Fergus Falls has been ranked No. 1 or 2 all year in girls’ class AAA basketball. There’s a reason for that. They’re good. They have size, depth, and shooting – you don’t really need much more than that. We’ve seen them play our Cards twice now. And I suspect they were two of the better games the Otters played all year – so good on them.
The Cards played with them until about 7 minutes were left in the game. Then we hit the wall – we were pooped. You can tell when you’ve lost your legs – we started missing bunnies and free throws. So, down the stretch, if we missed two free throws, the Otters would come back and score and just slowly stretched the lead to the end of the game.
We played them man-to-man, rather than our usual 1-3-1. The 1-3-1 works great if you have the size advantage on the perimeter – we do not have that against the Otters, who can pass over our traps and generally can find an open 3-point shooter. Playing them man-to-man I think limited their 3-point shooting, though they still made their share. I was probably most impressed with Whitney’s defense on the Otters’ center.
LT played her usual good game and scored a game high 21 points. Kalli was aggressive offensively against sometimes two players taller than she – she still was able to score or draw fouls. We ended the regular season with a terrific 20-4 record, despite losing three starters from last year. We are seeded No. 1 in the south division of our section and will play Sauk Rapids in the first round of the tournament at home on Tuesday. Fergus finished with a 25-1 record and the No. 1 seed in the north division of our section. I’m sure the team is hoping for one more shot at them in the section finals! 🙂 [It pains me to say the Otters may be the team to beat for the next couple of years. They have key players back again next year, and their JV team is mindful of their varsity with size and shooting ability.]
[The student section was in fine fettle with t-shirts and photos on a stick proclaiming Kohler to be the real “Coach K”!]
[The Cards appear.]
[The students go crazy!]
[Lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely . . .]
[Biggest basketball crowd of the year, befitting the game’s status. I arrived over an hour early and found parking to be at a premium.]
[. . . even drew the Red Hats!]
[Good thing the band wasn’t scheduled – there wouldn’t have been room!]
[El was there to keep an eye on the students. Once a teacher, always a teacher!]
[Cara warms up.]
[Did I mention it was a REALLY big crowd?]
Let the fun begin. Here is the video for player introductions and the opening minutes – you kinda get a feel for the intensity:
[Cara leads LT up the left side.]
[It’s tiring getting by those big picks.]
[Amanda C on D.]
[LT between two Otters who may become D-1 players.]
[Certain hockey folks have moved over to follow the pum’kin pushers!]
[Amanda, LT, and Kalli make first half free throws.]
[The halftime show was a big hit! 🙂 ]
[The student section brings the team out for the 2nd half by doing the “roller coaster ride.”]
And then my photography became bad luck:
AND THANKS AGAIN TO THE SENIORS FOR A GREAT SEASON:
Two days before the game, we had our biggest snowfall of the year – 4″ of heart attack snow. It was also a tragic day with three separate fatal car accidents in the area, undoubtedly all weather related.
Oh, and the kids got a Smart Car yesterday! 😉
Oh (again), as an older retired person who has pretty much lost interest in the college and pro sports scenes, today has been a particularly fun day – even absent our Cardinals, it was all day with the girls’ state hockey tournament, four games with the two semi-finals in classes A and AA. The tournament action started this morning with a great game in class A – So. St. Paul upset Warroad 4-2. I have to admit I kept waiting for the PA to announce the Warroad players’ home towns during the pre-game introductions! 😉 The 2nd class A game featured some real fireworks as Breck beat Red Wing 8-4. What was most amazing is that both these teams are virtually junior high teams – they are loaded with 7th – 9th graders! Of course, they also had some upper class stars, as did the 1st game, many of whom are going on to play for the Gophers. This evening’s 1st game, still ongoing, features Roseville v. Edina – Roseville apparently has five D-1 players. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s back to the action!