score: Storm 81 Sparks 67 (W) (1-0)
Score | Jayda's
Game Blog | psheehy's
Game Blog | Live
from Press Row
E | Rick
L | Annie
that was fun. The Storm won their first game of the season
against one of their biggest rivals (who, by the way the Storm
play a total of 5 times during the regular season) in front
of a lower-bowl sellout.
was a solid game for a first game of the season — meaning
there were some obvious areas for improvement, but nothing
that wouldn't be expected for a team that has really only
been together for a couple weeks at most. The things that
I saw happening throughout the game that I think could mean
great times ahead for us Storm faithful was the team didn't
give up on a play whether they were on offense or defense.
is something we've not always seen in the past. The Storm
didn't always play with consistent aggressiveness when it
came to rebounding or following shots. They also had a tendency
to drop the ball off the LJ and let her get mobbed. All of
the Storm were moving without the ball, crashing the boards
and finding ways to get their hands on the ball, even if it
was only to tap it to a teammate.
were several occasions tonight when a Storm player successfully
tapped the ball to an open teammate. The thing I really liked
about it was that the tappee was not just popping the ball
up to keep it live, she was actively tapping it to a teammate.
I got a real sense that Camille, Tanisha, Sue and LJ were
already anticipating where each other was on the court. This
shows the value of Coach Agler being able to retain the Storm's
core, beyond just Sue and LJ. We all could see, I think, that
by the end of the game the Storm were already smoothing out
the rough edges and getting back into sync.
not to say there weren't some glaring rough edges.
defense, which was good most of the game, did have a few lapses.
The most difficult one to watch was during the third quarter
when Ticha, broken down and injured Ticha who was visibly
grimacing at times, drove the baseline unguarded and made
a layup. It was almost like watching a Yugo pull out of turn
4 at the Indianapolis Speedway and pass the Corvette pace
car. Painful, kind of unacceptable and certainly something
Coach Agler will be covering during practice.
beginning of the third quarter was really the low point of
the game, both on offense and defense. The Storm allowed Tina
to get a couple easy ones on blown coverages. They also stalled
horribly on offense and couldn't get anything to drop. The
Sparks' really tried to clamp down and force everything to
the outside and the Storm obliged.
wasn't until the fourth quarter that the Storm started to
assert themselves. Again, they were consistently being aggressive
going after the ball and not giving up on plays. I think the
back-to-back games for the Sparks started to have an effect
on their energy because they just couldn't match the Storm's
determination. I distinctly remember the Storm being up by
8 with a few minutes to go and thinking, as Tanisha took the
ball up the court and to the basket, "Just get it to
10. Then it will open up." Sure enough, Tanisha and then
Swin and then everyone started diving to the basket and either
getting baskets or fouls called. Throw in a couple offensive
rebounds and steals and the Storm were in complete control.
had been a tight game for the first 30+ minutes became a near
Agler played a 9-person rotation. Only Vesela and Bishop stayed
on the bench. Lacey, Willingham, Robinson and Abrosimova all
got playing time. Lacey was only in for a couple minutes and
really didn't have a chance to do much. Willingham got more
time, but again didn't get into much a rhythm and got more
fouls than anything. Svet hit a fourth quarter jumper during
the Storm's run off of one of those tip backs from Tanisha.
ARob got the most minutes off the bench.
Ashley. I'll admit to being someone who expected her to not
make the cut this season. I can understand the reasons Coach
Agler kept her, but her performance tonight, for me, showed
why she's still got a long way to go. The best example was
one of the offensive rebounds she got. She was two feet from
the basket, unguarded, and the ball popped right into her
hands. She froze for a split second not sure what to do. It
looked like she was about to kick it back out to the perimeter
when she realized she was two feet from the basket and still
unguarded. She turned and got a lay up.
know confidence is a huge factor for any athlete and it looks
like hers is lacking. I hope the coaches are telling her to
just shoot the ball. Shoot first, think later. I hope they
are telling her to play with some aggression. Look at LJ.
She knows exactly what she's going to do with the ball, most
of the time before she even gets it in her hands. ARob could
use some of that mental toughness. At least that what it looks
like from the cheap seats.
all that aside, this game really makes me hopeful for the
season. All our starters looked great. I'm eager to see what
Willingham and Abrosimova will bring as the first players
off the bench. I also really want ARob to reach the level
we need her to reach and become a viable option off the bench
to replace LJ. But most of all, I really like what I saw from
the whole team when it came to determination and not giving
up on the play. That alone, I think, will carry them through
the rough patches to come, just as it did through the third
quarter of this game.
think Kurt Walker has lost a little weight. That, or the new
orange and oatmeal ref uniform is hiding the pot belly he
had last season.
Russell and Senator Patty Murray were at the game.
Brick Project got off to a rocky start. Tina Thomspon shot
all but a couple free throws on the north end and she's not
going to miss because of some noise. The one miss that happened
on our end was from D-Nasty, but I don't think we can take
credit. We got a start and this is a season long project.
intro music and video kind of caught me off guard at first.
It was difficult to hear the lyrics, but I liked the energy
and the video was tight with the music. This one might take
a couple games to sink in.
bobblehead baby video was odd, but funny-ish. Doppler and
some of the Dance Troupe kids are in the locker room grouped
around something in a blanket in Doppler's arms. Camille comes
in and wants to see, and it's the Sue bobblehead wrapped up
like a baby. It's odd, but funny-ish.