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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Greenwood senior Kyiah Julian is hoping to lead the Bulldogs back to the state championship game after missing last year's finals after tearing her ACL.

All Kyiah Julian could do was watch as her Greenwood teammates made their run to the Class 6A state finals last March.

Julian, the Lady Bulldogs' leading scorer and a starting guard since her freshman season, tore her ACL and meniscus in her right knee in a mid-February regular season game.

AT A GLANCE

KYIAH JULIAN

SCHOOL Greenwood

CLASS Senior

HEIGHT 5-9

POSITION Guard

NOTABLE Julian averaged 12.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 27 games as a junior before tearing her ACL and meniscus. … Was named all-state in Class 6A. … Has started since her freshman season, where she averaged 9.3 points and 4.0 rebounds. … Averaged 11.7 points and 3.6 rebounds as a sophomore. … Drawing interest from Division II schools, including Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Class 5A Composite Schedule

Thursday, Nov. 8

Greenwood (VG) at Prairie Grove, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

Greenwood (VG) at Lake Hamilton Classic, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 15

Greenwood (VG) at Lake Hamilton Classic, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 16

Providence Academy (all) at Siloam Springs, 4 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17

Greenwood (VG) at Lake Hamilton Classic, 1:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 19

Greenwood (VB) at Two Rivers Tournament, TBD.

Tuesday, Nov. 20

Siloam Springs (all) at Prairie Grove, 4 p.m.; Greenwood (VB) at Two Rivers Tournament, TBD.

Wednesday, Nov. 21

Greenwood (VB) at Two Rivers Tournament, TBD.

Thursday Nov. 29

Siloam Springs (VG) at Rogers Great 8, TDB; Bentonville (JVB, VG, VB) at Greenwood, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 30

Mena (VG) at Alma at Alma Classic, 7 p.m.; Southside Batesville (VB) at Alma at Alma Classic, 8:30 p.m.; Siloam Springs (VG) at Rogers Great 8, TDB.

Saturday, Dec. 1

Sheridan (VG/VB) at Alma at Alma Classic, 3:30 p.m.; Siloam Springs (VG) at Rogers Great 8, TDB; Siloam Springs (JVB/VB) at Farmington, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 3

Siloam Springs (VG/VB) at Inola (Okla.) Tournament, TBD.

Tuesday, Dec. 4

Alma (all) at Farmington, 4 p.m.; Siloam Springs (VG/VB) at Inola (Okla.) Tournament, TBD; Greenwood (VB) at Cyclone Invitational, TBD.

Wednesday, Dec. 5

Siloam Springs (VG/VB) at Inola (Okla.) Tournament, TBD; Greenwood (VB) at Cyclone Invitational, TBD.

Thursday, Dec. 6

Alma (VG/VB) at Plainview, Okla. Tournament, TBD; Siloam Springs (VG/VB) at Inola (Okla.) Tournament, TBD; Greenwood (VB) at Cyclone Invitational, TBD; Greenwood (VG) at Fayetteville Tournament, TBD.

Friday, Dec. 7

Alma (VG/VB) at Plainview, Okla. Tournament, TBD; Siloam Springs (VG/VB) at Inola (Okla.) Tournament, TBD; Greenwood (VG) at Fayetteville Tournament, TBD.

Saturday, Dec. 8

Alma (VG/VB) at Plainview, Okla. Tournament, TBD.; Siloam Springs (VG/VB) at Inola (Okla.) Tournament, TBD; Greenwood (VG) at Fayetteville Tournament, TBD.

Tuesday, Dec. 11

Bentonville West at Siloam Springs (JVB/VB), 5:30 p.m.; Farmington (JVB, VG, VB) at Greenwood, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 13

Rogers Heritage (9th, JVG/VG) at Siloam Springs, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 14

Maumelle (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Siloam Springs (all) at Stilwell, Okla., 4 p.m.; Greenwood (VG) vs. Watson Chapel (at Russellville), 7:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 18

Rogers Heritage (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Rogers at Siloam Springs (JVB/VB), 5:30 p.m.; Greenwood (VB) at Rogers, TBD.

Thursday, Dec. 20

Greenwood (VG) at FS Northside, 6 p.m.; Rogers Heritage (VB) at Greenwood, TBD.

Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 27-29

Alma (VG/VB) at Airedale Classic, TBD; Siloam Springs (VG/VB) at Panther Holiday Classic; Greenwood (VG) at Sapulpa Tournament, TBD; Greenwood (VB) at Spa City Classic, TBD.

Friday, Jan. 4

Vilonia (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Beebe (all) at Siloam Springs, 4 p.m.; LR Christian (JVB/VG/VB) at Greenwood, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 8

Alma (all) at Siloam Springs, 4 p.m.; Greenwood (JVB/VG/VB) at Russellville, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 11

LR Christian (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Siloam Springs (all) at Greenbrier, 4 p.m.; Vilonia (JVB/VG/VB) at Greenwood, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 15

Alma (all) at Russellville, 4:45 p.m.; Greenwood (all) at Siloam Springs, 4 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 18

Greenbrier (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Siloam Springs (all) at LR Christian, 4 p.m.; Beebe (JVB/VG/VB) at Greenwood, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

Greenwood (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Siloam Springs (all) at Russellville, 4 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 25

Alma (all) at Beebe, 5 p.m.; Vilonia (all) at Siloam Springs, 4 p.m.; Greenbrier (JVB/VG/VB) at Greenwood, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 1

Alma (all) at Vilonia, 5 p.m.; Siloam Springs (all) at Beebe, 4 p.m.; Greenwood (JVB/VG/VB) at LR Christian, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 5

Siloam Springs (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Russellville (JVB/VG/VB) at Greenwood, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8

Alma (all) at LR Christian, 4 p.m.; Greenbrier (JVB, VB, VG) at Siloam Springs, 4:30 p.m.; Greenwood (JVB/VG/VB) at Vilonia, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 12

Russellville (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Siloam Springs (all) at Greenwood, 4 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 15

Alma (all) at Greenbrier, 4 p.m.; LR Christian (all) at Siloam Springs, 4 p.m.; Greenwood (JVB/VG/VB) at Beebe, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 19

Alma (all) at Greenwood, 4 p.m.; Russellville (all) at Siloam Springs, 4 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 22

Beebe (all) at Alma, 4 p.m.; Siloam Springs (all) at Vilonia, 4 p.m.; Greenwood (JVB/VG/VB) at Greenbrier, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday-Saturday, Feb. 26-March 2

Class 5A State Tournament, TBD.

March 7-9

State Championships, TBD.

Inside, sitting on the sideline was killing Julian, but on the outside she knew she had to be strong for her teammates.

"It was my best season, but I couldn't really be upset because I still had a team I was captain for," Julian said. "I couldn't think my life was over and didn't want to put doubt in anyone else's mind. I had to be strong for my team and support them. I couldn't feel bad for myself."

The Lady Bulldogs (22-10) went on to win five straight games, including twice in the Class 6A State Tournament before falling to Jonesboro 57-44 in the 6A state finals.

Just three days before that championship game, Julian had reconstructive surgery to repair her knee.

"I was proud of them, but you still want to be out there," Julian said. "It's the first time that I've been at Greenwood that we made it to the finals. We could have made it all the way. But it was hard at state. I didn't get sit on the bench because I had just come from surgery and they didn't want someone to jump on me."

Julian was on crutches for about a month after the surgery and began physical therapy after that, which lasted around four months. Now she's back and hoping to lead the Lady Bulldogs to their first state title since the 2015 season.

She feels like she's stronger than before her injury.

"I've surprised myself," she said. "I feel like I owe my team a lot because I wasn't there. Even though it's not my fault, I still feel like I have to give them everything I have to get us to win this time."

Julian will return to her wing guard role for Greenwood after averaging 12.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 27 games her junior year, where she was named all-state in Class 6A. She averaged 11.7 points and 3.6 rebounds as a sophomore and 9.3 points and 4.0 rebounds as a freshman.

"It finally all clicked for me, because my freshman year Maddie (Goodner) did everything and I just stood on the 3-point line," she said. "My sophomore year I had to be the point guard. Last year I just put it all together, dribbling, shooting, passing everything."

Julian said some Division II schools were looking at her prior to her ACL injury, and Arkansas-Fort Smith has watcher her already in the preseason.

"I'm not really worried about that though," she said, adding that if she returns to form the interest will also come back.

"I feel like I have a lot of weight on my shoulders coming back," she said. "I expect myself to be better."

Sports on 11/04/2018

Print Headline: CLASS 5A Greenwood's Julian returns from injury

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