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Erin McArthur overcomes second knee injury, joins her sister Kate as Cousino attempts to repeat

By: Jeff Dullack, December 21, 2016, 4:13 pm

Warren – Going into last season, Erin and Kate McArthur were preparing for their first season playing high school basketball together, an opportunity that the Warren Cousino siblings looked forward to with great anticipation. Erin was about to enter her third season on varsity, Kate was an incoming freshman.

But it wasn’t to be. Erin McArthur suffered a torn ACL during his sophomore season and she suffered the same injury before the start of her junior season.

“It sort of sparked Kate last year to have her big sister on the court last year,” Cousino coach Mike Lee said. “I remember that day, I don’t know who cried more after she got hurt, Erin or Kate, because she didn’t have the opportunity to play with her sister like they used to.”

With Erin serving a role as more of a coach than a player last season, and Kate being a key member of Cousino’s starting five, the Patriots went on to win their first title, defeating Detroit King, 67-65, in the Class A final.

Although she wasn’t able to take the court with her teammates, Erin was able to make an impact from the bench as a mentor for the rest of the team.

“Even though she knew she was a part of it and a big part because I leaned on her and the girls leaned on her as a neutral source,” Lee said. “She felt a part, but probably not as much a part as a player would and she’s even admitted that, so I think this year, she would like to be on the court, in that game instead of watching from the sidelines.”

Kate said there were times where she struggled last season, which isn’t out of the ordinary for a freshman playing on varsity, and Erin would be the first to pick her up.

“I look up to her as a defender and as a shooter, but she’s the best defender I’ve known,” Kate said. “Every time I did something wrong, she would tell me what I did and calm me down and I liked to talk to her because of that sister bond that we have.”

Erin returned to the team this season, playing in games for the first time since January of 2015, but this time she’s has the opportunity to play alongside her sister.

Erin admitted that returning to the basketball court after a second knee injury wasn’t easy. Through the early part of the season, her sister and teammates have helped ease the transition process.

“It’s been tough getting back out there and stepping out on the court again,” she said. “I’ve been nervous, scared, but I’ve been doing better and I need to have more confidence in myself. I know my teammates have my back and Kate has my back and it makes it a lot easier having them.”

Cousino is 3-1 to start the season with its only loss coming to Birmingham Marian in the season opener.

As the older sister, Erin noted that there can be challenges to playing with a sibling, but cherishes the opportunity.

“It’s definitely hard, because I want to push her to be better,” she said. “But then, we’re teammates and I have to treat her with that teammate respect. But I’m just so grateful to be able to play with her.”

Cousino entered this season as one of the favorites to win the state title with several key players returning.

In order for Cousino to repeat as champions Lee said the addition of Erin will be, and has been, a motivating factor now that she has one last chance to play at the high school level.

“The hunger, I think and not making us take it for granted because Erin is one of those players where you play like every day is your last, because you might not know when it is and now, Erin’s got a redo,” he said. “They’re never going to doubt Erin’s reason to be here and her motivation and everything like that, she’s going to spark everybody else to try and achieve that level of play to be on the court for that game.”

With all of the focus now on this season, Kate said she has set her sights on getting back to the Breslin Center but this time with her older sister playing alongside of her.

“If I were to have the opportunity (to play in the state finals), I would want to do it with her,” she said. “So I think getting back there together so we can say that we both played together and both contributed in a state championship game is really all we want to do.”