score: Storm 71 Sparks 74 (L) (11-7)
What an interesting game, almost like a rollercoaster ride.
A little delayed and long, but here's my game report:
First off, I FINALLY got a pic with Sue! I had been wanting
to get one with her for a really long time. So that was a
great start to the night.
Warmups looked pretty good. Everyone seemed relaxed and ready
to play. One thing that stood out were Camille and LJ's shoes.
I never realized how bright yellow can be sometimes. During
the player intos, Sue got the loudest cheer from the crowd
The very 1st possession LJ wanted to make herself known out
there. She literally bulldozed her way to get a foul called.
Camille started off good early with a couple of nice step
through moves. I'm really impressed at how she's playing this
year. Totally different from last year. T somehow got hurt
I think and got taken out pretty quickly. PeeWee replaced
her which meant Sue was the 2. I've said this before but I
really like it when Sue is the 2 and can run off screens to
look for her shot. When LJ got the ball down low, the SS would
totally collapse on her at first. They really didn't want
her to score. Good offensive execution and movement led to
a 12-4 start. Out of a timeout the SS switched up the D into
a zone which rattled us a little, resulting in a Swin travel.
I know how bigs shoot 3s nowadays but now Sophia is shooting
them too! Her and Charde Houston suddenly shooting and making
3s now really throws me for a loop. Then all of a sudden our
lead is gone with a Becky 3. We were leaving the shooters
wide open. Thank goodness they weren't making all of them
but the defensive rotation needed to improve. Sue and LJ were
super frustrated at the refs towards the end of the quarter.
LJ got hit all night and hardly ever got a whistle. Sue turned
her frustration into a nice left handed drive for a layup.
Nothing, not even the Great Wall of China would have stopped
her from getting to the rim. Swin was encouraging in the huddle
when the quarter ended. Every time I looked at Sue, she was
still not happy and shaking her head. LJ played almost the
whole quarter and looked like she wasn't hurting bad at all.
End of 1st: 18-22
Here comes Frazee! 6 quick points off the SS bench. She was
a big spark for them and really did play well (although I
thought she traveled quite a bit under the basket and only
got called for it once). LJ had a nice "get that weak
stuff out of here" block on Helen. But it seemed that
she wasn't getting many touches on offensive end. Her 1st
perimeter shot came wayyyy into the quarter. Sue kept getting
open for a second or 2 off screens but didn't pull the trigger.
Swin wasn't being all that aggressive either. We fell down
by I dont remember how many points but clawed our way back
through our transition game. It was great to see. Swin had
2 layups followed by Sue with one after a nice block by Swin.
Everyone was really emotional and encouraging. The D picked
up which lead to easy O. Big momentum shift.
End of 2nd: 34-34
We definitely needed to keep the momentum going into the 2nd
Becky hit an open 3 to start the half. There were a couple
of heated battles down low a couple of times: Swin with Snelly
and Sue with Erin. It was kind of entertaining to watch. T
was quiet the 1st half but really came alive in the 2nd. She
was driving to the basket and being really aggressive. I think
she took pretty much all of the early shots. At this point
I looked at the scoreboard and saw that we had balanced scoring
which I didnt realize, but was happy to see. I think everyone
was shocked by Sue's airball, including Sue. I'd never seen
LJ take so few shots from the perimeter before. She finally
took a 3 and swished it, shortly followed by another one.
But on the other end, we were still leaving the SS players
wide open for 3s (including Sophia ). Becky countered with
another 3 of her own. Then Sue and Katie hit back to back
3s. All of a sudden the game became a 3 pt contest! We found
ourselves up 8. Swin was playing good D. The team followed
suit late in the quarter. Then Becky got a little daylight
and again drained a 3. With a few secs left, Sue hit a kind
of crazy but nice offbalanced 3. When she threw it up, it
looked good. We needed to keep up the good shooting, ball
movement, and D to finish the game.
End of 3rd: 61-51
Sue turned the ball over to start the quarter. She fell, Sophia
fell over her, and Sue got called for the foul for just being
on the floor. Needless to say Sue wasn't happy and told the
ref "She fell!!" I hate those kind of calls. But
I must say Sue's look when she gets called for a BS foul is
priceless and never gets old. T showed off her handles with
a nice crossover dirbble then dished it off to Camille for
an easy 2. Sue came off a screen and was WIDE open for a few
secs and didn't shoot it. I yelled "SHOOT!" and
I think she might have heard me because she shot it. If you
are THAT wide open for that long and are a guard, you have
to shoot the ball no matter what. Then the "WTF?"
started happening. Sophia got bailed out with an and 1 after
a great double team help. We were not blocking out at all
and the SS kept getting O boards. LJ received another no call,
VJ got a steal which lead to an easy Becky layup, and Becky
literally took a nice stroll down the lane with ZERO defense
or help whatsoever for a layup. Horrible offense led to 2
or 3 turnovers, and our lead got cut to 2 after a Sophia jumper.
The SS sure had the momentum now. Edwige casually pulled up
during a semi fast break and drained a 3. SS up 1. We were
being so careless and lazy on both sides of the floor. Sue
was taking a leadership role in the starters huddle and was
very adamant in what she was saying. Then I have no clue how
Sue ended up how Frazee but she scored over her for an easy
2. Seriously, what the hell happened to the offense?? Nothing
was working right. 2 more turnovers. Becky hit a hard pullup
to put the SS up by 5 with 1:19 left. We needed to pick up
the O and D NOW. Great play out of the timeout with an and
1 by LJ but she missed the FT. Becky got a possible BS foul
and sank 2 FTs. Next possession, HUGE Sue 3 to cut the lead
to 69-71 with 40 secs left. Then T hit a scary runner to tie
the game with 14.5 secs left. What an exciting game now! Just
one more stop to send it to OT! We played great D at 1st.
The SS play broke down and they were scrambling. Becky drove,
LJ or Camille helped out, which left Sophia wide open. Swish!
Buzzer. Game over. I had to laugh in amazement and shock at
that. Sue couldn't believe it either based upon her reaction
with her hands on her head. The refs take a look at the replay
and sure enough, the shot was good.
End of game: 71-74
Sucks to lose like that. The whole 4th quarter killed us though.
After the game I found out that we havent won here in SIX
games, since '05. Holy crap I didn't realize it has been that
long. What is it about playing here that we can't win? Well,
hopefully next time. As always, awesome to see the Storm play