If it's Tuesday it must be Uppsala
Trip Start Mar 27, 2008
13Trip End Apr 09, 2008
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Today we toured the fortified US Embassy in Stockholm, met some nice career officers and could not get them to complain about the Bush Administration. Then some of us toured the Vasa museum.
We played Djursholm, a town of 60,000 just north of Stockholm, last night. Once again we were very warmly greeted, escorted from the train station by Per Malmqvist, a dentist and president of the Djursholm club, from the train station to the gym. The place was packed; many came from the town to see the Americans play. A half dozen people were busy in the gym kitchen getting ready a buffet of meats, scalloped potatoes and salad.
The girls played their best game yet against Djursholm, which had loaded up for the occasion with a 21-year-old and a couple or three 19-year-olds. This has been our pattern, with girls teams afraid of getting walloped so going out and finding their older sisters. It has happened all games but one. We don't mind playing up but would like to matched against players our own age a time or two.
In this case the big girl (daughter of Malmqvist) was also very capable, and they got up on us by 16 near the end of the second quarter. We switched up to a box and one defense and worked the ball a lot harder in the second half, and crept up on them point by point until we trailed by two. A turnover and the big girl's basket put the game away. But we looked like a team and are looking forward to the next two games. The reffing was the best and most fair we've had our entire trip.
Kari Sly won MVP honors, so named by the refs, thanks to all hustle all the time. Shelby was dominant inside and we are running plays just for her. Ilsa started to hit her outside shot again and fought for rebounds. Sophie was also on top of her slashing game. Kylie and Robyn fought like demons for loose balls and steals, putting Kylie on the bench midway through the fourth. Alyx was a terror on defense and hit timely threes. Brittany was a force inside in the early going but got hit in the jaw and sat out three quarters. She's fine today.
The boys started off in a dead heat but pulled away by 10 by the end of two. The third and fourth quarters were a show of the full-court press, a sagging and slashing zone that intercepted perhaps 10 passes beyond the halfcourt line. Great games were turned in by Rory, Jaydee Dodd, Kevin and Joel. Eric was out sick (there's a bit of a cold going around). Dakotah was lightning, Elan was cool, A.G. was on target with shots and assists, Parker was good on the boards but was the focus of defense so didn't score a lot. Walker scored in double digits, inside and out, and all he said after the game was that he wished he hadn't missed those two free throws. Rory was named MVP by the refs and deserved it. The young man was brilliant.
Tonight we play Taby, which is supposed to have a better boys team than Djursholm, and there were a few of them in the stands last night scouting us. If the girls are our own age I expect a very good game there.
Tomorrow morning we load up on a train to Uppsala, for a tour of the city then games then a big group dinner then the final home stays. The next morning it's to the airport and home.
Call Penny Lawrence at her home number and see if she needs any help getting us from the airport... I think she has it nailed but haven't talked to her.
See you soon.