The BIG Weekend (Part 2)

February 8

The Breakdown Winter Lakes Classic has become an annual affair drawing very good girls and boys baketball teams from around the state.  There were seven games that ran pretty much all day . . . 

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[The Card girls drew the unenviable task of taking on the 2nd ranked, and last year’s state runners-up with the same team, Becker Bulldogs with a 21 – 2 record . . . ]

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[The Amazing Mr. Ripley, attender and photographer of all Cardinal games . . . ]

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[An ancient form of warm-up yoga?]

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[Alayna Strand (25) jumped for the Cards . . . ]

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[I believe it was a double swing and a miss . . . ]

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[On the court for the Cardinals are:  Alayna, Ella Grove (11), Mia McGrane (5), and Lilly Horn (33) . . . ]

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[Becker made a splash on the basketball scene 2 years ago with 3 very good freshmen guards.  The Cards have beaten the Bulldogs each of the last two years in very close games.  But now, those 3 freshmen are all juniors and likely all D1 prospects . . . ]

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[Cards retreat fast on defense as the Bulldogs push the ball as we do . . . ]

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[In the player turnstile of the Cardinals, Mataya Hoelscher (23) and Summer Gerhardt (35) are on the court . . . ]

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[As is Myah Kremer (15) . . . ]

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[And here Mia, Myah, and Mataya – the Cardinals basically have 9 starters . . . ]

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[Jaya Hatlestad (3) brings it up (hey, Alex alums, that’s our old high school principal Wayne Elton sitting in the background . . . ]

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[Alayna puts up a runner . . . ]

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[The Bulldogs came out on fire, everybody was hitting 3’s.  The Cards were stuck in a whirlwind from which there appeared to be no escape . . . ]

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[The Cards have been in a bit of a mid-season lull, but in the 2nd half they got there mojo back and threw a scare into the Bulldogs . . . ]

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[Here Mia starts a drive to the basket . . . ]

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[Found Jaya in the corner who I believe hit the 3 here . . . ]

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[Aggressive offense lead to Becker fouls . . . ]

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[Mia is a good free throw shooter . . . ]

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[And the team re-discovered that our leading scorer Ella could score in the paint . . . ]

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[Was that a “swish”?]

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[Mataya, though slight in stature, has track speed and had a terrific 2nd half . . . ]

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[She made some shots and was good from the line . . . ]

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[And our defense really stepped it up.  Mia, in particular, can steal the hubcaps off a moving vehicle . . . ]

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[Mia and Cate Bloom (21) (behind Mia) are trying to slow down . . . ]

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[The Bulldogs’ star of stars is Julia Bengtson (20).  When the Cards would get within a possession of tying for the lead, Bengtson would calmly hit another ‘3’.  I hope the Gophers have their eyes on her . . . ]

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[When the Cards had to hard press at the end, here Cate and Myah would double team Bengstson.  She would often get the ball anyway and make the free throws . . . ]

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[Photos that best describe the Cardinals modus operandi . . . ]

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[There are always players waiting at the scorer’s table ready to come in on the next stoppage of play (Ella, Lilly, Jaya, Coach Kohler) . . . ]

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[The final score reflects some late free throws by the Bulldogs, but a good comeback by the Cardinals that I hope they can carry forward . . . ]

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Believe that the loose ball that you are chasing has your name written on it.  ~  Mike Krzyzewski

Up Next:  Girls hockey

 

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