Girls B’ball . . . and Turkey?

November 23

The lead-in: By consensus of the aged attendees, Turkeyfest at Basketball Dan’s was either the 49th or 50th annual!  It all began, and has continued, as a way for old friends from our kerosene-lighted days at the ‘U’ to celebrate Thanksgiving together a week or two preceding the actual date.  For years the idea was to have it to coincide with the Ohio State-Michigan football game, with at least a couple more TVs simultaneously covering other games.  While health is now an obvious consideration as to who can or who can’t attend, yesterday’s attendees were once again greeted at the door by almost 100-year old “Sid-on-a-stick.”  By pure happenstance, this regularly scheduled event was augmented by the Cardinals girls first basketball game of the season against New Prague at 10:30 in the morning at Hopkins High School.  A nice prelude to the day . . .

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[Since we are on the road, I have not been able to scan a roster for easy reference.  This is Jaya Hatlestad (3), 5’5″ junior guard . . . ]

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[Mia McGrane (5), 5’7″ senior guard . . . ]

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[Alayna Strand (25), 5’11” junior forward . . . ]

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[Mataya Hoelscher (23), 5’5″ junior guard; and Lilly Horn (33), 5’10” junior forward . . . ]

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[I was taken aback in warm ups.  Our senior leader and likely leading scorer, Ella Grove (11), 6′ senior forward, was sidelined with a sprained ankle.  And a further review seemed to show a large swath of the team in what appear to be ACL braces or other knee supports?  And New Prague was a team with good size and shooting abilities.  Here at the opening tap, you can see Alayna “measures” up.  But you will notice in all other photos that the one on one match ups show decided height advantages for the Trojans . . . ]

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[The Trojans were fast out of the blocks and got off to a substantial early lead.  The Cards had trouble getting shots off against their height and were not connecting on contested attempts . . . ]

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[I think Alayna made these, but we missed free throws that could have kept it competitive . . . ]

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[Mia takes her shot at it.  Also it’s fair to note this was our first game, and New Prague already had a blow out win under their belts . . . ]

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[Cate Bloom (21), 5’7″ junior guard, has made an appearance in the last 3 photos.  Cate’s a very good defensive player, but she’s one of our ACL bracers . . . ]

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[Coach Kohler rousing her forces, but on the bench with her are, r-l:  Emma (in civvies); Summer Gerhardt (35), 5’10” senior forward (arguably our best athlete who also plays soccer and competitively throws the shot and discus in track) with an ACL brace; Mia, our volleyball MVP; and Cate, in ACL brace . . . ]

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[Myah Kremer (15), 5’8″ junior guard . . . ]

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[This is still the strength of the team and what makes us competitive – the full court in your face pressing defense.  New Prague did not have our depth so the goal was to wear them out . . . ]

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[So at the half we had closed it to 7.  There was a time I wasn’t sure we were going to hit double digits in the half . . . ]

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[Myah inbounding in the 2nd half . . . ]

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[Lilly makes a center cut (kinda like a preference for prime rib eaters) . . . ]

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[Lilly launces a 3 . . . ]

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[If it doesn’t drop the Trojans likely have the rebound . . . ]

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[When you see 5’8″ Myah trying to sneak in from the right, you’ll notice she’s shorter than all 5 New Prague starters . . . ]

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[Mataya on the free throw line.  New Prague won 55 – 48, which means we played them even in the 2nd half.  They have a good team and deserved the win.  A couple times we had an opportunity to close within 2, but when we fouled a lot with our necessary pressure defense, they, particulary their center, made all their free throws down the stretch . . . ]

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[Then it was on to Woodbury from Hopkins, a straight shot east from the west side of Minneapolis to the east side of St. Paul for the Turkeyfest.  Custom in recent years has been to have Sid Hartman greet us on the door (if you do not know, Sid has been a sports columnist at the Minneapolis StarTribune for something like 75 years, as still is) . . . ]

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[Dan always has a ginormous turkey with all the fixun’s, to include such as three different kinds of stuffin’ and four pies.  Key on this day was that the Gophers beat Northwestern to go 10 – 1 on the season . . . ]

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[Three games were on the tubes . . . ]

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[It’s unfortunate now when anybody has to sit on the floor, because three other people have to help him up . . . ]

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[It must be time to bring out the pies . . . ]

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[Despite the appearance of pie, most seem absorbed in the games . . . ]

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[In most years the Super rescues the turkey corpse.  But this year we were continuing on to a further destination . . . ]

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[OK, guys, time for pie . . . ]

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[It’s all here for the taking . . . ]

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[Because this will be the FB photo, I believe this was from the summer when the team was relatively healthy . . . ]

alex girls bb '19

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.  ~  Mark Twain

Up Next:  Somewhere in Utah?

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