The View from the Other Side

The staff photographer resides on the north side of the JHS gym; I on the south.  This assures complete and total coverage for our constituents.  The photos in this post are from the north side – of the Fergus Falls girls’ basketball game.

But before we begin (oops, I guess we already have), this past Friday and Saturday blessed us all with the girls’ state hockey tournament – now my favorite annual sporting event, even minus our Cards.  I thoroughly enjoyed “couching” it for two days as I partook of four semi-final and two final games.  Early on, the TV talking heads did a between periods or between games interview with John Millea.  You may recall John as a long time sports writer for the StarTribune, covering pro and major college sports.  John said he had an epiphany and decided covering high school sports would be much more fun than his previous beat.  So, he decided to go to work for the Minnesota State High School League.  Well, that certainly sounded familiar to me – so I decided to send him an e-mail (I don’t think he’d mind):

I saw you on TV tonight at the girls’ state hockey tourney and discovered we have taken similar paths (I have enjoyed your coverage of high school sports).  As someone who went to NCAA Final Fours for over 30 years, my only sports interests now are girls’ high school hockey and basketball – so much so I blog about them (mostly at the request of local snowbirds).  It’s great fun.  ~ Me

Thanks Tom. Great blog! Guys like us — who enjoy high school sports so much — are darn lucky. Kinda makes you feel sorry for those who give their hearts to pro sports, doesn’t it? Keep smiling and thanks again,  JM  ~ John Millea, Media Specialist, Minnesota State High School League

[The supervisor with Martha Williams in the Bemidji sculpture garden.  I blame Martha for producing an offspring who, with her teammates, convinced me to take the route now traveled by Mr. Millea.]

Anyway, I have had a great time over the years corresponding with hockey moms about their sport.  The following on this year’s state tournament:

Enjoyed all the games yesterday!  Particularly the last one (Minnetonka v. Lakeville North, class AA semi-final) – too bad someone had to lose.  Both teams were fast and flew up and down the ice the whole game.  The two class A games were very good!  And yes, Milica McMillen’s (Breck defense going to the Gophers) last penalty was totally ridiculous!  Kate Schipper (Breck junior forward committed to the Gophers) can play for my team anytime.  🙂  But there are lots of good players this year – the tourney is loaded with D-1 players.  Almost every team has a D-1 defenseman – and they’re all fun to watch.  But mostly I’m upset for our team – all those teams are incredibly young!  Breck and Red Wing are mostly junior high kids!  Lakeville North is all sophomores!  Will have fun watching again today.

We thought Minnetonka – Lakeville North was the most fun game to watch in the whole tourney.  The double OT game for the class A championship between Breck and So. St. Paul was obviously the most exciting.  It’s hard to believe Milica was on the ice for the entire 69 minutes, 55 seconds? ~ Me

[But back to the basketball game.  “The Red Hats,” as so identified in the original game post, upon closer inspection of the staff photographer’s efforts, appear to be basketball moms!]

[The student section.  Through the superior education they receive at JHS, they are able to read the sign above their section so they know where to sit.]

[Introductions]

[The ever popular, “Aaaaayyyyyyyyy!”]

[Fergus’s elder Monke sister, Mariah, is listed as 6’2″ but she seems taller.  I have to believe she is being recruited for the next level.]

[ . . . and she scored the first point of the game.]

[I believe these were the Cards’ first points.  A play we have seen over and over again the last two years.  LT makes a steal and goes in for a left-handed lay-up.]

[Kalli, Whitney, and Amanda make 1st half free throws.]

[No. 23 was their designated 3-point shooter.]

[LT’s still playing string music.]

[Great first half – Fergus stayed in by making 3’s.]

[The Roller Coaster Ride]

[Basketballer Aaron Billberg conducts the orchestra.]

[They’re high schoolers – sometimes they don’t take directions well.]

[“Wheeeee!”]

[I see hockey girls in the crowd – I hope they’re not violating training or an ethics code by being associated with this group?  😉 ]

[They’re getting woozy now!]

[Dramamine, please!]

[Amanda drives the base line.]

[LT’s still making ’em – to the student section’s delight.]

[Kohler is the real “Coach K.”]

[Kohler directs a play that leads to . . .]

[Free throws for LT.]

[Running a half court offense was like playing football.]

[LT!  From a hockey mom:  The state hockey tourney is my favorite event too!  I enjoy both the boys and girls tourney.  Did you recognize Shanee’ holding the LT 43 sign?  She got glasses last week.]

[Toward game’s end, Cara took out her frustrations about being beat upon the whole game with a beautifully aggressive drive to the bucket – everything was great except at the end she just didn’t have enough gas left in the tank to finish the play.]

Senior team managers Kendra and Missy were named “players”-of-the-game:

[With fellow class of ’65er, Ruth Helie Anderson, we’re sticking with our Cards!]

[But until the next game, I guess I’ll just have to work on the taxes!  Oy!]

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