Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another Perfect Day in Paradise

It is Sunday in Honolulu. This morning I looked down from my hotel at breakers moving in on tranquil Waikiki Beach and then raised my sight to the Pacific horizon beyond. Yesterday I toured an army museum at Waikiki that presented the familiar story of the Pearl Harbor attack that took place on another quiet Sunday morning 73 years and one week ago.

In that era nearly all visitors to Hawaii arrived by ship, many on the premier services provided by Matson liners from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, a trip that took about three days. Tomorrow I will fly back to SFO in about five hours.

The reliably consistent weather in Hawaii makes it easy for your thoughts to drift back and clearly imagine how that December day in 1941 began as just another perfect day in paradise.

Fortunately, my Sunday in paradise ended better than that one. For the third day I made the now familiar short trip to the Manoa campus of the University of Hawaii for the final two games in the Rainbow Wahine tournament. The results of today’s games could be considered to approach perfection.

Stanford had the first game of the day against Prairie View. Again Alex was not suited up, but all other players were healthy and all played, some for extended minutes. Karlie again started at the 3 position. The game was watched by only a select few. At tip-off attendance was about 70.

A few more watchers arrived during the game, but not many. Local Stanford alum Sanjay Arora (85) brought a miniature tree to fill one empty seat.

Stanford led in the game from the start and built its lead steadily throughout the game. The halftime score was 52-18. The final score was 88-45. This win by 43 points exceeded North Carolina’s victory over the Panthers yesterday by 36 points.

Tara started sending in bench players early. Brittany was in with 6 minutes left in the first half and all other able players except Taylor Rooks played in the first half. All 14 healthy players were in the second half of the game.

There was much to praise and little to grumble about with regard to any Stanford player. Ten players had 13 minutes or more in the game. Brittany was third in minutes played with 19, during which she scored 8 points, had 5 rebounds, shot 3 of 6 from the floor, made 2 of 2 free throws and had 1 steal.

Briana had 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 of 3 3-pointers and 4 of 5 free throws in 18 minutes.

Lili, with 22 minutes made 2 of 2 3s and 4 of 4 free throws. Lili also had 4 assists to 2 turnovers. Erica McCall played the most minutes with 25 and racked up a team-leading 13 points and 9 rebounds. Bird made 3 of 4 free throws and had a steal. It was satisfying to see her scoring so well.

Karlie made 3 of 6 3s for her 9 points in 17 minutes. Amber played 16 minutes and achieved 11 points, 3 rebounds, one 3-pointer, 2 of 2 free throws and a steal.

Amber also had 3 assists and no turnovers. Kailee, also in the game for 16 minutes, had 2 points, 6 rebounds and a steal. Taylor Greenfield had 4 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists to no turnovers in 15 minutes.

Kaylee made 4 points while grabbing 8 rebounds, made 2 of 2 free throws, 3 blocks, 2 steals and one assist in 15 minutes. Erica Payne was in for 13 minutes and accounted for 3 points, 4 rebounds, one 3-pointer and a steal.

Taylor Rooks was the last player off the bench and made a 3-pointer in her 5 minutes. It was not her first college score (she had a 2-point goal against Boston College) but her first 3-point goal.

Tess was in for 9 minutes, scored 2 points and had 5 rebounds.

As a team, Stanford shot 54.5% from the floor, made 11 of 18 3-point shots for 61.1% and 17 of 21 free throws for 81%. The Cardinal outrebounded 47 to 28, had 7 steals to the Panthers 4 and 4 blocks to Prairie View’s one. All in all, this was a splendid box score for the team and its individuals.

This was an easy win over an out-classed team, but it gave a chance for everyone but Alex to perform and the overall performance was very satisfactory.

In the second game, well-coached and determined Hawaii played even better against the Tar Heels than it did against the Cardinal. The Rainbows lost to Stanford by 13 points and to North Carolina by 9. Attendance for the second game was about 800.

Although Stanford lost to North Carolina on the first day, it did better against both of the other two teams than did the Heels.

Photo: Clara Brock

After the Stanford game today, Lili held a meet-and-greet event that attracted 60 people, mostly high school and intermediate school girls. As you would expect, Lili confidently filled the role of expert host, drawing on her experience at Punahou School and at Stanford. Lili was asked how it felt to beat UConn. She said it was fantastic. I was stopped by a fan who noted my Stanford garb to express his appreciation for Stanford’s win over UConn.

This trip to Hawaii was a worthwhile one and this final day of games was close to perfect.

Photo: Clara Brock

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