Kazz Parks is finally healthy again.
Not just physically, but mentally, too.
It was around this time last season — Jan. 11, to be exact — when the Skyview High senior point guard sat out multiple games with a torn MCL and ligament strain in her left knee.
Surgery wasn’t needed, but she never felt 100 percent the rest of the season. In fact, she played with a knee brace until mid-summer.
“I really buckled down to rebuild those muscles every day,” Parks said, “and getting my knee back to where I was before and building back my body in general so I’m stronger.”
Not only is Parks physically stronger, but mentally, too. And the mental strength Parks gained on her way back to feeling what she describes as “110 percent” healthy also was key for Skyview down the stretch in a 54-52 4A GSHL girls basketball victory Tuesday over Union.
In a back-and-fourth game the final 10 minutes with no led greater than five points, adrenaline took over for the Storm to take the lead for good with 2 minutes, 16 seconds to play on an Addie McPherson field goal.
McPherson’s free throw with 11.1 seconds left put Skyview up 54-52 and on its final possession, Union had two looks at a possible game-winning or game-tying bucket. Both fell short.
Parks had 11 points Tuesday and the Storm had 10 points apiece from Maddie Hendricks and Skylar Groesbeck. Mason Oberg led all scorers with 14 points for Union and Lolo Weatherspoon added 12.
The game completed the first half of the 4A Greater St. Helens League schedule for both teams.
Skyview (11-5, 4-0 league) sits atop the league standings having beaten both Camas and Union on the road. That sits pretty with the Storm, too.
“This is our year,” Parks said, “and we’re not backing down.”