A Terrific Season Ends

[Kohler gives LT a hug of thanks.  We all give the whole team a hug of thanks.  Photo by G. Trumm.]

Some times you just have to tip your hat.  Friday night was such a time.  Congratulations to the Fergus Falls Otters for winning the section 8AAA girls’ basketball title.

[And hugs for Cara.]

[And hugs for Whitney.]

[We thank the three seniors for three terrific seasons of over 20 wins.  Next year, as with the last three, we have to replace three starters – and rebuild around Kalli and Amanda.  We anticipate another stellar year.  The above photos courtesy G. Trumm.]

Fergus finished the season with only one loss and will make a great representative from our section in the state tournament.  Of the Cards five losses, three were against the Otters (and the other two don’t really count because they were injury related).  The team came into the game with high hopes after playing probably their two best games of the season in the section quarter and semi finals.  Unfortunately, the game’s result was determined in the first couple minutes of the game . . .

[Nemzek Hall on the campus of Minnesota State University, Moorhead.  It was an SRO crowd.]

[The coaching staff]

[The band]

[The official meet and greet.  To our knowledge, Kim Kardashian was not in the building.]

[Fergus team and fans]

[“Aaaayyyyyyyy”]

[Photo by G. Trumm]

[Intros – Amanda C comes out of the chute (or because it’s basketball, is it “shoot”?]

[Then Cara]

[LT]

[Photo by her dad]

[Kalli]

[Photo by G. Trumm.  You may have noticed by now that with great sleight of hand I am interspersing photos taken by the both of us – unfortunately, we were sitting about three seats apart so we weren’t getting our usual differing perspectives.]

[Above 4 photos of final pre-game instructions by G. Trumm.]

[Last year’s entire starting front line were there as fans:  Joie Warnes, middle of the three on the left; and Alli Haar on the right.  Photo by G. Trumm.]

The game begins.  The following opening video expresses our initial frustrations.  LT inexplicably was called for three fouls in the opening couple of minutes.  That set the tone for the whole game – with LT having to sit out much of the 1st half, our fate was essentially sealed.  My grumpiness was expressed (apologies) at the end of the video.  Cardinal fans were not happy with the refing throughout – Kohler almost got T’ed up a couple of times.  Fergus plays a very physical game and are often not called for it – LT was hit with ticky-tack fouls.  But good for Fergus for taking advantage of the situation – and the refing did not change the fact that Fergus was the better team and deserves to go to state:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phc4-yvVXdE

[Fergus center, Mariah Monke, and her big front line teammates dominated inside play – they totally controlled the boards and blocked what seemed like all our inside scoring attempts.  Photos by G. Trumm.]

[Cara “wore” her defender the entire game.  This, likely a no call.  Was that sufficiently snotty?  😉  Photo by G. Trumm.]

[Amanda C.  OK, we did get some calls.  In fact, we were very good from the line, and for the first half of the first half most of our points were probably from the line.]

[Cards race back on defense.]

[Kohler’s in there somewhere.]

[Card student section in business attire.]

[Schultz (No. 23) is usually their best 3-point shooter – she made 6 of 7 against Sartell in the semis.  We did a good job taking her out of the game – I think she only made one.]

[But Rasmussen (No. 24) more than covered for Schultz.  A 5’10” sophomore point guard, she is certainly destined to be a Division 1 college player.  She, and the younger Monke sister, I believe made 6 of 7 3-pointers between them in the first half.  That’s really hard to overcome.  We didn’t make any 3’s until late in the game.]

[Cards look to the bench for help as they head upcourt after another Otter 3.]

[Destined to be on the favorite photos list.]

[The Otters are tall enough to pass over our press.]

[How do you replace these guards?]

[Hockey girls, on the right, caught in the act of being wild and crazy fans!]

[LT battles for a rebound.  Photo by her dad.]

[Emily gets valuable experience.  Photo by G. Trumm.]

[The staff photographer captures the wilds and crazies.]

[Greg shoots daughter Sam, on the right, the final member of last year’s starting front line.]

[Both above from G. Trumm.]

[Coming out for the 2nd half.  Photo by G. Trumm.]

[Cardinal mascot says, “Out, damned Otter!”  Photo by G. Trumm.]

[The aforementioned Ms. Wood.]

[“Who’s got who (or is it whom)?”]

[Amanda thinks, “Uffda!”]

[“It’s tough now but play it out.”]

[Cara and Whitney bring it up . . .]

[One more time into the fray.]

[Down the stretch, even LT shot some three’s, probably more than in her entire career – she made at least one.]

[Cara shoots her final free throw.]

[It’s so tough to lose that final game.]

[“I’m really going to miss you guys!”  Above two photos by G. Trumm.]

[Photo by me, meaning we had the same idea. 😉 ]

[It was a great season, Cards!]

[ . . . the hard part.]

[Photo by G. Trumm]

[The awards ceremony]

Each player:

[Photo by G. Trumm]

[Alex athletic director Dave Hartmann.  Photo by G. Trumm.]

[“Go get ’em, Otters.”  The above 7 photos by G. Trumm.]

The tearful acceptance of the runner-up trophies.  As we noted with the hockey team, the hardest thing to do in sports.  Still, for both teams to finish 2nd in the sections ain’t exactly chopped liver – though it seems like it at the time.  We’ve been spoiled – the girls’ teams have led us on a lot of trips to the Cities over the years.  And they will again. Many thanks again, ladies – we enjoyed the ride!

[The very next day, March 10, the supervisor was out working on her base tan.  If it makes the team feel any better, she awoke in tears that morning, still upset over the game and watching LT pace the sidelines after having come out so early with three fouls!  😦 ]

[She could tan because the deck thermometer was showing 81 degrees in the sun!]

So now we await the spring sports season.  In the interim, we will take our annual, and obligatory, sabbatical after which we will regale you with the sights and sounds from God’s Waiting Room (a/k/a, Florida), a cruise ship, and Crazy Dave. 

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