Monday, March 9, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 03/08/20: *Church Basement Ladies*, Cocktails and the Blackboard Cafe, Ducks Trounce Stanford

1. Instead of having family dinner at one of our homes, today was family day at the Sixth Street Melodrama in Wallace where our sister Carol played the role of Karen in the musical production of Church Basement  Ladies, a breezy parody of mid-1960s Minnesota Lutherans and Norwegian/Scandinavian customs and culture with fun songs and a funny script packed into four vignettes taking place in the basement kitchen of a rural Minnesota church, all of them gently urging the audience to focus more on what unites us than what divides us.

Carol played her role perfectly as a middle-aged mother with a college-aged daughter. Her character, Karin, is open-minded, open to "things they are a changin'", and has a sound understanding of the generational differences between her and her daughter.

As I watched the play and listened to cast member Joy Persoon perform her songs, I got kind of choked up thinking about being in choir and in the Cardinal Chorale with Joy at North Idaho College and that our youthful days of singing in the same ensembles go back nearly 48 years. We both started at NIC in 1972. It moved me to think about how much I enjoyed our time at NIC and to know what exceptional work Joy did teaching music and leading choirs in the Kellogg School District for so many years.

2. Linda L. joined our family outing. We had planned to meet at the Silver Corner for cocktails after the play, but it doesn't open until 5, so we had a round of drinks at the 1313 Club. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed my Perfect Patron Margarita.

Then we strolled over to The Blackboard Cafe (in its new location) for Italian food. I loved my order of carbonara, a bowl of linguine blended together with a rich parmesan egg sauce, bacon, capers, lemon, and garlic. I ordered mine with a chunk of blackened ahi placed atop the linguine mountain and it added further richness and Italian herbs to this superb dish. I started my meal with a Caesar salad and very much enjoyed a couple of glasses of Chianti. Linda ordered a chocolate mousse dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and asked me help her with it. It was divine -- and eating about half of it was just right.

If I lived in Wallace, I think I'd eat Italian food at least once a week at the Blackboard. As it is, Wallace is only about 12-15 minutes away and I think I might start heading up there semi-regularly. I've had two different plates of food on three visits to the Blackboard and both were awesome.

3. I didn't think about it much at dinner because I was so immersed in eating splendid food and being with family and with Linda L., but as we were enjoying our meal, the Oregon Ducks were playing Stanford for the Pac-12 women's tournament championship.

I didn't take my phone to Wallace this afternoon, and, upon arriving home, Linda S. had texted me that she knew I wouldn't be watching the game and hoped I'd have a good dinner.

Immediately, I hopped on the World Wide Web and there I found the astonishing news: Oregon creamed Stanford, 89-56.

How did they do it?

I started digging.

Ruthy Hebard, 24 points. Check.

Sabrina Ionescu, 20 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds. Check.

Then I read the shocker that thrilled me.

Minyon Moore scored 21 points! She buried four three point shots!

I immediately thought that Stanford must have decided to sag off of Minyon Moore on defense, regarding her as the Ducks' weakest shooter and Minyon Moore made them pay!

I hope I can find and see a replay of this game.

Earlier in the winter, I wrote on this blog that I didn't know quite yet how the Ducks were adjusting to Minyon Moore as a grad transfer to their team nor how Moore was adjusting to the Ducks.

Game by game, however, I could tell the transition was improving, especially as Minyon Moore spearheaded the ever toughening Duck defense, modeling for the rest of the team how to play defense with relentless determination.

Minyon Moore's assist totals started to increase and a few times I nearly fell out of my chair in the Vizio room watching some of the superb passes she made to help teammates score.

My thinking was that with Boley, Hebard, Ionescu, Sabally, Chavez, and Shelley being such prolific scorers, Minyon Moore could focus on defense, ball handling, and setting up her teammates to score.



Minyon Moore lit it up the house with 21 points.


If teams playing against the Ducks have to figure that any one of the five women on the floor at any time are a threat to score, this is going to put tremendous pressure on the Ducks' opponents and open up scoring opportunities for everyone, especially if teams can't double team Ionescu, Hebard, or Sabally -- and if they do decide to double team any one of them, it will leave other players unguarded and open to score.

I would be surprised if Minyon Moore has another 21 point outing. But, that doesn't matter. What does matter is that teams in the NCAA tournament are going to know she's capable of a big scoring night and have to factor her into their defensive game plan more than they might have before last night.

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