is ranked 15th in the country by ESPN's HoopGurlz.
McGee, also a Division I recruit, is still out because of a left knee injury suffered during the Class 3A state tournament semifinals in March. She won't be back before February and could miss the entire season. McGee averaged 19.9 points, six rebounds and three assists last season.
The Red Knights (1-2) host Robbinsdale Cooper on Wednesday night.