Girls Win!

December 17

Well, it’s about time to get down to my real job as a cub reporter of high school sports.  Here’s my first Cardinal girl home basketball game.  It was decidedly not a cliffhanger.  The Cardinals, now 7-2, played the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles, now 0-9, and the result went as anticipated . . . 

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[The school honored veterans of all the military branches . . . ]

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[Coach Kohler wore her dad’s old Navy uniform . . . ]

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[Player introductions:  Jaya Hatlestad (3), junior guard . . . ]

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[Mia McGrane (5), senior guard . . . ]

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[Emma Grove (11), senior forward . . . ]

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[Alayna Strand (25), junior forward . . . ]

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[Lilly Horn (33), junior forward . . . ]

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[And a photobomber . . . ]

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[The ball is up – Alayna goes after it . . . ]

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[As so often happens, it wasn’t a clean hit and the ball ended up in the hands of the Apollo center . . . ]

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[Mia on the free throw line gets a start on a major scoring game . . . ]

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[The Eagle is the symbol of America.  Unfortunately for Apollo our Cardinals harassed Eagles the entire game.  Trying to get the ball over half court against the likes of Alyna, Emma, and Jaya is a major undertaking . . . ]

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[And she who hesitates is immediately surrounded by a double-team . . . ]

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[And when the Eagles made it into their offensive zone, the Cardinal defensive pressure was still stifling . . . ]

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[And any time the Cardinals got the ball – from a rebound or turnover – all five players would sprint down court for a lay up or get fouled.  Her senior Summer Gerhardt (35) goes to the line . . . ]

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[Junior Cate Bloom (21) brings defense off the bench.  She and Summer would likely get even more playing time but are still dealing with the shackle of an ACL . . . ]

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[More Cardina depth here with the addition of junior Myah Kremer (15) . . . ]

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[Emma pounds to the left . . . ]

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[The Alayna circle drives to the right . . . ]

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[The shot came off . . . ]

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[But Emma put in the rebound . . . ]

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[This was the halftime score.  Mia already had 22 points (playing little in the 2nd half she finished with 24).  The Cards would continually swoop down court for layups . . . ]

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[Mia, with the ball, and Alayna break out in the second half . . . ]

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[The starters played no more after a couple of minutes in the 2nd half . . . ]

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[Alayna in for a layup . . . ]

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[Captured by the magic lens of the amazing Mr. Ripley . . . ]

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[Alayna moves in a tie-up . . . ]

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[But was shed by the Eagles No. 15 – a sophomore who will be a good player . . . ]

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[Likely the last series by the starters, here Emma and Lilly . . . ]

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[Emma in heavy traffic . . . ]

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[Emma, Lilly, and Mia . . . ]

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[With a side order of Alayna . . . ]

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[The game went to running time.  The Cardinals suited 20 players.  All played significant minutes.  Here’s Summer on the line again with junior Mataya Hoelscher (23) ready to rebound . . . ]

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[The end.  The Cardinals weren’t even looking to shoot over the last several minutes.  It’s a team that can make some noise as the season rolls along . . . ]

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The breakfast of champions is not cereal, it’s the opposition.  ~  Nick Seitz

Up Next:  Boys hockey . . .

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