"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hancock girls fourth in Minnesota Class 'A'

"Bittersweet" might describe the end of the Hancock girls' stellar season. Fourth in Minnesota is undoubtedly lofty. But there's a tinge of bitterness when you lose your last two games.
It was painful for yours truly to write the post on the Owls' state semis game, a game that was winnable for coach Jodi Holleman's squad. The Owls had a prime opportunity slip away at the end of regulation in that Friday game, played at Target Center.
Us scribes can feel the emotions with everyone else.
Today I'm a new media practitioner so I don't have to pretend I'm stone cold objective about anything. My palms were sweaty just like what characterized the Hancock fans.
Now my task is to write about the Owls' third place game, played Saturday morning. The teams are playing for third but it's not the most spirited atmosphere. Both teams were knocked from the ranks of championship contenders the day before.
Having to play in the morning might almost be seen as adding insult to injury.
Coach Holleman had made the "number one" goal her mantra. The Owls could taste it. But it slipped away Friday in two overtimes against Maranatha Christian Academy (Brooklyn Park).
Maranatha returned to the Target Center floor Saturday and won the state 'A" title, 59-52 over Nicollet.
The Hancock Owls met Mountain Iron-Buhl, the Rangers, Saturday at Concordia College of St. Paul. The Owls sought as best they could to focus.
Could there have been some lingering disappointment from Friday? It's a plausible thought. Whether this explains the 61-45 loss the Owls were dealt, no one knows.
The ups and downs of sports can be hard to explain. March Madness is perhaps designed for manic depressives. Still, in spite of losing, the proud Owls could get off the bus in Hancock after their adventure feeling 100 percent proud.
Surely they had matured further as young women.
Coach Holleman might have developed a couple extra gray hairs, but she wouldn't trade that for anything. She has become a veteran with the coaching reins in Hancock. She didn't lose a beat after her own daughter Bree graduated. Presumably she's in this for the long haul.
Mountain Iron-Buhl owned a 21-19 lead at halftime. Hancock unraveled after that. The Rangers outscored the Owls 40-26 in the second half and earned that 61-45 victory and the third place trophy.
The valiant Owls could nonetheless clutch that fourth place trophy with supreme pride. They are the "small school" of Stevens County, sitting next to Goliath Morris which has the Taj Mahal-like athletic facilities but fields basketball teams that this year couldn't get out of the starting gate in the tournament.
Heaven help us if Hancock ever folds like Chokio-Alberta (at least their athletic program) has. We're a richer community with multiple schools.
Charlotte Overbye of the Rangers gets kudos for her Saturday play. This Ranger, who struggled in the semis, looked comfortable on the Concordia floor, pouring in 21 points. The senior guard made eight of 13 field goal attempts. (Concordia is home of the "Comets.")
Kathy Ostman scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Rangers.
Let's review Hancock's individual scorers: Aria Walstad 4, Kendra Schmidgall 11, Olivia Koehl 1, Illissa Koehl 12, Shae Brown 4, Sami Schmidgall 2, Serandon Bigalke 1 and Courtney Greiner 10.
A big congratulations to Kendra Schmidgall who was named to the All-Tournament Team!
What a season and what memories for Owl-land of Hancock!
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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