Anna Capacci must have had a lot on her mind -- besides her teammate's tooth. She had no idea it was imbedded in her scalp until an emergency room doctor found it hours later.
Capacci, a junior, collided with freshman Alida Bus during an early morning practice on Christmas eve. Both were trying to set a screen when they plowed into each other, with Bus' right front tooth penetrating Capacci's forehead.
"I grabbed my head, looked down at my hand and saw blood," Capacci said.
"I put my tongue on the tooth and felt half of it was gone," Bus said.
Bus and several teammates looked for the broken piece before eventually giving up. Capacci, fearing an infection, went to Bartlett Regional Hospital after practice.
The emergency room doctor numbed her scalp before cleaning and closing the wound with three stitches.
"He's poking around with a needle and says, 'what's that,'" Capacci said. "He finds this huge tooth in my head."
She saved the broken tooth for her teammate, who was grateful to have it as a keepsake.
"I'm going to put it in a box and keep it forever," Bus said.
Lucy Jones, assistant coach for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls, did not witness the collision but she saw the gash in Capacci's head and the gap in Bus' teeth.
"It just goes to show the competitive nature of our girls," Jones said. "They have to work hard in practice to earn playing time in a game."