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7/15/04 at Sacramento

Final score: Storm 75 – Shock 59 (W) (11-7)

Submitted by | Trinity

The curse is gone! Come back Seattleites; it is safe to attend Arco again.  
The Storm has always had a hard time containing the Monarch’s 3-headed monster (Yo, DeMya, and Tangela). However, in the last 2 games against them, this is no longer the case. The last time the Storm played Sacramento (in Seattle), they were well contained. Today was the same story. The Storm did a great job defensively on those 3, and getting numerous steals from their post entry passes. However, the Storm gave up way too many offensive rebounds, especially towards the end of the game, which could have been very costly.
Our offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders today, but I think the Monarch’s pressure defense had a lot to do with it. In the first half, it seemed like the Storm’s offense was discombobulated. The Monarch’s defense was all over the place, and whoever was guarding Bird (Edna/Bolton/Grooms) was in her face whether she had the ball or not. It seemed like their key to the game was to get in Bird’s face, frustrate her, and make sure the ball is out of her hands. As well, I thought the Monarch’s did a good job in denying the entry pass into the post. In the second half, the Storm was able to adjust and as a result, the offense was much better. One of the Storm offensive weapons is getting easy baskets on the fast break, but the Monarchs were able to contain that.  
The game was an all out grind, with leads going back and forth, but the Storm was able to pull through and get the win. With about a minute left in the game, the Storm was up by 6. I was thinking, "ok, we have it in the bag" because the Monarchs are not a great 3-point shooting team. So, what happens? Bolton makes a three, and then a couple of plays later, Ticha makes a three. What are the odds of Ticha making a three?? Heck, you would have a better chance winning the lottery…twice, maybe 3 times! With Ticha’s 3, the Storm was only up by 1, but with Bird’s made free throws and Ticha’s last shot going no where near the basket, Storm fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief.  
I thought Sue and Lauren had a very solid game. Sue shot the ball well. She made a beautiful reverse lay up in the first half. Lauren handled the double teams well, and played tough defense, getting numerous steals. Lauren didn’t have a dominating offensive game, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think having offense balance is key to the Storm’s success. If the opposing team decides to key in on one player, we have other players that will hurt them.  
Sam had a nasty fall in the first half. She was on the ground for a few minutes. She drove to the basket, went airborne,  put a shot up, and landed hard on her side. Not sure what she hurt (or maybe just got the wind knocked out of her), but the trainer and her headed straight to the locker room. You could tell the Storm was deflated a bit after that incident. That’s when the Monarchs made their run. However, Sam did return to the game.
Vodichkova didn’t have a great offensive game. She missed some layups and elbow jumpers she normally makes. However, she was a monster on the boards. She did get into foul trouble, when the refs started getting whistle happy in the first half.
With Lennox, I guess you got to take the good with the bad. Though, watching the game, the bad seemed to outweigh the good. On the offensive end, she threw the ball to no one 3 times. A couple of times she tried going up against 3 defenders. I feel she does too many one-on-ones, and really need to flow more within the offense. She did make a couple of key baskets and free throws in the second half.  
The bench came to play today, especially Burse. Burse played well offensively and defensively. She had a couple of nice blocks. Greco also played well; she was in the flow of the game and didn’t try to force things. Tully, Alicia, and Adia also put in some solid minutes. Talking about Tully, there was a jump ball between Tully and Chantelle that was funny to watch. Chantelle looks to be twice the size of Tully. Simone did not get any action in the game. However, she was very encouraging to her teammates on the sidelines.  
Side Notes:
The LJ/Yo incident: LJ shot the ball and was fouled by Yo. As the ball came to Yo, she threw the ball at LJ’s back (since LJ was turned away). LJ turns around and hit Yo on the arm. Pleasantries were then exchanged between the two, until Sheri came in to separate them and be the peacemaker. I did not see what had happened before LJ got the entry pass and shot the ball, but either LJ did something or Yo thought LJ did something to her.
At the start of the game, LJ would have her hair up in a ponytail. Come halftime, she would come out with her ponytail braided…superstition perhaps?
There were 6 of us Storm fans sitting behind the Storm bench. A Dad and daughter pair who drove all the way down from Seattle. As well, 2 guys sporting homemade “Absolut Vodichova 7” t-shirts drove down from San Francisco. Very cool shirts. Kamila did see the shirts and smiled.
The half time show showcased a handful of team mascots, one of which was Doppler, playing musical chairs. I thought Doppler’s hefty derriere would make him a sure bet to win. However, after a few rounds, it was clear the game of musical chairs was rigged! I think you can guess who won…some funny looking dinosaur.
Charmin Smith was in da house.  
There was a Monarchs fan that would blow on her freaking duck horn the whole time the Storm was on offense. Who the heck brings a duck horn to a basketball game?? Lady, you’re at the wrong place; you may get to see some flopping fish, but no ducks.
I received an autograph session coupon where I could get an autograph from either DeMya or Yo. I was going get DeMya sign a card saying “I love you too Scott! Love DeMya”, and give it to Scott since we all know how much he ‘loves’ DeMya. However, I wasn’t sure if Scott would really like that, so I did the noble thing and gave it to a kid who was a Monarchs fan.