Followed by the recognizable moan usually translated as, “Why does this always happen to ‘us’?” (“Us” being the generic term for the teams we support with all our hearts and souls and blogsites.) Last night was the opening game of the girls’ basketball season. The Cards were led onto the floor by their senior point guard, Cara Wood (on the right in the above photo) . . . ON CRUTCHES! After having lost the entire front line from last year’s state tournament team, this year the Cards were going to be led by . . . the two favorite words in any coach’s lexicon – senior guards! Cara and Lauren Trumm (LT) were going to be the foundation upon which this year’s team would be built. Cara sprained her ankle during practice this week and obviously couldn’t play in this game – she hopes to be ready for the Sartell game on Tuesday.
[ . . . when you say, “Bud.”]
[Editor’s note: There was also an audible gasp when it was discovered this reporter has only heard of three of Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People.” Apparently I travel in different circles (or rhombuses) from Ms. Walters.]
[Bud’s daughter, Sarah, a/k/a, Baby Bruiser, 3rd from the right (or left), fresh off the JV game. I think she’ll get some varsity time this year as a sophomore.]
[The video of team introductions and the first few minutes of the game.]
So, the game. We were playing the Detroit Lakes (DL) Lakers. It was already the Lakers 4th game of year! That had to be an advantage – for now the Cards had 4 new starters. But the Cards started fast – with LT, 5’9″ senior, and Jess Syvrud, 5’6″ junior, at guards; and Whitney Giselle, 6’1″ senior; Kalli Bowser, 6’1″ junior; and Amanda Christianson, 5’9″ sophomore, in the front court – with a 14-2 lead early in the game. It was just like last year. Then the Lakers got hot, and stayed hot the whole game – they must have made over 50% of their threes with it seemed like 5 different shooters doing it. Still, the Cards led at the half, and through most of the game, despite not shooting very well and committing what seemed like at least 20 traveling violations. It was a raggedy game – befitting the first one of the year. And unfortunately, in what was a flashback to prior years, both teams were in the bonus halfway through the 2nd half. Games are usually over before 9:00 so certain Super Fans can still hit the southside DQ – this one lasted until almost 9:30!
LT fouled out, with I believe 25 points, with about 5 minutes left in the game. She had a fabulous game – probably led all players in points, rebounds, steals, and number of boxes of popcorn sold at halftime – beginning what should be an all-state year. Jess filled in capably for Cara, particularly as the baseline defender in the 1-3-1 zone trap – she had several steals. Whitney had the most experience of the returning front court players, and I think is expected to be the top 3-point shooter – but she missed some early and lost confidence in her shot. Amanda is talented – and young – and will grow as the season rolls along. Kalli is brand new to the varsity – and will gain confidence with experience. The team won’t be as athletic as last year’s, but then whose would be? It appears from one game that it may be a better free-throw shooting team.
[“Were any of you on Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People” list?]
[The opposing coaches.]
[LT was stoked!]
[Whitney and LT double-team.]
[LT has become an excellent foul shooter.]
[Kalli was good from the line.]
[LT and Jess.]
[Whitney and . . . a ponytail?]
[Whitney, Amanda and Kalli.]
[Whitney and LT]
The game was essentially lost when LT fouled out – the Cards still led at the time. But the Lakers, to their credit, shot like they, or any other team, is unlikely to do again. Congrats to them – they won 67-59. If Cara can come back healthy next week, the Cards will be just fine.
Boo of the Week: I believe I have commented in the past about the unctuousness of DL fans. Last night their level of boorishness was such that they have surpassed Fergus’s as being the most obnoxious fans. All through the game last night, their entire contingent, men and women, whined and complained about every call and non-call. It got to be really annoying for the Card fans who – and I made a note to notice – were quiet as mice all night regarding the officiating. And by the way Laker fans (?), it was two Cardinal starters who fouled out and that determined the outcome of the game. Uffda!
On frozen pond: The hockey team has almost finished its marathon road trip – and is starting to play as well as we thought they could. After two single goal losses to Mound-Westonka and Orono, two teams ranked in the top ten, over Thanksgiving weekend, the Cards claimed their first win of the season at Fergus Falls with a resounding 11-3 victory. Then they followed that up with what eye-witnesses said was their best game of the year totally dominating River Lakes at their place with a 3-1 win. River Lakes had an impressive record to date with wins over Sartell-Sauk Rapids and Bemidji, and only a one goal loss to Roseau. Anyway, the two wins put the Cards in the driver’s seat for the section – and they are back in the hunt for the conference title. They have a really tough game tonight at North Wright County, a team composed of so many secret schools in the north metro area they are not even listed in the Minnesota High School League site – and they scored 12 goals in thumping Brainerd-Little Falls. The Cards finally end the road trip next week against an undermanned Morris-Benson team.
[Taylor Ellingson, sophomore defense (Echo Press)]
[The U-14 team holds promise for the future! (Echo Press)]
Finally, in view of recent difficulties by institutions of higher learning placing too much emphasis on athletics over academics, we bring you books I remember with great fondness from long, long ago:
[Because my Dad wrote it! 😉 From Wikipedia: “The Fear Brokers, in 1979, co-authored with John C. Obert. In his book, [Senator Thomas, New Hampshire] McIntyre described the forces and personalities of the New Right across the nation, focusing particularly on the struggle in his home state.” It was about the return of the Panama Canal to . . . Panama. It should have been a total non-issue (it cost the Senator his next election), as it actually turned out to be. Nothing about its operation has changed . . . except it is now a cruise destination. ]
[Made me feel “gritty” just reading it – unbelievable imagery. From Wikipedia: “The novel was published in 1962, and the film was released in 1964. Kōbō Abe also wrote the screenplay for the film version. The surreal and, at times, absurd nature of The Woman in the Dunes has been compared to existentialist works such as Sartre’s No Exit and Beckett’s Happy Days. Aside from its intriguing premise, this film is notable for the life that Teshigahara brings to the ever-shifting sand, which almost becomes a character in its own right.” Abe also wrote the surreal “The Box Man,” about, yes, a man who lived, and walked around in, a cardboard box.]
[Provided, at least for me, unparalleled visual imagery. Clarke was also a great scientist. From Wikipedia: “Rendezvous with Rama is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1972. Set in the 22nd century, the story involves a 50-kilometre (31 mi) cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth’s solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers, who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is widely regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke’s bibliography. It is considered a science fiction classic, and is particularly seen as a key hard science fiction text.”]