The St.Louis Surge showed no signs of rust after having the previous weekend off due to Independence Day, winning convincingly 95-72 over the Cleveland Crush. Every single Surge player got a chance to play in the game and also get into the box score. Shanity James led the Surge with 13 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds, Jaleesa Butler and Michala Johnson also helped lead the Surge offensive attack scoring 12 points a piece. Starting point guard Rebecca Harris played limited minutes as head coach Tony Condra wanted to give her some much needed rest for the stretch run. Jenny Rocha, a Lindenwood University graduate, logged plenty of minutes running the point and she is showed off her ability to push the ball up the floor and is a very nifty passer. She is definitely a pass first type of player and an ideal fit for a team that really loves to get out and run off missed attempts at the other end of the floor.
The Cleveland Crush had moments where it looked like it might become a contest. Guard Porsha Poole put up 22 points and Taylor Ruper had 20 points for the Crush. Poole made several acrobatic shots and is no slouch with her game offensively. However, on defense the Crush pretty much imploded. And their head coach James Lacy told me prior to the game that his team lost its last game on the road by 10 points because of poor rebounding. Not only did the poor rebounding continue, there were breakdowns on defense and at times it looked like the Surge was having a conga line to the basket for a layup. And I was even more surprised that Poole was left sitting on the bench at the start of the second half and she was one of their best offensive players and the only one creating problems for the Surge in the first half of the game.
Despite those events happening in the game, Surge coach Tony Condra paced the sidelines, constantly checking the scoreboard as if the massive 30 point lead halfway through the final quarter would disappear. Condra was happy after the game about the win, yet was still unhappy about some things he saw. Typical head coach right? The Surge next game is coming up this Saturday at 1:05 pm against Kansas City, tickets are still available. For post game interviews of the St.Louis Surge go to @NTZNetwork on Twitter.
ST. LOUIS, MO
Last Saturday the St. Louis Surge took on the Flyers Elite and won 93-88. This was as electric of a basketball atmosphere you could ask for. The game featured hard fouls, long icy glares, technical fouls, and plenty of back in forth on the scoreboard. Before the game I caught up with Surge head coach Tony Condra and asked him what I should expect to see and a big grin came across Condra’s face and he paused for a second and said, “This is going to be a very competitive game. They don’t like us too much. It’s going to be like the Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks in the 90’s.” Then Condra channeled his inner Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, when I followed up about what the Surge needs to do. “Play D,” said Condra then there was a pause and he walked off. Now I know how TNT sideline reporter David Aldridge feels.
I also stopped and chatted with Flyers Elite coach Brittany Koch-Dowell before game, she was definitely in game mode and had this to say about the upcoming game;” They have a good team over there, but they are going to have to stop us, because we are going to run at them for 40 minutes,” said Dowell. The Elite came into the game with a 6-1 record and it showed early and often why they are a formidable opponent for the Surge.
Early in the contest the Surge had a few defensive breakdowns and head coach Tony Condra wasn’t having any of it. He pulled Michala Johnson quickly after getting back-doored for an easy lay-up. She had a quiet first half, but made up for it in the second half, and the Surge needed every single shot, she made finishing the game with double digit points. And Leah Cotton was the Surge best player on the floor going a blistering 14/15 from the free throw line totaling 19 points and played smothering defense knocking down several big free throws during that tight fourth quarter and yanked down 7 rebounds and added three steals.
That was the biggest difference in the game: free throw shooting. The Elite had plenty of chances from the charity stripe and were unable to cash in. But the Elite didn’t go down without a fight neither despite their untimely misses from the line, they at least gave themselves a chance to win, and those that were in attendance for the Surge latest promotion “Heroes’ Night” left UMSL happy, especially Surge guard Rebecca Harris. “Man this was a hard fought game and this is a team we usually see in National Championship game, and there are some former Surge associates, players, coaches, etc., and a couple people that we’ve gone back and forth with over the years so it was interesting to say the least, “said Harris. Harris also told me this team knows them best and they are just satisfied to get that victory. The Surge will be off this week next game at UMSL against the Cleveland Crush, tipoff is at 7:05. For more sports please subscribe to our YouTube page www.stlamerican/youtubevideo and you can also follow me @thelegendkil and our podcast @NTheZoneShow.