This past season I missed two of the greatest girls’ basketball games of the season because I either chose to attend other events or simply called it an evening. Those are two choices that I’ve come to regret.
Here’s what happened:
Friday, January 4, 2019
I had a very busy week getting readjusted to my job as a social studies teacher at St. Paul Johnson after winter break. I had planned to attend a girls’ basketball game between host St. Louis Park and Robbinsdale Cooper.
St. Louis Park was coached by alum and former star athlete Arsenio Richardson, while Cooper, the defending Class AAA state champions, are led by two-time St. Paul Central Class AAAA state champion Kiara Buford.
Buford led the Minutemen to titles in 2007 and 2008 and also starred four years at the University of Minnesota.
Instead of attending the game, I decided to rest up for next week. Man, did I miss a game. It went into three overtimes, Cooper emerging with a 90-85 victory.
Aja Wheeler led winners with 28 points. Kierra Wheeler had 16, Sierra Lynch contributed 12, and Arthel Massaquoi chipped in 10.
Reagan Alexander was the high scorer for St. Louis Park with 18 points. Lindsey Olson followed up with 17, Sophie Olmen followed up with 15, Shayla Miller added 13 and Kendall Coley 10.
You would have thought I would have learned my lesson after that. I thought so too at the time. One thing for sure, I thought at the time — I wasn’t going to miss the rematch.
Saturday, February 9, 2019
The weather caused the rematch to be moved to Saturday, February 9. I even told former Minneapolis Washburn girls’ basketball coach Tyler Coley — after running into him at the Gophers-Rutgers woman’s basketball game last week — that I was going make the game.
“I will be there for sure,” I said with emphasis. I didn’t make it.
I ended up at the University of St. Thomas watching Tamira McLemore (Eagan), Kaezha Wubben (Hopkins) Arianna Jones (Osseo), Camille McCoy (Park Center), Camryn Speese (DeLaSalle) and Jazmyn Solseth (St. Croix Lutheran) represent Augsburg in an 83-68 loss to the Tommies for first-place honors in the MIAC.
McLemore led the way with 20 points, Wubben had 18, and Solseth chipped in 10.
I missed another great game. St. Louis Park overcame a 35-24 halftime deficit to force the game into overtime, with Cooper prevailing 72-68.
Kierra Wheeler scored a game-high 23 points for Cooper, Andrea Tribble had 17, and Aja Wheeler 15.
Olmen and Alexander led St. Louis Park with 17 points apiece, Coley had 11 and Olson 10.
I should have kept my word. Next time I will.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.