Saturday, July 23, 2011

That’s All, Folks!

By Wally Mersereau

South Bay, the team with Stanford players in the summer Pro-Am league at Kezar Pavilion, was short two of its Stanford players on Saturday, July 23. Taylor Greenfield was present on the bench, but not suited up. Joslyn Tinkle was not present. I do not know the reason Taylor did not play or why Joslyn was missing. Alex Green, the sixth freshman, who is recovering from an ACL injury was again sitting on the bench as she has all season, quietly supporting her teammates.

Joslyn has been the team’s dominant player, averaging about 30 points per game, while snagging rebounds, blocking shots and providing leadership. She was sorely missed on Saturday. The team had no one to replace her scoring and defensive contributions. The team was down to 7 players in this first play-off game against the San Francisco team which has several Cal players, including Natasha Vital, Talia Caldwell and Lindsay Sherbert, and the brilliant freshman Brittany Boyd. Boyd again was outstanding, doing everything well, while always displaying great confidence. She will be a real asset for the Bears.

Bonnie Samuelson was back after missing the two games last weekend. Stanford was represented on the South Bay team by Bonnie, Amber Orrange, Jasmine Camp, Erica Payne and Markisha Coleman.

It was a closely matched and excellent game. South Bay was ahead 51-47 at the half. In the second half South Bay increased its lead to 13 points with 11:00 minutes remaining, but then its lead began to shrink. South Bay led by only 3 points at the 8:00 minute mark and the game was tied with 7:15 left. South Bay trailed by 5 with 2:00 to go, but managed to battle back to end the regulation game tied at 92-92. Jessica Kellogg, formerly of San Jose State, was a great clutch player for South Bay.

With 3:00 remaining in overtime and the score 94-94, Erica fouled out, the third South Bay player to do so, leaving only four players available. Despite being short a player on the floor, South Bay still had a chance with 30 seconds left and the score 94-97. The final score was 95-100 and South Bay’s season ended.

It seems clear that if Joslyn had played South Bay would have won and moved on in the play-offs. In her absence, Bonnie had her finest game, making 6 of 7 three-pointers, including her first four attempts and ending with 30 points. Bonnie made all but one of her free throws. Amber was the second-high scorer with 14 points, all in the first half.

Amber and Jasmine are fast. Jasmine plays fast most of the time. Amber tends to amble down the floor, but she can take off like a rocket when she decides to do so. Both are fearless around the basket, undeterred by taller players. Amber had several good passes today.

Erica had a relatively poor game, troubled by fouls, but provided some excellent defense as always.

Bonnie will benefit from time in the weight room and coaching encouragement to play more aggressively, but she is an outstanding 3-point shooter, a nice specialty.

This was an above-average Kezar season for Stanford fans. There was the high number of freshmen to observe. There was the rare presence of a junior in Joslyn, who has never looked better. The quality of play by South Bay was above average and its games were fun to watch. In short, Kezar provided an interesting and encouraging preview of the incoming freshman class and of an improved Joslyn Tinkle.

Next up: the start of official practice in October.

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