July 07, 2015

Stanford women boost Kezar teams

By Judy Richter

Playing on three different teams, four Stanford women’s basketball players competed in San Francisco’s Pro-Am at Kezar Pavilion on July 5.

Junior guards Briana Roberson and Lili Thompson played on the Palo Alto TnT team against senior center/forward Tess Picknell on the San Francisco team in the first game. Sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson played on the Mission Recreation Center team against East Bay Athletics in the second.

Tess’s team won the first game 88-52, while Kaylee’s team prevailed 82-52.

Lili leads all players with 30 points

Even though her team lost, Lili led all scoring in either game with 30 points. Her total was highlighted by six 3-pointers. She also had five rebounds.

Playing at the point, Bri chipped in 8 points plus 12 rebounds, according to my unofficial numbers.

Both played the entire 40 minutes because only six players showed up for their team.

Tess has double-double

For her part, Tess helped the winning San Francisco team with 12 points and 12 rebounds. She also had some blocks, but I don’t keep track of them.

With only seven players on her team, Tess played significant minutes and had a commendable game. Several of her scores came from put-backs, although she also scored when receiving the ball from the perimeter. She provided more help with her screens, and she hit several free throws.

Freshman guard Alexa Romano is on the San Francisco roster with Tess, but she was unable to attend that day. Likewise, sophomore guard Brittany McPhee was unable to join Kaylee on the Mission Rec team.

Kaylee starts, gets double-double, too

Kaylee started at center and played for about five minutes before going to the bench. She was in and out of the game until finally leaving with 8:19 to go in the fourth quarter, when Mission Rec had a comfortable lead. Liberal substitution was possible because her team had 13 players.

She made the most of her playing time, recording a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds plus at least one block.

As was true in the afternoon’s first game, both teams tended to run and gun, going with the fast break rather than establishing a disciplined offense. This is typical of Pro-Am play because each team has players of varying experience, most of them don’t know each other, and they don’t practice. Coaching is minimal.

Hence, the games are more like glorified pick-up games, but they’re entertaining.

Probably because it was a holiday weekend and maybe because the American women’s soccer team was going for the World Cup, which it won, the Stanford fan contingent numbered no more than about a dozen.

Among the spectators were Lili’s parents from San Jose and Bri’s parents from Fullerton.

Players show their studious side

Kaylee was in the stands for the first game, but she focused on class work. The same was true for Lili and Bri when they ended their game and stayed while Kaylee played.

Lili’s father, Greg, said that when he drove Lili, Kaylee and junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall to the airport for their flight to the USA training center to try out for international competitions several weeks ago, they had a very, very early flight. Like true Stanford students, they used that drive time to study. (Bird qualified for the USA team currently at the World University Games in South Korea.)

Pro-Am games continue Saturday, July 11. The Bay City team, with freshman forward Shannon Coffee and freshman guard Marta Sniezek on the roster, will face Lili and Bri’s Palo Alto TnT at 1:30 p.m.

Tess and Alexa’s San Francisco team plays East Bay Athletics at 3:30 p.m.

All four teams with Stanford players are scheduled to play Saturday, July 18. Playoffs between the top four teams will take place July 25 followed by the championship game Aug. 1.

Kezar Pavilion is at 755 Stanyan St. (at Waller) at the east end of Golden Gate Park. Admission to the games is free. Pay-by-the-hour parking is located right next door.

See also photo album by Ron Madson

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