The Last Basketball Game Ever at Big Jeff!

. . . so of course it had to go into overtime!

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jeffersongymWe had what had to be the statistical anomaly of the year with Detroit Lakes this season.  We opened our schedule at their place . . . and scored 60 points in the first half, breaking all sorts of records, on our way to a blow out victory.  In the remaining 2 1/2 games, plus an overtime, against the Lakers we only scored 89 points, total?  After DL returned the blow out at our place, we battled through the 3rd game to move on in the sections.  Oh, did I mention this was the opening game of the sections?  Speaking of statistical anomalies, the Lakers made 28 of 35 free throws in this game (13 more than we did), that’s 80 per cent shooting, good at any level; they had more rebounds; they had fewer turnovers; they had more size; Karly sat out most of the 1st half with foul trouble, Sarah sat out the end for the same reason; Amanda C is playing on a broken foot and sat out for extended periods.  So, how’d we win?   I dunno?  Guts, I guess.  [Our guest column photo is on lease with option to buy from Kohler’s Facebook posting.  I should amend the title but I won’t.  There will be some games from other sections played in our gym to come.]

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[As I advised our e-mail extended family, we thought the game started at 7:30, as basketball games had all season.  Well, it started at 7:00.  We missed the opening tap and had people craning their necks to see around us as we staggered up the bleachers in search of seating.  This was a big match-up all game – Karly against the Lakers’ taller and impressive point guard.]

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[With a full season under her belt (well, elastic) now, Macy is a veteran freshman.  As is Kendall.  Both were major players in this game.  Word on the street has it that the girls’ 9th-grade team went undefeated (even without Macy and Kendall?) – bodes well for the future, n’est-ce pas?]

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[Brooke, attempting a block here, was our leading scorer in this game.]

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[Amanda’s wishing it in.]

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[Must have fallen, because we’re setting the full press on the inbounds.]

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[You kinda get an idea here that we’re giving away several inches at each position.]

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[Brooke is our one big among the starters.]

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[I have no idea who these guys are?]

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[But they always seem to have good seats?  (Well, except for at the ‘X.’)]

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[Brooke says, “Don’t touch me!”]

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[Deee-fense!!]

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[Cheyenne helped as a big . . . ]

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[Kendall with Amanda G behind her.  Amanda had some impressive minutes – I like the way she goes after rebounds.]

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[Macy and Sarah on the press.]

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[Sarah with her best soccer goalie move.]

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[Will it?]

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[A fan signals a “touchdown”?]

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[Macy launches a corner three.]

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[Brooke, “I thought I said no touching!”]

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[The freshman field general.]

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[Kendall launches  a 3!  She got us off to a fast start by hitting two 3’s early on, both, as usual, from about 5-feet beyond the line.]

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[Scrum!!]

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[Our “turn it into a street fight” (but in the good sense) defense held them to 3 field goals in the first half.  And more than half their points for the whole game came from the free throw line.]

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[But the Laker bigs were hard to stop down low.  They spent a lot of time shooting free throws . . . and they made them.]

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[The game within the game . . . ]

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[A continuous game of cat and mouse.]

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[I’m still here, No. 1!]

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[Im going to make you work!]

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[Macy to Amanda C, our long-range bombers.]

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[The Lakers match-up zone made it tough for us to do anything inside.]

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[I thought they were still in Arizona?]

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[Kendall always looking for the long bomb as Amanda G comes out for a pass.]

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[The two Amandas out front.]

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[As Brooke heads back on D, I thought I’d take this opportunity to point out the Cardinals of the future sitting behind the Cardinal bench.  They’re in other photos as well, and if you double click on them, you can see them full-size.  Their facial expressions are fun.]

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[Brooke, “OK, I’m going to touch you then!”]

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[Nope!]

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[Get it!]

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[The stroke of a coach’s daughter.]

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[Go in!  Please?]

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[Brooke was solid from the line.]

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[It has altitude.]

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[The Competition, a/k/a, Mr. Ripley, appears to have captured “the kids.”   Since Macy and Kendall will likely be the starting guards for the next three years, is it really true that girls don’t grow any more after their freshman year?]

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[Watch out for offensive goaltending!]

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[Pressure, pressure, pressure . . .]

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[OK, let’s settle the after game Blizzard orders right now.]

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[Hey, just as long as it has chocolate  . . . ]

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[Going, going . . .]

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[Strange game.  Probably fitting considering the two previous games.  We got off to a big early lead.  Held it early into the 2nd half, building it up to 12 a couple of times.  Then the Lakers just slowly chipped away at it, mostly from the free throw line.  Then they caught and passed us late, a couple times they had 3 point leads, even with less than a minute left in the game.]

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[We had issues . . . ]

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[We missed the front end of 1-and-1’s a couple of times.  Everything just seemed to be going against us.  But I still had a feeling . . . ]

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[We had the ball for the final shot, behind by two.  I think this is the shot, but Kendall I think.]

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[Everybody stood to see what happened.  The shot was a tad short, but Karly, of all people, got the offensive rebound, and immediately, with one second left, put it back up and in . . .]

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[So it was on to overtime.]

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[Brooke is jumping . . . Amanda C’s old job before she broke her foot.]

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[Oh, there it is.]

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[I think this was a lay-up by Macy on a good pass from the top of the key from Kendall.]

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[And free throws.]

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[The Cardinals of the future are excited.  Karly said after the game that when it went to OT, she knew we were going to win.  I think everyone did.]

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[The Cards took their defensive pressure to the next level then and the Lakers couldn’t handle it.]

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[I think all Karly’s points came on the end of game shot . . . ]

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[And in overtime.  But I did hear from some other sport moms that it would be unlikely that her parents would allow me to adopt her.  😉  ]

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[Amanda C in keep-away mode.]

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[Let’s free throw it out.]

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[Let’s go back to the smaller lens for a final look at ye ole gym.]

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[It’s just a matter of inbounding now . . . ]

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[Brooke holds it high . . . ]

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[Cards win . . .]

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[Yay!]

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[Celebrate!]

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[Congratulations, Cards!]

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[As we were leaving, I noticed Amanda C would be on the radio for a post-game interview.  So I sauntered across the floor, as only I can saunter, to shake her hand and congratulate her on her career.  I think she and her sister Angela are the two most gifted basketball players I have seen since we retired back here.]

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[And yet it’s funny that the best team we had was right in between the two 4-year runs by the Christianson sisters.  You never know, but that team led by the two Trumm sisters was just a great athletic team that had a real shot at the state championship.]

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[Anyway, a year or two ago I went to shoot Amanda after a game.  She asked, “Are you going to take my picture?”  I said, “You betcha.”  This time she knew the drill.  😉  She said in the interview that her broken foot was really hurting, but she wants to play out this, her final season.]

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[The last Alex team to win in the JHS gym.  🙂  ]

Now what:  At the start of the season, I think there was an assumption that Alex and Fergus Falls would once again meet for the section title.  And we will meet Fergus on Saturday in St. Cloud for the section . . . semi-final?  Fergus was ranked No. 1 in the state in class AAA all year.  Well, it turns out our section also has the Nos. 3 & 4 teams in the state, in one-loss teams Thief River Falls and Albany.  So we were a 4-seed in the section this year – still had a great year but we had some games even a mother couldn’t love.  And even D.L., as a 5-seed, came into our game on a 15-2 run.  So this is far and away the strongest section in the state this year.  I suspect that when we’re healthy and play our game, we would be the team with the best shot at Fergus.

Now back to the boys’ state hockey tourney – with an interlude at SAWA for Components tonight.  🙂

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