[We awoke to this yesterday morning. We weren’t quite sure what it was – so we called 9-1-1 to make sure it wasn’t some sort of toxic substance!]
[As daylight arose, we noted that Alexandrians were out everywhere with pent up snow removal energy! It was probably just a couple inches of the wet, heavy stuff, but people were shoveling, snowblowing, and snow plows were doing roads several times over just for the practice. It already has begun melting – what a dirty, wet mess – as the balmy winter continues.]
[Now we can do some Christmasy stuff – the JHS Carolers in 2008 (Echo)]
Oh, and there were some games this week. Working backwards from last night . . . Well, first I have to note that I awoke at 3:00 am yesterday (as I always do to meet blog deadlines) to work on photos from the previous night’s game, then the supervisor kicked me out of the house at 7:00 am to go to the “Y” ( a daily occurence), then I returned home at 9:00 am to begin laundry (a homemaker’s work is never done!), then the supervisor decided that since it was a holiday (matinee movie) week we should go to the 1:30 pm showing of The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, then I fell alseep early in the movie because I hadn’t had time for a nap (an elbow from the supervisor brought me back to consciousness – we thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but it is 2 1/2 hours long and do not go unless you are at least 53-years old (very adult content)), then we didn’t have time to go home so it was on the Culver’s for “dinner”, and then on to the high school for . . .
Day 2 of the Girls’ Holiday Basketball Tournament. Our Cards were playing Robbinsdale Armstrong for the championship. We won 47 – 37, improving our season record to 7 – 1. You would not know that if you went to the StarTribune’s high school sports website. It reported that Armstrong had won by that score, and that our record was now 6 – 2. That played right into our out-state paranoia about the Cities bias against us – an e-mail of reprimand has been forwarded accordingly!
[Dave Harris interviews Cards’ coach Wendy Kohler on KXRA. Her team all hollered, “Kohler!!”]
The tournament featured the same teams as a year ago. Armstrong (a class 4A school) beat Marshall (ranked 6th in the state in class 3A, the same class as Alex) in the first semi-final on Thursday; and the Cardinals beat Moorhead (a class 4A school) in the second semi-final (more on that game following). Moorhead then beat Marshall in the 3rd-place game last night.
[We’re only featuring the Moorhead Spud coach because he looks like he could be Super Fan Don Nelson’s brother?]
[The boys’ team – oh, you could tell that?]
[The Robbinsdale Armstrong Falcons excitedly await their game against the Cards.]
[Cardinal brain trust discusses strategy. Kohler makes sure the oppositon can’t steal her signals!]
[Kalli and LT]
[LT and Amanda]
[Whitney. The supervisor advised after the game that we had been sitting among three rows of the Whitney Giselle Fan Club. Whitney had a great game on defense, deflecting numerous passes from her wing position, often two-handed spikes like in volleyball. But all game our deflections would always go right to another Falcon. In one series, we deflected four consecutive passes – the Falcons somehow retrieved them all?]
[Kohler visits with the Armstrong coach. The Spuds leave in the background.]
[“Will you kick-off or receive?” (The Falcons had two players on crutches.)]
[“We’ll defer and take the wind in the 2nd half.”]
[“Make lots of traveling calls on the team in black.” 😉 ]
The championship game probably featured the worst offensive performance the Cards will have all year. We just seemed out of sync all game. We were behind 18-17 at the half! 17? We had 17 before the first time-out the night before. Obviously, you can credit Armstrong’s defense for some of that – and they did give us problems there in the half-court game. But we always have our own great defense – and in the end, that carried the day for us. The final 10-point lead was as big as it was the whole game – we were clutch making free throws at the end.
[Sarah Bruzek and Amanda Gould made the JV all-tournament team!]
[She floats through the air with the greatest of ease. We had to chuckle after the game when we ran into my high school classmate (and father of Sarah), Bud Bruzek. Bud asked, “How do you describe Lauren?” He answered himself, “You can’t. She’s just Lauren Trumm!” (LT made a 3 last night. I don’t recall ever seeing her attempt one before. Effortless stroke. Oy!) ]
[Nice jumper by Amanda.]
[Cara makes 2.]
[Amanda, Kalli, and LT made the all-tournament team.]
[Final score against Moorhead in the Thursday semi-final. Sarah scored 4 points in a relief appearance.]
[Starting scoring on the left.]
[The score about 5 minutes into the game – we got Whitney and Kalli going early.]
[“Hurry up Armstrong and Marshall – we wanna play!”]
[“The Voices” warm up before the game – Bob chews on popcorn; Dave gargles Coke, then yodels.]
[We may have some photos of parents in here with proper clearances.]
[The Spuds – our opponents. Girl drinking holds state record for largest water bottle.]
[“We’re getting antsy!”]
[Dani & Cara]
[Marshall Tigers (lest you can’t read)]
[I expressed my disappointment re the size of the crowds to fellow Super Fans Rollie and Alice Halvorson. As Rollie said, “It’s the best bargain in town!” This is at least the 3rd year in a row our Cardinals have featured fun, very athletic teams. I don’t know how Kohler does it. She must visit every expectant mother in town and advise that if it’s a daughter, she’d better be a really fast runner! 😉 ]
[“I really like your orange warm-ups!”]
[“Are they available at most sporting goods stores?”]
[LT, Cara, Whitney – around-the-horn.]
[Kalli works on her post jumper.]
This was a real Jekyll & Hyde game. For the 1st half of the 1st half, our Cards would have been ahead of the Timberwolves. When we play like that, we are a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Turnover – fastbreak lay-up, turnover – fastbreak lay-up . . . Then after building a huge early lead with that style, it stopped? For the 2nd half of the 1st half, we just stopped – we hardly scored at all (2 points in the last 7 minutes)? It’s really hard to maintain the desire and need to play racehorse basketball with big leads – but when the Cards settle for half-court basketball, we struggle. The Spuds “closed” to 31-20 at the half.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6PTB9YjOG8 (Video of game beginning)
[LT – a one-person demolition team.]
The Alexandria Aces provided half-time entertainment:
The 2nd half was a carbon copy of the 1st. The Cards pulled away fast at the beginning and cruised in. Sarah Bruzek got playing time at the end again and scored 4 points. We had to laugh afterwards (though nervously at the time). Every team seems to have at least one (sometimes 2 or 3, and in DL’s case, 5!) 3-point shooter who never seems to miss. In the 2nd half, there was one Spud who we think hit five 3’s in a row to keep them hanging around. The Cards attempt very few 3’s – and then we taper off.
[LT closes it out. We had to laugh (again, inwardly) the next night when we overheard some Spud fans talking about how Alex always “released” a player early to get all those easy lay-ups. Well, the inference was either that it was cheating – or they could do that too if they wanted to (or anybody could?). The poor dears really didn’t understand – our alleged “releasee” is LT – and she plays hard “D” until we get the ball, and then she just beats everybody else down court!]
[Boys v. Red Wing on Wednesday night.]
Yup, went to a boys’ game. No, I didn’t have the vapors or anything. I just had heard some interesting things about the team. We played Red Wing, who seem to be a regular now on the holidays schedule.
It was a good game of contrasting styles. For the first time in a while (in my limited memory), the Cards strength is inside. We usually have small quicker teams – for this game, the Wingers had that advantage. Though always close, the Cards led most of the way – the final score was made closer by three 3-pointers by Red Wing in the final few seconds.
[“Can you say lefse on the radio?”]
[Austin Storm (11), senior guard. Last year he was mainly a designated 3-point shooter off the bench. Now he’s also a good ball handler and can score off the dribble.]
[Jordan Smith, senior point guard. Never looked to shoot once in the 1st half. Attempted a 3 early in the 2nd half, a bad miss (so that’s why he doesn’t look to shoot?). Well, he made two key 3’s down the stretch and finished the game in double figures.]
[AJ Anderson (55), 6’5″ senior forward. One of our two “bigs” – a tight end in football, a pitcher in baseball. Has good footwork and touch inside. Remember him, along with Austin, as being major players from last year.]
[Logan Doyle (35), 6’7″ junior – good inside player with nice touch. He and AJ can play a nice 2-man game underneath. Logan had 16 points and 17 rebounds in this game.]
The Cardinals had a big advantage in rebounds, free throws, and on inside play. So, why was the game close throughout? Beats me. The Wingers had a size edge with their three perimeter players, so sometimes they took advantage of that inside. And they must have made more threes. We’ll try to keep an eye on things.