Another Team to State!

March 8

Following in the fine tradition of the previous two weeks, where both the girls and boys hockey teams punched their tickets to the state tournament, the girls basketball team decided to join that caravan down I-94 with a section title . . . 

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[So inspired were we by the possibilities, that I actually deigned to drive all the way to the University of Minnesota, Morris, from which I then had to drive home, at night, in winter.  Give it a try sometime when you’re over 70!]   ]

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[This is the neutral court site for the section championship game between the Cardinals and the Otters.  I believe I was here once before for a “Prairie Home Companion” program?]

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[Yes, dear, Brad and I safely made it.]

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[Cards warm up . . . ]

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[And warm up some more . . . ]

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[Under the supervision of “The Leader of the Pack.”  Sheree Saxton is responsible for you all receiving the Cardinal Connection, a/k/a, a catalog of all the weekly things going on at or concerning AAHS . . . ]

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[Oh no, is that Kim Kardashian again?]

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[And if you do this, it could be a misdemeanor . . . ]

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[Card student fans warm up . . . ]

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[Under the direction of Sheree . . . ]

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[Game time approaches, the stands are almost full . . . ]

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[Heading for the final pre-game meeting . . . ]

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[Introductions:  Ella (11), Kaye (3), Emma (25), Courtney (31), and McKenzie (35) . . . ]

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[And the final warm-up . . . ]

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[Cards take the floor . . . ]

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[Where are the Otters?]

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[Here’s a little something you don’t see everyday – a double opening jump ball. McKenzie went up first, that tap lead to a tie-up, and then another jump ball with Ella. We got that tap.]

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[Kaye drew a foul, likely on a foray to the basket . . . ]

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[Ella runs back on defense . . . ]

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[I acknowledge memory lapses, but this is the first game I can remember where Kohler just had the team play a hard man-to-man defense the entire game.  No pressing, no trapping, no zoning, just in your face individual defense . . . ]

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[Kohler counsels our wild cards.  McKenzie and Courtney will always play the box, Kaye will always play point guard, but Emma and Ella are more generalists . . . ]

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[They’re both 5’11, can play high or low, and are defensive specialists with their length.  In this game, Fergus is a shooting team, so nobody could ever be left uncovered.  Emma followed the Fergus star, the coach’s daughter Katelyn Strand, wherever she went, because if she had a hint of clearance she’d launch a quick ‘3’ . . . ]

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[Our goal on offense is to get the ball inside – here with McKenzie . . . ]

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[Emma was fighting through pics all game to keep on eye on Ms. Strand, No. 11 . . . ]

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[Our defense leads to such as traveling infractions . . . ]

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[Emily Jones (43) on the line.  A big factor in the game was the free throw proficiency of our “bigs” –  Courtney, McKenzie, and Jonesie . . . ]

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[Did someone say defense?]

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[In the 2nd half, Courtney at the line.  Our offense even more emphasized getting the ball inside – to score and/or get fouled.  I think Courtney made all her free throws . . . ]

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[McKenzie too.  Nevertheless, the Otters held a slight lead most of the way – they just never seemed to miss any 3-pointers . . . ]

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[And then Kaye made her move.  When she steals a pass, she beats LeBron James down the floor for lay-ups . . . ]

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[And she got a little more agressive on offense . . . ]

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[And another steal and score . . . ]

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[The Emma on Strand saga continued throughout the game . . . ]

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[OK, here are the options?]

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[Pizza or burgers after the game?]

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[I think (don’t hold me to it) this was the winning assist as Kaye launches a pass to Ella cutting in from the right side for a lay-up . . . (Editor’s note:  I have been advised that Emma launched the final pass to Ella!  Thank goodness for “editors”!)]

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[This was the time left after Ella’s basket.  Then Mia McGrane got a steal to end the Otters’ last chance.  So, after three games against each other this season, one point separated the two teams.  The Otters won by 2 at our place; we won by two at their place.  And they are totally different teams – the Otters are all about the 3-point shot; the Cards are all about discombobulation.]

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[While low scoring, it was a very intense, entertaining defensive game for we fans . . . ]

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[You’ll recall last year’s team went to state, then graduated all five starters and 11 seniors, but now we’re back to state with a whole new cast of characters!  Great job by the team and coaching staff . . . ]

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[We did good!]

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[Now this is scary!  Allegedly fugitives without proper paperwork . . . ]

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[Handing out the individual hardware, numerically beginning with Kaye Paschka . . . ]

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[OK, Summer Gerhardt should have been first . . . ]

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[Now I’m confused (so what else is new?), here’s Kaye again . . . ]

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[Mia McGrane . . . ]

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[Jaya Hatlestad . . . ]

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[Ella Grove, OK Ella should have been ahead of Jaya . . . ]

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[Taylor Partington . . . ]

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[Matie Wirtjes . . . ]

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[Emily Aker . . . ]

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[Emma Schmidt . . . ]

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[Courtney Gould . . . ]

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[Flora Kvale . . . ]

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[McKenzie Duwenhoegger . . . ]

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[Cathryn Bloom . . . ]

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[Emily Jones . . . ]

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[Mataya Hoelscher . . . ]

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[Sadie Boraas . . . ]

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[Larissa Lamb . . . ]

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[Alayna Strand . . . ]

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[Captains Courtney, Emma, and McKenzie collect the team hardware . . . ]

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[The team joins in . . . ]

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[The Cards drew No. 1-seeded Robbinsdale Cooper at state, Wednesday, March 14, 10:00 am, Williams Arena.  We’ll be there.]

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[Angie Saurer photo as posted on Coach Kohler FB page.]

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How it continues? I recently ran across this photo from the 2011 section championship game between Alex and Fergus Falls. I took it because I thought it was so cool these young girls were fans of that 2011 Cardinal state tournament team. Upon further review, I noticed these young girls went on to become last year’s state tournament team.

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If you make every game a life-and-death thing, you’re going to have problems. You’ll be dead a lot.  ~  Dean Smith

Up Next:  Boys hockey . . .

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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