After starting the season with four convincing wins, this weekend provided the thrill of victory as well as the agony of defeat.
The Iowa Force came to town on Saturday night and ran into a buzz-saw known as the Midwest Flyers.
Despite a sluggish start the Flyers found their groove and dominated the Force 124-68.
“This was our best effort offensively and defensively,” said Coach Brittney Koch-Dowell.
The Flyers had 32 assists and were led on offense by Jordan LaDuke who was hitting from downtown all night.
“Jordan catching fire helped open up the inside game,” said Koch-Dowell. “We played Flyers team basketball.”
The two teams will meet up on June 24 as the Flyers travel to Iowa and Koch-Dowell isn’t going to take the Force lightly despite the lopsided victory.
“It’ll be tough” said Koch-Dowell. “They get a chance to fix their mistakes and we have to change our mindset and not go into that contest over confident.”
The Agony of Defeat
Last season the St. Louis Surge took the two regular season games, followed by a loss to the Flyers for the Regional Championship, then knocked off the Flyers at the National Tournament in the championship game.
To say Sunday nights contest was highly anticipated, would be an understatement.
The Surge came into Sunday nights game with a record of 3-0 and have been dominate early on as well.
The first half was like two heavyweight greats going toe-to-toe.
LaDuke led the Flyers in the first with 10 points including two three pointers.
In the second quarter it was Kari Koch-Dowell who was on fire leading her team.
As the buzzer sounded at half-time it was a 34-32 lead for the Flyers.
“We played Flyers basketball,” said Brittney. “We were into the game and following the game plan. Their post didn’t hurt us in the first half at all.”
Not only did their post players not effect the Flyers, they were able to get their tallest player in foul trouble early on.
During the halftime talk, Brittney emphasized to the newcomers that this is what she has been preaching about all season.
“Do you believe me now. This is the type of competition I have been talking about. They all said yes.”
However, there is a difference between agreeing and responding.
The third quarter was very similar to the first half, with just one difference. Neither team was scoring. For close to 4 1/2 minutes neither team could score on the other.
Then the game started to get away from the Flyers.
“We took a lot of early shots and played selfish basketball,” said Brittney.
“Those last five minutes we played Surge basketball. We fell into their mental games and that cost us,” said Brittney.
The final score was 90-69.
She said the game is a loss that will test the character of who this team really is. It also gave the Flyers some insight on what they need to focus on the rest of the season.
“We have to stop focusing on the Surge. The focus has to be on the National Tournament,” said Brittney.