Sunday, July 17, 2011

Win One, Lose One

By Wally Mersereau:

South Bay, the Stanford proxy team, played at Kezar twice this weekend to make up for the first week of the season when South Bay could not field a team because Stanford’s summer school had not begun and the student-athletes had not arrived.

This week’s Saturday game on July 16 was attended by a goodly number of Stanford fans, by Kezar standards--perhaps as many as 25. They were treated to the most shared scoring yet by the Stanford players. The final score was South Bay 98—East Bay 65. East Bay ended the game with a 0-5 season record, putting it exclusively in the cellar and out of the playoffs. South Bay’s league-leading record at game’s end was a nice 4-0, the only undefeated team in the league.

My scorekeeping for Saturday gave Joslyn Tinkle 33 points, followed by Jasmine Camp with 13, Amber Orrange with 12, Erica Payne with 9, Markisha Coleman with 7 and Taylor Greenfield with 6. Markisha plays with abandon at Kezar and does quite well at the point.

Bonnie Samuelson did not participate in either of this weekend’s games, probably because of her uncle’s recent death.

As point guards, Amber and Jasmine were either a little off in their passing on Saturday or East Bay was more nimble than most teams have been in disrupting their passes. Amber and Jasmine also had some passing problems on Sunday, but played well otherwise.

I thought Sunday’s July 17 game was the most exciting of the season, although it produced South Bay’s first and only loss with a final score of 87-91. The winning team was Mission Rec, the Kezar team with experienced veterans who have playing time together. Mission Rec is led by Toni Russell (a Kezar veteran who has played in Europe), Amanda Lassiter (with WNBA and Europe experience) and KiKi Moore (formerly Washington State, now Fresno State). Only about a dozen Stanford fans were present on Sunday.

South Bay got off to a good start leading by 12 points or so in the first half, but let its lead dwindle to 47-43 at the half. South Bay built its lead back to 12 points in the second half, but Mission Rec slowly came back, pulling to within one point with 4 minutes remaining and tying the score with 2 minutes to go. The regulation game ended in an 84-84 tie. The overtime period was tied 87-87 with 1:30 to go, then Mission Rec got up 87-89 with 30 seconds remaining. At that point I thought an official made a wrong call on an out-of-bounds ball, turning the ball over to Mission Rec and depriving South Bay of a chance to tie or pull ahead. Late in the game I thought Mission Rec combined its greater experience with more fire in the belly to will itself to the tie and then to the win, aided by the unfortunate out-of-bounds call.

Erica Payne had a great game on Sunday. She is an aggressive player, always in the mix. While continuing her stellar defensive play, she scored 24 points, just behind Joslyn’s team-leading 28 points. Amber finished with 11 points on Sunday.

In my opinion, based on the five Kezar games to date, the three best, always hustling, freshmen are Amber, Erica and Jasmine. I think these three have the best chance to make it into the Stanford rotation this fall, probably joined by Bonnie because of her 3-point shooting ability.

So the Kezar regular season ended with Mission Rec and South Bay having identical 4-1 records, but because Mission Rec beat South Bay it became the winner of the regular season and will not play again until August 6 when it will meet the survivor of the playoffs among the 2nd to 5th place teams on July 23 and July 30. The good news is that South Bay is now in the playoffs and will continue to play. South Bay’s next game will be at 2 pm on Saturday, July 23.

Stanford fans will have a least one more opportunity to see the freshmen, plus Joslyn and Markisha, do their best to make it into the championship series against Mission Rec. If you haven’t enjoyed Kezar’s laid-back ambiance, give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.

2 comments:

  1. I saw the Sunday game & would only add that, playing against the super-quick Toni Russell (who dazzled at Maples in her USF days), both Amber and Jasmine got a good taste of the greater quickness and intensity they will need to be effective in the D-I college game. At times they seemed a bit overwhelmed and made multiple successive turnovers. Both, however, also showed occasional flashes of great skills driving the lane. I agree with Ms. Cortesi's positive assessment of Erica who showed both grit and poise inside (a la Jillian Harmon) playing against older players.

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  2. any car pool from mid peninsula for Sat's game?

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