Follow the Bouncing Ball

December 11

There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special. ~ Carol Rifka Brunt

It’s basketball season. Time for reports on my first attended games of the season for the girls’ and boys’ teams.

Regarding the girls: “’We lost 100% of everything,’ Alexandria head coach Wendy Kohler said about the turnover from last season. The Cardinals had to replace the top eight leading scorers from last year’s team, as seven of them were seniors and the one returning player, Morgan Jones, suffered a season-ending injury.” (StarTribune, November 30.)

December 7

[Photo contributed by a 1965 Alexandria alumnus at the Hopkins gym where the young Cards lost a close game to Hill-Murray in the Breakdown Tipoff Classic . . . ]

[As the JV game was coming to an end, the varsity was getting ready to take the court. Senior Tessa McGrane, far left, appears to recognize my camera from the far side of the court . . . ]

The very fact of snow is such an amazement. ~ Roger Ebert.

[The Cards would lose on this night to a Willmar team that started five seniors. Age matters. Our young team was in foul trouble throughout but made it a close game . . . ]

[Julie and Wendy, a combination that has worked at least for this entire century . . . ]

Shooting is just like toenails. They may fall off occasionally, but you know they’ll always come back. ~ Charles Johnson

[Introductions beginning with freshman Hadley Thul (11) . . . ]

[Our leading scorer in the season so far with a future entirely ahead of her (as Yogi Berra might say) . . . ]

[Her foul trouble, however, kept her out of half this game . . . ]

[Another freshman starter, Chloe Scholl (15) . . . ]

Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball. ~ Phil Jackson

[The aforementioned Morgan Jones, out for the season in civvies, greets the starters . . . ]

[The Three Freshman starters, as Allie Haabala (33) joins the group. Chloe was the star frosh in this game . . . ]

[Senior Lily Thul (35) . . . ]

[And aforementioned senior Tessa McGrane (5) rounds out the starting five . . . ]

Culver’s for burgers and malts after the game?

Tip-off Rules. The jumpers must wait until the ball reaches its highest point before it is touched. The jumpers cannot grab the ball; they must tip it. All other players must remain outside the center circle. All other players must remain still until the ball is tipped. (This was on the internets [sic] so it must be true.)

[Hadley is listed as 6’1″. She appears even taller than that. It seems quite likely she will not lose many tips this year for she has the hops of a good volleyball player as well . . . ]

When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team. ~ George Raveling

This year we plan to run and shoot. Next season we hope to run and score. ~ Billy Tubbs

Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study. ~ Red Auerbach

The trouble with officials is they just don’t care who wins. ~ Tommy Canterbury

I keep both eyes on my man. The basket hasn’t moved on me yet. ~ Julius Erving

If you are going to take it to the bank, then you better cash it in. ~ Shannon Fish

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

To win, you’ve got to put the ball in the macramé. ~ Terry McGuire

[At the half . . . ]

[This team will keep getting better all year. They will be fun to watch . . . ]

December 9

I don’t discuss basketball. I dictate basketball. I’m not interested in philosophy classes. ~ Al McGuire

The boys were runners-up in the state tournament last season. And just the opposite of the girls’ team, four of the five starters from that team return and will be joined by players from last year’s undefeated JV team. They are quite aware that expectations are high . . .

Play the game with a smile. ~ Earl “The Pearl” Monroe

[Jerry-rigged roster because I forgot my program at the game . . . ]

0Carter SteffensmeierSr. • 6′ 0″ • 180 lbs
2Turner Haar5′ 8″ • 137 lbs
3Will HeydtSr. • 5′ 11″
4Jaxon SchoenrockJr. • 6′ 2″ • 165 lbs
11Myles SanstedSr. • 6′ 1″
12Peter SanstedSr. • 6′ 1″
13Wyatt OdlandSr. • 5′ 11″ • 205 lbs
14Bralyn SteffensmeierSo. • 5′ 1″ • 105 lbs
21Kristen HoskinsSr. • 5′ 9″ • 155 lbs
22Erik HedstromSr. • 6′ 6″ • 205 lbs
25Trevin HoepnerJr. 5’10”
32Zach Gundberg6′ 2″ • 185 lbs
33Grayson GroveSo. • 6′ 8″ • 185 lbs
35Dawson RoderickSo. • 6′ 1″ • 120 lbs
41Chase ThompsonFr. • 6′ 4″ • 185 lbs
42Elijah Vanderveer Sr. 6’5″
44Jacob BalcomeJr. • 6′ 5″

[At the half of the JV game – the future is looking good . . . ]

[Senior Elijah Vanderveer (42) greets the starters beginning with senior Myles Sansted (11) . . . ]

[Senior Carter Steffensmeier (0), also the football quarterback . . . ]

[Senior Kristen Hoskins (21), going to play football for the Gophers . . . ]

[Senior Erik Hedstrom (22) . . . ]

[Sophomore Grayson Grove (33) . . . ]

Culver’s for burgers and malts – I heard the girls will be there?

[Grayson, at 6’8″ and growing, seems likely, à la Hadley, to win most of his tip-offs . . . ]

Basketball is basketball. ~ Oscar Robertson

The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot. ~ Bill Russell

When it’s played the way is supposed to be played, basketball happens in the air; flying, floating, elevated above the floor, levitating the way oppressed peoples of this earth imagine themselves in their dreams. ~ John Edgar Wideman

Life is an endless series of bounces, some as predictable as the rebound of a basketball, others as unpredictable as the rebound of a football. ~ Evan Esar

Old basketball players never die. They just sit in front of you at the movies. ~ David Young

You can’t play football alone, can’t play baseball alone, but you could take a basketball and find a hoop anywhere. ~ Bernard King

Basketball demands from each player the widest range of skills of any of the team sports. ~ Mike Huff

Friends can come and go, but banners hang forever. ~  Kobe Bryant

I never thought I’d lead the NBA in rebounding, but I got a lot of help from my team-mates – they did a lot of missing. ~ Moses Malone

We planted seeds for a harvest and it’s not out of the question that harvest could come this year. ~  Sam Hinkie 

[Erik Hedstrom led the team in scoring . . . ]

You can’t teach the beast. It’s either in you or it isn’t. You can’t just go to the store and buy a six-pack of beast. ~ Kevin Garnett

Dee-fense! Dee-fense! Dee-fense!!

[All night long, the Storm must have felt like the meat in a ham sandwich . . . ]

Men play basketball in in their underwear, which seems just right to me. ~ Anna Quinden

Our ceiling is through the roof. ~ Josh Smith

[The Cards put on a blistering display of defense, particularly in the 2nd half when they held the Storm to 15 points. And three of the Storm starters did not score at all in the game . . . ]

These are my new shoes. They’re good shoes. They won’t make you rich like me; they won’t make you rebound like me; they definitely won’t make you handsome like me. They’ll only make you have shoes like me. That’s it. ~ Charles Barkley

I knew it was time to retire when I was driving down the lane and got called for a three-second violation. ~ Johnny Kerr

Up Next: Likely involves eating and drinking . . .

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