Girls B’ball Senior Night

February 18

DEE-fense, DEE-fense, DEE-fense!!  OK, I know I’ve said it before, but it’s appropriate again.  Every year it seems like three starters graduate – and I ask Coach Kohler, “How are you going to do next year without them?”  Her response, “Oh, we’ll win 20.”  It took a tad longer this year, but the next win will be the 20th!

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[The JV built up a big 2nd half lead against the Sartell, and then withstood a good run by the Sabres to hang on for the win . . . ]

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[The last game of the regular season against a conference rival . . . ]

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[Sartell came in with an average record but had played a lot of good teams close . . . ]

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[Coach Kohler (r) chats with Sabre coach Shannon Determan, likely about post-game dining options.  Cardinal Super Fans Bud and Ruth Anderson upper right . . . ]

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[Do you have any Thai restaurants in Alex?]

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[Cardinal pre-game mingling . . . ]

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[And now, introducing the seniors . . . ]

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[Ella Grove (middle) escorted by Lilly Horn and Alayna Strand . . . ]

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[Then mom, soon to be joined by dad . . . ]

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[Summer Gerhardt . . . ]

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[Escorted by Myah Kremer and Mataya Hoelscher . . . ]

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[Mia McGrane escorted by Cate Bloom and Jaya Hatlestad.  And that also introduces the starting “9”!]

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[And with the folks . . . ]

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[I sat behind Mia’s and Ella’s moms during the game so I had to mind my P’s & Q’s . . . ]

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[And the last senior, student manager Hayden Anderson . . . ]

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[And away we go . . . ]

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[Alayna Strand (25), not a senior, jumped center . . . ]

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[As usual, the ball pachinkoed around for a bit . . . ]

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[Ella (11) appears to have settled under it and subsequently clutched it having correctly judged its flight path . . . ]

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[The Cards settled in on DEE-fense with Ella out front and Summer (35) below . . . ]

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[It’s a pleasure to watch . . . ]

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[On offense, Mia (5) is with Summer . . . ]

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[As I recall, Mia popped an early ‘3’ . . . ]

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[Ella got us rockin’ ‘n rollin’ early . . . ]

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[Excellent free throw shooter . . . ]

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[One of my favorite shots of the year . . . ]

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[Ella scoring inside against Sabre freshman guard (20) who gave it a go . . . ]

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[After a score, Ella and Mia set up the full-court press . . . ]

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[With Alayna and Mataya (23) . . . ]

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[Ella did this twice in a row on attempted inbound passes . . . ]

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[Another favorite shot . . . ]

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[Another knocked out of bounds . . . ]

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[Myah (15), Jaya (3), join Mataya in halfcourt D . . . ]

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[The Cards set the tone early, led by Ella and Mia . . . ]

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[Mia rushes to press . . . ]

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[While Ella hustles back . . . ]

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[Meeting Lilly (33) on the way.  BTW, in the right background here are the scorekeepers –  Kirk Gunderson has been doing it for 32 straight years and his daughter Janet Clipperton joined him in 2005.  They figure they have missed less than 10 games over that entire span (Echo Press story this week).  And you better be pretty quick on the scoreboard because the Cardinals put in 2 – 3 fresh players with every clock stoppage . . . ]

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[Nice to see you, Ella!]

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[Cards in halfcourt, man-to-man defense . . . ]

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[Mia trying to play a passing lane here.  When the Cards had taller guards, we’d often play a 1-3-1 zone trap, a defense that requires length . . . ]

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[Another favorite shot of Lilly making an inside move . . . ]

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[Mataya inbounding to Lilly while Ella sets a pic . . . ]

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[I got some good defense shots this game – her Alayna goes high on the press . . . ]

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[Then recovers to get back . . . ]

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[Alayna and Summer in press defense . . . ]

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[And then Alayna rushes in for help defense . . . ]

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[Trying to keep the Sabres in the backcourt . . . ]

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[At the half, not a lot of offense but a lot of defense . . . ]

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[In the 2nd half, more of the same.  Although the Sabres are young, they have long quick athletes so their defense is well ahead of their offense at this time . . . ]

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[The first half of the 2nd half only 6 points were scored, 4 by us and 2 by them.  A lot of turnovers, pass interceptions . . . well, it wasn’t good for a while . . . ]

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[The Cards finished strong as they moved to 19 – 8 on the season and will be the #1 section seed.  And to hold a pretty good class AAA and conference rival to 28 points is amazing.]

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Mick Jagger is in better shape than far too many NBA players.  It’s up in the air whether the same can be said of Keith Richards.  ~  Bill Walton

Up Next:  Whatever will be . . .

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