Londonderry Lancers Girls Basketball '07-'08

Sun, Mar 02, 2008 06:00 PM @ Neutral Location - Southern New Hampshire University
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Division L Tournament - Quarterfinals
Salem 10 15 3 7 35
Londonderry 12 5 14 6 37
Jan Seeger, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Fagula's condition chief concern after Londonderry victory

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Monday, March, 03 By Alan Siegel
Staff writer

HOOKSETT, N.H. | Minutes after collapsing on the court last night, Londonderry girls basketball coach John Fagula was cracking jokes.

The situation, however, was no laughing matter.

At 7:15 p.m., with 1:16 remaining in his team's 37-35 Class L quarterfinal win over Salem, the 60-year-old Fagula crumpled face-first in front of the Lancer bench. He lie motionless for less than a minute as emergency personnel attended to him, but he quickly sat up and appeared to be alert.

Fagula, a diabetic who had triple bypass surgery in October, watched the remainder of the game reclining on a bench-chair as Hanover girls basketball coach Dan O'Rourke, a physician who happened to be in attendance, checked his pulse. Soon after the final buzzer sounded, paramedics entered the gym at Southern New Hampshire University.

After a quick examination and check of his blood sugar in the hallway, paramedics lifted Fagula onto a stretcher and wheeled him to a waiting ambulance. The fall bloodied (and possibly broke) his nose, but there was no other visible signs of trauma.

Before Fagula was taken to nearby Elliot Hospital as a precautionary measure, he spoke to his team briefly and playfully yelled at the small crowd of friends, administrators and coaches who had gathered to check up on him.

"Hey you old farts!" he said.

It was a welcome sound to everybody, especially Londonderry assistant Nick Theos, who coached the game's remaining 1:16 in a daze.

"It was the second scariest moment of my life," said Theos, whose mother once had a brain-tumor induced seizure (she's healthy now). "Basketball was the furthest thing on my mind at that point."

Many players | from both teams | were reduced to tears.

"It's understandable," Theos said. But, "being able to walk onto the court is a testament to the kids."

As of last night, it was unclear what caused the collapse. Fagula's status for the Lancers' semifinal matchup with Manchester Central Wednesday (6 p.m.) is also uncertain. Theos will likely step in if Fagula isn't cleared by doctors.

"I don't think he felt well all week," Londonderry athletic director Mike Kobilarcsik said. "It was a combination of his diabetes meds and his diet."

Theos said Fagula, who has lost 90 pounds since his bypass surgery, snacked on the bus on the way to the game. Only once all season, Theos said, did Fagula tell him he might not be feeling well enough to attend practice. (Fagula showed up anyway, Theos said.)

After Fagula sat up, he received a standing ovation. In the ensuing huddle, the shocked but somewhat relieved Lancers vowed to win one for their coach.

Prior the stoppage, junior Kellie Walsh (game-high 13 points) hit a jumper to give No. 3 Londonderry a 36-35 lead. After, the teams traded turnovers before Londonderry junior Lindsay Willis got fouled and hit 1 of 2 free throws. No. 6 Salem had two possessions to tie or take the lead, but couldn't capitalize.

When the game ended, players from both teams shook Fagula's hand. Salem coach Liz Briggs, visibly shaken, spent a few extra moments wishing him well.

Said Briggs: "The game was inconsequential at that point."

0 Story Comments