Alexandria Girls’ Basketball Holiday Tournament

December 27

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[I just noticed how much the names have changed since “my time.”  There are no Andersons, Johnsons, Carlsons, Nelsons, Swensons, Iversons, et al?]

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[Well, you can see above who the participants were this year.  Two of the usual teams, Robinsdale Armstrong and Hutchinson, both bowed out?  We arrived early the first night and saw the end of game one, Buffalo v. Watertown-Mayer.  We were immediately impressed with W-M’s starting senior guards, here Kirstin Klitzke (4), in winning their game.]

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[At game’s end, our Cards get ready to take the floor against Minnesota Transitions.]

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[Kara Thomson (23), far left, looks over to make sure I’m covering the game.  She works at the Y in the summer and often checked me in.]

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[Rather than covering the introductions at introductions, here are the Cards doing a lay-up drill.  In all cases the player moving left to right, here Lauren Stockmoe (33).]

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[Kendall Kohler (3)]

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[McKenzie Duwenhoegger (35)]

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[Kayla Feldhake (43)]

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[Kara]

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[Elise Stockmoe (41)]

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[Macy Hatlestad (11)]

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[Maggie Slagle (15)]

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[Sarah Frederick (5)]

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[Ella Grove (51)]

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[Emma Ziegler (1)]

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[Kaye Paschke (5)]

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[Emma Schmidt (25)]

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[Kiyana Miller (21), and OK, I didn’t get everybody – I lost count?]

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[Kohler visits the Transitions coach, Tamara Moore, a one-time all-state player at Minneapolis North.]

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[Light it up, ladies!]

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[I missed Kelby Olson-Rodel (13), at the top of the key, during intros.]

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[All for one and one for all!]

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[And if that doesn’t work, there are still Blizzards after the game!]

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[And we’re off . . . ]

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[The Transitions center took off a tad early.]

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[Somebody got it, eventually.]

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[The older of the Truott sisters, freshman Tiger, gets a shot off for Transitions.]

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[Kayla takin’ it to the hup . . .]

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[And one!]

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[Kelby at the free throw line – a lot more about her in game 2.]

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[She has developed a pretty reliable shot.]

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[Zig]

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[Macy]

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[General milling around.]

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[Kiyana – a lot more about her in game 2.]

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[This is not a misprint.]

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[Looks like a whole new team out there.]

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[Ms Plaschke on the ball . . . ]

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[Also a soccer . . . ]

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[And track star . . . ]

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[She has the wheels!]

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[Kara is our designated 3-point shooter.]

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[Lauren]

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[Deee-fense]

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[Kendall leads an upcourt charge.]

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[Kelby inbounding to Zig.]

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[Kayla]

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[Schmidty]

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[Courtney Gould (31), also missed her in the intros, with Kiyana on defense.]

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[I can’t believe what I’m seeing?]

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[Spoiler alert!  As Facebooked: This was the halftime score. There are extenuating circumstances. Hutchinson was scheduled to be the 4th team in the annual Alexandria Girls’ Basketball Holiday Tournament. They bowed out and Minnesota Transitions was the replacement team. Transitions is a relatively new charter school in south Minneapolis. The basketball program is new. They have a very young team with little basketball acumen. They are just looking for games, with only 9 on the season schedule. They were in way over their heads, but good for them for playing hard the whole game. The Cards played all 15 players equally from the beginning (and most scored between 4 and 6 points each) – we never pressed like we usually do, and in the 2nd half never looked for a fast break, seemed to pass at least 10 times per possession, and just kinda ran out the running time clock.]

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[A new group of 5 was at the scorer’s table all night.]

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[Kaye and Sarah just working on passing plays.]

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[McKenzie working on her high post play.]

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[Young Ms. Grove would probably get more playing time, but it’s a numbers game.]

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[And here the grizzled veterans rise on the bench to applaud a score by frosh Ella.]

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[The clap, clap, clap – clap, clap, clap, the game is over.]

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[The Transitions scored their 3 to make the score 72-3 at the time.  The crowd gave them a nice applause.]

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December 28

[This would be a different game . . . ]

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[You can see here – it was the centers and the guards, and Waterford-Mayer had a distinct height advantage at each of those positions.  And, as with most things in life size matters, it made a difference.]

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[And the criss-cross warm-up.]

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[Apparently players from both teams are coached by Kohler in the summer.]

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[We’ll do our best, even without any Scandinavians!]

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[Macy was recognized for scoring her 1,000th career point in a previous road game . . . ]

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[Congratulations Macy on a great career!]

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[And it must have been luau night for the boys basketball team disguised as fans.]

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[And the tip – Kayla against the 6’2″ Royals center.]

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[Royal guard Claire Killian (13) has all the tools- size, ball handling, and shooting ability.  I think the Royals made their first 5 shots and led 13 – 0 almost before the fans had settled into their seats.  It would be an up hill struggle all game for the Cards.]

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[Kelby would be a major factor in this game.]

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[Macy on a drive.]

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[And Kelby again.]

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[And Macy again.]

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[Then Zig again – we did hold a free throw shooting advantage.]

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[And Kiyana, the mid-range shooter we need.]

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[And Zig again]

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[Zig looking downcourt for a break.]

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[Kelby up top.]

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[And this is where our change in offensive strategy opened up different things for us.  We could not score inside as long as their big center was down there.  So, we brought Kayla outside where she hit a coupe of 3’s.  But the main thing was it cleared a path to the bucket.]

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[Zig on their other D1 guard, as previously noted, Kirstin Klitzke (4).  Klitzke and Killian between them scored 48 points, on 11 – 17 3-point shooting as a pair. Not only do they shoot them well, they get their shoots off very quickly making them hard to defend.  By contrast, the Cards were only 4 – 18 on 3’s (and two of those by our center) until Kendall made her last two at the end of the game.]

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[As usual, our best way always to get our offense rolling is with full court pressure defense – here Kayla follows the Royals center far out on court.]

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[And Kiyana.  This game was a coming out party for her and Kelby.  Our size issues at guard and center meant that maybe for the first time, Kiyana and Kelby, the Whippets, were our best options.  They play out on the wings where they give us the mismatch with their speed and quickness.  When the Royal center was pulled out onto the court, the Whippets could always beat their defenders on drives to the basket, and on defense with “pick 6’s” by intercepting passes to the wing and taking them full court for lay ins.]

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[Speaking of “pick 6’s,” this is a Kiyana steal and full court dash for the lay up.]

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[Echo Press sports editor catches the action from the floor.]

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[Zig joins to start the press on the inbounds.]

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[I believe her 14 points was her high point game.  Now I hope she looks to score for the rest of the year.]

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[And then as part of the press . . . ]

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[And on Klitzke.]

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[Kelby chipped in with 9, played great in-your-face defense, and has great hops making her a good rebounder.]

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[Macy solid at the line as usual.]

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[The Royals hot long range shooting was just too much for us to overcome.  Sometimes you just have to tip your hat.  I think this game will help in the long run as we discovered some more offensive options.]

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Stop making excuses and start making your free throws.  ~  Maya Moore

Up Next: 2017

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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