State Tournament I

The thing I like about my body is that it’s strong. I can move furniture around my apartment. I can ride my horse . . . I can play basketball. It’s a well functioning machine. – Cindy Crawford

It’s 3:00 am. It’s Mounds View. What else you gonna do? The supervisor and I left Alexandria yesterday morning – already a day late in getting started on our vacation from retirement – for the opening round game of the 2011 Minnesota Girls State Basketball Tournament between our Cards and Grand Rapids at Williams Arena. As we left, an evening of Texas Hold ‘Em was being planned among a group of retired and allegedly still active federal bureaucrats at our ultimate destination – our nation’s capital.

[Ruthie approaches the venerable Barn.]

It was a beautiful winter morning – a major thaw was underway. We left Alex a little early for a mid-morning brunch at Emma Krumbee’s in St. Michael-Albertville and an early arrival at The Barn to catch half of the first game between state ranked No. 1 and undefeated Hill-Murray v. Red Wing. The Wingers were surprisingly ahead when we got there early in the 2nd half, but Hill-Murray dominated the rest of the game for a 20-point victory. We were briefly delayed trying to get to our seats because we could not get around three young ladies in Pioneer (i.e., Hill-Murray) attire slowly ambling (as only high school girls can amble) abreast around the concourse. I was further flummoxed after I made my “senior stop” to discover I had re-entered the concourse only to find myself once again trapped behind the Three Amblers. We discovered Super Fan Bethie Teeuwen at the game, but Mom Myrtle didn’t come because there would be too much walking. Dusty, Al and Ruth and Bud Anderson were also there along with the usual assortment of parents and grandparents. Oh, and we talked to Angela Christianson (there to see the Cards and her sister Amanda play) – she said she is doing fine after her accident; but for precautionary reasons, she did not play again until a little bit in Drake’s last game.

[Kohler’s pre-game stop-and-chat.]

[Staff photographer and Beth Teeuwen.]

Videos of intro and game start:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzZBRAgJ3H4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sh-1iYKRYo

The game. The Cards started the game with a turnover. That is their policy – it helps relieve pre-game jitters. I believe we were down 4-0 before Joie Warnes made a couple free throws to get us on the board. The whole half was an energetic defensive battle with neither team being able to do much on offense. The Thunderhawks had a nice little lefty point guard, who averaged 17 points a game, and a 6’2” center, who was a real lane clogger (she had a lot of blocked shots and rebounds by just standing there with her arms up). The Cards had a 3-point lead as the clock ran down in the first half, but our last shot missed, and their lefty point guard had time to launch a last second shot from mid-court to tie the game at 17 at the half. One would think what a momentum boost for the Thunderhawks – one would be wrong.

The Cardinal signature avalanche started shortly after commencement of the 2nd half. The Cards opened with a 17-0 run to double the Thunderhawks output, 34-17 – Grand Rapids didn’t score until 11 minutes were left in the game. It was over. Our Cards were “strong . . . and a well functioning machine.” Our energy level went up – the Thunderhawks were overwhelmed – the Cards seemed to have 10 players on the court getting steals, rebounds, fast breaks, and lay-ups. Lauren Trumm had 21, 22, or 23 points (depending on your source), all but two in the 2nd half as she was everywhere. Lauren had a great game at the free throw line as well – the Cards as a whole have been shooting them well in the tournament. Alli had 11 points with three 3’s and a bunch of rebounds, Joie had 10, Sam had 7 battling their big center, and Cara was her usual steady self at the point. Whitney and Amanda were solid off the bench, and with the big point differential, everyone got to play in a state tournament game.

[Ruth Helie Anderson and the cub reporter represented the Alex Class of ’65.]

We celebrated, as tradition demands, any game played on the “U” campus by dining at Vescio’s in Dinkytown. Al joined us there.

If the Cards can put together an entire game like yesterday’s 2nd half, they can beat Hill-Murray (or anyone else) today. We’ll be heading to the Target Center for the noon tip-off.

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