Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WNBA REPORT: Latta Powers Washington Past Connecticut

By Rob Knox @knoxrob1

WASHINGTON –
Ivory Latta punctuated her monster fourth quarter scoring spree by draining a 3-pointer with under a minute remaining and while running back down the floor on defense, pointing at Wizard guard John Wall, who was sitting courtside.

Like a bottle of carbonated diet soda mixed with Mentos candy, Latta erupted in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of her game-high 23 points to fuel the Washington Mystics to an 89-75 victory over the Connecticut Sun Wednesday afternoon at the Verizon Center.

In scoring 20 or more points for the second time this season, Latta was unstoppable and entertaining during the Mystics’ 30-point fourth quarter surge.

“We had to do the little things down the stretch to get the win,” Latta said. “We had to stop them from getting second chance points and when we did, we kind of controlled the game.

"At that point, I knew somebody had to take control of the game and luckily I was able to do that. When I get going, everybody does well. Coach told me to control the tempo and that’s what I tried to do.”

Among the crowd was Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Sylvia Hatchell who was Latta's college coach and for whom the former Tar Heels star works as an assistant in the winter.

Celebrating her second consecutive All-Star selection, Latta treated the energetic gaggle of thunder-stick banging youth campers wearing a kaleidoscope of bright colored t-shirts from fluorescent teal to orange to a fourth quarter takeover that had to be witnessed to be believed.

When Latta was done burning the nets, she turned those duties over to rookie Stefanie Dolson, who scored nine of her 13 points in the final period.

Latta and Dolson were a combined 9-for-12 shooting in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Sun, 21-16. Dolson finished one point away from tying her career high.

In building off the momentum generated by a 3-2 road trip, the Mystics (11-13 overall) moved into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with the Indiana Fever.

“That road trip was so big for us,” Latta said. “We did an outstanding job. I think it gave us the momentum going into this stretch of games. We came together well during that trip. We realized that we can be as good as we want to be. We know we can’t let anybody control the way we play. We control our destiny going forward.”

As has become its modus operandi, it was far from a one-woman show for Washington, which defeated Connecticut for the third time this season to clinch the series.

Also reaching double figures for Washington, winners of four of its last five games, was Monique Currie (17 points), Bria Hartley (11) and Emma Meesseman (10).

Another key to the Mystics victory was committing one turnover in the fourth quarter while forcing Connecticut into a 5-for-15 shooting performance.

“This is a good win for us especially here at home because we haven’t won as many games here as we would’ve liked to,” Hartley said. “It’s awesome to watch Ivory when she gets into that zone. She was making plenty of plays which helped our team get going.”

It took a little time in the fourth quarter for the Mystics to impose their will on Connecticut, who built a 65-61 lead with 8 minutes, 38 seconds remaining following a pair of foul shots from rookie Chiney Ogwumike. A little while later, Latta’s 3-pointer gave the Mystics the lead for good, 68-66 with 6:52 remaining. That basket was part of a bigger 12-1 Washington run that turned the game.

Prior to that burst, the game was an entertaining tug-of-war between a pair of teams trying to improve possible playoff positioning. There were seven ties including 38-38 at halftime and 59-59 at the end of the third quarter along with nine lead changes.

Dolson delivered better than Dominos during the fourth quarter. She drained a 12-foot baseline jumper off of a Latta pass that cut the Sun’s edge to 66-65. Then, with 3:04 remaining, Dolson completed an old-fashioned 3-point play that gave Washington an 80-70 bulge.

“She played big for us today down the stretch and I am proud of her,” Latta said of Dolson. “She’s capable of doing that every night so we’re definitely looking forward to her doing that and giving her the ball down there so she can keep scoring.”

The Sun (10-15) was paced by Ogwumike’s 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kelsey Bone and Alex Bentley scored 15 points each. Bentley, who handed out nine assists, insisted the Sun are not down following the road setback.

“We just got away from our defensive execution in the fourth quarter and that led to their baby run,” Bentley said.

“We broke down on a couple of plays. We have to stay focused on defense for 40 minutes. It’s a dogfight and there are nine games left with everybody trying to get into the playoffs. We’ll keep working and fighting until the season is finished and see where we are.”

The Mystics will host high-scoring Tulsa Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Tulsa’s dynamic backcourt of Odyssey Sims and Skylar Diggins combined for 73 points in Tuesday’s setback to San Antonio.

The Sun will host Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx Sunday afternoon at 3:00. Moore dropped 48 points, three shy of Riquia Williams’ single-game record set last year, in a thrilling double overtime victory over Atlanta on Tuesday night.


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Philly Summer League: Saint Joseph's/Penn Combo Gives Orange Upset of White

By Mel Greenberg

HATBORO, Pa. --
A 67-58 upset win by Team Orange over Team Whie, also known as the Division II West Chester squad marked a string of string of surprises and near-upsets in Tuesday night's action in the Philadelphia/Suburban Women's NCAA Summer Basketball League at Kelly Bolish Gym, home of the AAU Renegades in lower Bucks County.

Unbeaten Gold (8-0) opened a two-game lead over White but had to turn back a strong effort from Sky Blue before emerging with the 74-63 win.

Maroon had a chance to move into a second-place tie but was taken down by by Hunter Green, 68-57, which caught Maroon in a tie for third but gets the third seed for now because of the head-to-head win.

Navy Blue from the lower part of the standings surprised Black, also known as the Division II Philadelphia University squad, with a 45-36 win but didn't get any headway because Kelly Green upset Pink, closing out the Division II University of the Sciences of Philadelphia in the final minute.

Chelsea Woods, an incoming Saint Joseph's freshman, had 20 points for Navy Blue in the win over Black and was the only player in the three doubleheaders to hit the 20 points or better nightly performance milestone.

Woods had 21 points in a game earlier this summer.

The playoff race for the eight spots and seed positions remain tight though Gold can officially be tbe first to the postseason qualifying stop on Thursday with either a win or a loss by Black.

The 13 teams in the league have either four or three games remaining depending on who or who has not yet served a nightly bye.

The Guru Takes an Audible

And so wuth the Guru providing passenger service this week to longtime commissioner David Kessler, who is finishing his rehab from hip replacement surgery serveral weeks ago, the Guru opted to work on this report at what had been an all-night Fedex place in nearby Willow Grove rather than his normal headquarters across the river from Northeast Philadelpia in Cherry Hill, N.J.

However, upon arrival, it appeared the all-night status was no more, but not to worry.

Just across the parking lot in the little shopping mall was a place open all night with wifi, snacks, restroom, electric outlets and a few other commodities, so to put it in plain English, this report is coming to you and being finished in the middle of the night thanks to the ability for the Guru to run on Dunkin.

Of course, still to be determined as the clock ticks is whether the Guru wil drive all the way or take advantage of the MARC communter rail down in either Perryvlle or Abderdeen, Md., to get to the late morning WNBA game in the nation's capital between the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun as both teams resume the rest of their regular seasons following the break for Saturday's All-Star Game in Phoenix.

More Notables

Former Temple star Marilyn Stephens was back on the scene Tuesday night to watch her daughter Adashia Franklyn, who is Saint Joseph's bound this fall.

Also on the scene was former Immaculata All-American Theresa Grentz, who has been involved in Franklyn's training.

Grentz and her former Mighty Macs teammates are part of the Immaculata era 1972-74 that will be enshrined next month in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

The Mighty Macs are also heading for the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in November and just this past weekend the team was announced as a winner of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Trailblazer Award and will be cited besides the six inductees heading for inclusion in Knoxville, Tenn., on June 13 next year.

Grentz, who coached at Saint Joseph's, Rutgers and Illinois and has recently written a book and now runs her own clinics and training operation, has already been individually honored in Knoxville and at the Philly Hall as has her teammate Marianne Stanley, an assistant coach with the WNBA Washington team, and former Mighty Macs coach Catby Rush.

On the Mend

Besides the commissioner, also back from hip surgery Tuesday night was Tom Utescher of the Chestnut Hill Local who was operated upon a few weeks after Kessler.

Sewing the Seeds

OK, here is how the tiebreaks set up the seeds right now if the season ended today, which of course will not really happen until August 5.

Quarterfinals begin Augusut 7, followed by the semifinals on August 12, and title game on August 14.

Gold and Wbite continue as the top two seeds, wbile Hunter Green gets the third seed off Tuesday's win over Maroon, which created a tie between the two teams.

Black, Orange and Sky Blue are tied for fifth and the games among them are not all complete.

But for now within the group Black gets the fifth seed at 1-0, Orange is 1-1 and Sky Blue is 0-1 for the seventh seed.

There is a tie for the eighth seed cut-off for the playoffs.

Purple and Pink have yet to play each other but for now Purple gets slotted eighth because of its best quality win over Hunter Green.

Kelly Green and Navy Blue remain tied for 10th -- both teams won Tuesday -- so Kelly Green remains 10th in the tiebreaker move of having beaten Navy Blue in overtime.

Red, which had the bye Tuesday, is 12th and Royal Blue finishes out the standings still looking for a win.

In terms of getting to the eighth spot, Kelly Green and Navy are a half-game out while Red is 1.5 games out and Royal Blue must win its four remaining games, though that may not be enough.

At the bottom, the remainder of the regular season schedule is listed, given there are but four nights left. Playoff dates are also listed with the actual teams to be filled in when the seeds and final standings are determined.

Tuesday's Recaps

Orange 67 White 58 --
In the big upset, Saint Joseph's incoming freshman Amanda Fioravanti had 17 points for Orange (4-4), which got back to .500 in a three-way tie for fifth.

Penn senior Kara Bonenberger, a former Big Five rookie of the year who went to Northampton High, had 16 points and Division II Kutztown sophomore Kelsey Watson out of Methacton scored 10 points.

White (6-2), the West Chester squad, as mentioned, got 15 points, of which nine came from three treys, from junior Dallas Ely, Emily Torrance, a sophomore from Henderson High, scored 14 points, while Mariah Powell, a senior out of Rustin High for the Golden Rams, had 10 points and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line.

Navy Blue 45, Black 36 -- Chelsea Woods and her 10 points for Navy Blue (3-5) have aready been mentioned. Lauren Gold, a Shippesnburg sophomore from Abington Friends, scored 10 points, shooting 4-for-4 from the line and nailing a pair of three-pointers.

Philadelpia U. senior Najah Jacobs out of Central High scored 12 points for Black (4-4), while senior Jacqueline McCarron out of Lansdale Catholic scored nine points.

Gold 74, Sky Blue 63 -- Saint Joseph's senjor Natasha Cloud out of Cardinal O'Hara had 18 points for the unbeaten Gold (8-0) group, while Ashley Wood, the daughter of Gold coach Keith Wood and recent Division II Kutztown graduate out of Spring-Ford, scored 17 points.

Lauren Crisler, an American U. sopomore out of North Penn High, and Jasmine Elum, a 2012 Bethune-Cookman graduate out of Bodine High, each scored 11 points for the winners.

Alyssa Isler, a recent Division III Gettysburg graduate out of New Hope-Solebury, scored 12 points for Sky Blue (4-4) as did Avery Marz, an incoming Saint Joseph's freshman.

Jessica Pongonis, a Saint Joseph's sophomore; and Stephanie Schultz, a Colgate senior out of the Hill School, each added 11 points to the Sky Blue total.

Hunter Green 68, Maroon 57 -- Sarah Fairbanks, a Saint Joseph's junior out of Elizabethtown High, scored 15 points in a balanced attack for Hunter Green (6-3), which also got 14 points from Sarah Sherman, a Division III Juniata College sophomore out of Methacton High, 11 from Taylor Walker, an incoming Division II Holy Family freshman out of Delsea Regional High, and 10 points from Simone Jacques, a New York Univrsity sophomore out of Plymouth-Whitemarsh.

Maroon, which fell to 6-3, had 14 points from Taylor Bryant, a Penn player from Upper Dublin High, who nailed three 3-pointers, while Courtney Brown, an East Stroudsburg sophomore out of Council Rock South, scored 10 points.

Purple 72, Royal Blue 51 -- Four players scored in double figures for Purple (4-5), which stayed in the playoff hunt as Lia DiSciascio, a Division III Scranton senior out of Cardinal O'Hara collected 14 points, Lindsay Fluehr, another Scranton senior but out of Naxareth Academy, scored 11 points, while Samantha Stipa, an incoming Lafayette freshman out of Spring-Ford, scored 10 points, aa did Sarah Payonk, a Scranton sophomore out of Spring-Ford.

Royal Blue (0-8), still winless, got 19 points from Adashia Franklyn, the incoming Saint Joseph's freshman who, as previously mentioned, is former Temple star Marilyn Stephen's daughter.

Hawks sophomore Ciara Andrews out of Cheltenham High, scored 11 points, and Stevens junior Megan Petuskey scored 10 points.

Kelly Green 45, Pink 37 -- The winners (3-5) stayed in the playoff hunt while Pink (4-5) got in danger of falling out.

The Villanova duo of incoming freshman Alex Louin out of Mount St. Joseph's and sophomore Megan Quinn out of Episcopal Academy each scored 11 point for Kelly Green.

No one scored in double figures for the Pink squad, which is also the University of the Sciences of Philadelphia team.

Brianne Traub, a sophomore, scored nine points, while Isabella Ross, a sophomore out of Central, scored seven points.

Individual Scoring Performances
(20 or more points)

35 pts. -- Sarah Fairbanks, Hunt. Grn(W) vs. Orange, July 17
31 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs. Maroon, July 1
27 pts. -- Samantha Stipa, Purple (W) vs. H.G., June 26
26 pts. -- Mariah Powell, White (W) vs. Red, July 17
26 pts. -- Courtney Brown, Maroon (W) vs. R. Blue, July 2
25 pts. -- Meghan Gibson, Gold (W) vs. Navy Blue, July 17
24 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs Hunter Green, June 24
24 pts. -- Erin Fenningham, Hunt. Green (W) vs. N.B., July 1
24 pts. -- Alexis Smith, Gold (W) vs. Maroon, July 1
24 pts. -- Brianne Traub, Pink (W) vs. Royal Blue, July 10
23 pts. -- Lexi Scrivano, Kelly Green (L) vs. White, June 24
22 pts. -- Mariah Powell, White (W) vs. Kelly Green, June 24
22 pts. -- Alex Smith, Gold (W) vs. Orange, June 26
22 pts. -- Brianne Traub, Pink (L) vs. Sky Blue, July 1
21 pts. -- Alex Smith, Gold (W) vs. Hunter Green, June 24.
21 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs. Orange, June 26
21 pts. -- Chelsea Woods,Nav Blu (L-OT),vs.Kelly Grn, July 8
21 pts. -- Amanda Fioravanti, Orange (L) vs. Maroon,July 10
21 pts. -- Natalie Stella, Pink (W) vs. Royal Blue, July 10
21 pts. -- Sarah Fairbanks, Hunt Grn (L) vs. White, July 14
21 pts. -- Ciara Andrews, Royal Blue (L) vs. Gold, July 14
20 pts. -- Brittany Sicinski, White (W), vs. R.B., June 26
20 pts. -- Lauren Crisler, Gold (W), vs. White, July 10
20 pts. -- Natasha Cloud, Gold (W), vs. Royal Blue, July 14
29 pts. -- Chelsea Woods, Navy Blue (W), vs. Black, July 22

Running Tracker for Playoff Seeds and Tiebreakers
Placements now reflect seeds (in front of team name) if the season ended today, which it doesn't

1-Gold (8-0): H.G. (W), Orange (W), Maroon (W), Purple (W), White (W), R.B. (W), N.B.(W), S.B. (W)

2-White (6-2): K.G.(W), R.B. (W), Purple (W), S.B.(W), Gold (L), H.G.(W), Red (W), Orange (L)

3-Hunter Green (6-3) Gold (L), Purp. (L), N.B. (W), Pink (W), Red (W), vs. Black (W), White (L), Orange (W), Maroon (W)

4-Maroon (6-3): Red (W), K.G. (W-F), Gold (L), R.B. (W), S.B. (L), Orange (W), N.B. (W), Pink (W), H.G. (L)

5-Black (4-4): Pink (L), Red (L), Orange (W), K.G. (W-F), R.B. (W), H.G. (L), Purple (W), N.B. (L)

6-Orange (4-4): Gold (L), Black (L), Purple (W-F), Pink (W), Maroon (L), S.B. (W), H.G. (L), White (W)

7-Sky Blue: (4-4) R.B.(W), Pink (L), White (L), Maroon(W), Purple (W), Orange (L), K.G. (W), Gold (L)

8-Purple (4-5): N.B.(W), H.G.(W),White (L), Orange (L-F), Gold (L), S.B. (L), K.G. (W), Black (L), R.B. (W)

9-Pink (4-5): Black (W), N.B. (L), S.B. (W), H.G. (L), Orng (L ), R.B. (W), Red (W-OT), Maroon (L), K.G. (L)

10-Kelly Green (3-5): White (L), Maroon (L-F), Black (L-F), N.B. (W-OT), Red (W), Purple (L), S.B. (L), Pink (W)

11-Navy Blue (3-5): Purple (L), Pink (W),H.G.(L), Red (W), K.G. (L-OT), Maroon (L), Gold (L), Black (W)

12-Red (2-6) Maroon (L), Black (W), R.B.(W), N.B. (L), H.G. (L), KG (L), Pink (L-OT), Gold (L)

13-Royal Blue (0-8): S.B. (L), White (L), Red (L), Maroon (L), BLack (L), Pink (L), Gold (L), Purple (L)

Standings (Thru Monday, July 21)

Team, W-L, Pct., G.B., Pts., Opp Pts.

Gold, 8-0, 1.000, --, 630 489
White, 6-2, .750, 2.0, 592 431
Hunter Green, 6-3, .667, 2.5, 558 581
fw-Maroon, 6-3, .667, 2.5, 496 349
w-Black, 4-4, .500, 4.0, 356 343
Orange, 4-4, .500, 4.0, 407 443
Sky Blue, 4-4, .500, 4.0, 513 446
fl-Purple, 4-5, .444, 4.5, 460 452
Pink, 4-5, .444, 4.5, 467 479
fl(2)-Kelly Green, 3-5,.375, 5.0, 334 397
Navy Blue, 3-5, .375, 5.0, 481 498
Red, 2-6, .333, 6.0, 444 537
Royal Blue, 0-8, .000, 8.0, 428 624

fw -- includes forfeit win, fl -- includes forfeit loss

Past Results

Tuesday (July 22) Results

Purple 72, Royal Blue 51
Orange 67, White (D2-West Chester) 58
Navy Blue 45, Black (D2-Phila. U.) 36
Hunter Green 68, Maroon 57
Gold 74, Sky Blue 63
Kelly Green 43, Pink (D2-USP) 37
Bye: Red

Thursday (July 17) Results

White (D2-West Chester) 102, Eed 62
Black (D2-Phila. U.) 56, Purple 39
Hunter Green 78. Orange 62
Gold 83, Navy Blue 83-62
Maroon 55, Pink (D2-USP) 36
Sky Blue 70, Kelly Green 55
Bye: Royal Blue

Tueaday (July 14) Results

White (D2-West Chester) 89, Hunter Green 37
Gold 79, Royal Blue 64
Pink (D2-USP) 64, Red 59, ovt.
Purple 62, Kelly Green 59
Orange 73, Sky Blue 72
Maroon 68, Navy Blue 61

Black (D2-Phila. U.), Bye

Thursday (July 10) Results

Maroon 53, Orange 47
Sky Blue 59, Purple 36
Kelly Green 59, Red 45
Gold 69, White(D2-West Chester) 47
Hunter Green 51, Black (D2-Phila. U) 43
Pink (D2-USP) 70, Royal Blue 50

Tuesday (July 8) Results

Black (D2-Phila. U.) 58, Royal Blue 56
Kelly Green 74, Navy Blue 70, ovt.
Orange 50, Pink (D2-USP) 49
Sky Blue 52, Maroon 47
Hunter Green 75, Red 60
Gold 77, Purple 57

Wednesday (July 2) Results

Hunter Green 51, Pink 47
Maroon 98, Royal Blue 48
White (D2-West Chester) 59, Sky Blue 48
Navy Blue 78, Red 52
Black 2, Kelly Green 0, forfeit
Orange 2, Purple 0, forfeit

Tuesday (July 1) Results

Hunter Green 69, Navy Blue 59
White (West Chester) 54, Purple 45
Gold 85, Maroon 68
Black (Phila. U.) 54, Orange 38
Pink (USP) 59, Sky Blue 56
Red 70, Royal Blue 57

Thursday (June 26) Results

Red 55, Black 54
White 84, Royal Blue 59
Gold 79, Orange 68
Purple 80, Hunter Green 50
Navy Blue 62, Pink 46
Maroon 2, Kelly Green 0 (forfeit)
Bye: Sky Blue

Tuesday (June 24) Results

Purple 69, Navy Blue 44
Maroon 48, Red 42
Sky Blue 93, Royal Blue 43
White (West Chester) 99, Kelly Green 44
Pink (USP) 59, Black (Phila. U.) 53
Gold 84, Hunter Green 59
Bye: Orange

Looking Ahead

Maroon (6-3) will be looking to stay in the upper part of the standings and Black (4-4) will be looking for an upset to move higher when the two meet at 7 p.m. on Court 2 on Thursday night.

Likewise the same situation on Court 1 at 8:15 for Hunter Green (6-3) and Sky Blue (4-4) as the opponents have the same records as the ones mentioned for the 7 p.m. game.

Orange, the third of the teams at 4-4, will bw trying to avoid being the first victim of the summer of Royal Blue (0-8) when the two meet at 7 p.m. on Court 3.

Gold (8-0) can clinch a playoff berth by staying unbeaten with a win over Kelly Green (3-5) or if Black loses because right now Gols can not lose more than four games the rest of the way and it already has tie-breaking head-to-head wins over Orange and Sky Blue if either ran the table with wins and Gold went winless over its final four gamea.

Upcoming Schedule

Thursday, July 24

7 p.m.

Kelly Green (3-5) vs. Gold (8-0), Court 1
Maroon (6-3) vs. Black (4-4), Court 2
Orange (4-4) vs. Royal Blue (0-8), Court 3

8:15 p.m.

Sky Blue (4-4) vs. Hunter Green (6-3), Court 1
Navy Blue (3-5) vs. White (6-2), Court 2
Purple (4-5) vs. Red (2-6), Court 3
Bye: Pink

Tuesday, July 29

7 p.m.

Red vs. Orange, Court 1
White vs. Maroon, Court 2
Hunter Green vs. Kelly Green, Court 3

8:15 p.m.

Royal Blue vs. Navy Blue, Court 1
Black vs. Sky Blue, Court Court 2
Gold vs. Pink, Court 3

Bye: Purple

Thursday, July 31

7 p.m.

Gold vs. Black, Court 1
Kelly Green vs. Royal Blue, Court 2
Maroon vs. Purple, Court 3

8:15 p.m.

Pink vs. White, Court 1
Sky Blue vs. Red, Court 2
Navy Blue vs. Orange, Court 3

Bye: Hunter Green

Tuesday, August 5

7 p.m.

Sky Blue vs. Navy Blue, Court 1
Purple vs. Pink, Court 2
Hunter Green vs. Royal Blue, Court 3

8:15 p.m.

Orange vs. Kelly Green, Court 1
Red vs. Gold, Court 2
Black vs. White, Court 3

Bye: Maroon

Regular Season Ends

Playoff Schedule

Quarterfinals

Thursday, August 7


7 p.m.
8th aeed vs. 1st seed, Court 1
6th seed vs. 3rd seed, Court 2

8:15 p.m.

7th seed vs. 2nd seed, Court 1
5rh seed vs. 4th seed, Court 2

Semifinals

Tuesday, Aug. 12


7 p.m.

Highest surviving seed vs. lowest surviving seed, Court 1

8:15 p.m.

Remaining quarterfinals survivors, Court 1

Championship

Thursday, Aug. 14


Semifinal survivors, Court 1

That's it for this report.

-- Mel


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rob Knox's WNBA Notebook: Washington Poised to Make Headway in the East

By Rob Knox @knoxrob1

When the dust cleared from their season-high five-game road trip, the Washington Mystics headed home across country smiling and full of swagger.

The Mystics finished an impressive and winning journey in style by edging the Los Angeles Sparks, 79-75, last Thursday night. In ending the Sparks’ three-game winning streak, Washington also completed a season sweep of L.A, which may have been too much for Sparks general manager Peny Toler to handle.

Three days later she fired coach Carol Ross and decided to guide the team herself from the bench despite not having any coaching experience.

Additionally, assistant coach Gail Goestenkors chose not to remain.

"i'm loyal," Goestenkors explained Monday afternoon on a teleconference held by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Knoxville, Tenn.

The former longtime coach of Duke along with Sparks legend Lisa Leslie were announced over the weekend as part of the six -member 2015 induction class for June13.

Additionally the coaching carousel took a partial swing Monday when the Atlanta Dream announced Michael Cooper would miss several weeks from the sidelines to be treated for tongue cancer.

More on these items below.

Meanwhile, the trick now for the Mystics, who begin a crucial three-game homestand Wednesday morning against Connecticut at 11:30 a.m., is to build off of the momentum created from a 3-2 trip.

Sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference as the second half of the season starts, Washington has won three of its last four games. Poised to do some damage, the Mystics are a game behind Indiana in the race for the No. 2 seed and the all-important home-court edge in a possible playoff matchup.

Of course, the Mystics lead Connecticut by a half-game and New York by a game.

"We've all got 13 losses," New York coach Bill Laimbeer said Wednesday after the Liberty beat Atlanta before the break for the All-Stars. "Now the trick is we have to go out and win a couple of games."

The Liberty will have their hands full this week with a three-game Western swing.

As for the Mystics, six of Washington’s final 11 contests are against Connecticut and New York. They play each team three times beginning with a morning game Wednesday game against Connecticut at 11:30 a.m. at the Verizon Center. This will be Washington’s first home game since July 2. The Mystics were away so long; they may have forgotten what the building looks like.

Washington has already defeated the Sun twice and split a pair of games with the Liberty. After facing the Sun, the Mystics' remaining games during the home stand offer a treat for fans as they host Skylar Diggins and Tulsa Friday night (7 p.m). and All-Star Game MVP Schoni Schimmel and East leading Atlanta Sunday afternoon (4 p.m.).

Schimmel scored an All-Star Game record 29 points in the East’s 125-124 overtime win over Diggins and the West last Saturday. Diggins had 27 points and would have been the MVP had her team won.

Let’s get back to the Mystics.

“We just have to be consistent,” Mystic All-Star guard Ivory Latta said. “We all have to concentrate on the little things, go out there and play hard while playing the way we know we can play.”

The Mystics have been winning with balanced scoring as nine players average between 4.4 and 11.3 points, tough defense and believing in each other. The talented youngsters are starting to blossom and play with more consistency. As noted in last week’s column, it seems like somebody different has come through lately for the Mystics.

The win over the Sparks was no different as Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored a career-high 18 points. The second-year guard from North Carolina made 7-of-8 shots for the Mystics. For Ruffin-Pratt, it was second game this season finishing with double figures as she scored 15 points against San Antonio.

Monique Currie added 16 points. Currie averaged 11.9 points during the five-game road trip. Latta scored 15 points and Kia Vaughn came through with 14 points for Washington, which is 10-13 overall.

Latta has been cool as a scoop of ice cream lately for Washington by reaching double figures in seven of its last eight games with the lone exception being a nine-point performance in the Mystics first win of this season-long excursion against the Chicago Sky on July 9. Latta leads the Mystics in scoring with an 11.3 point per game average and rookie Bria Hartley is second on the team in scoring (10.1)

“They're definitely a great team,” Latta said of the Sparks. “What we can take from this is the way we played against them is how we have to play in our own conference. We can't let up. The way we guard (Parker) is how we've got to guard the Cappie Pondexters, the Tina Charles, Angel McCoughty’s.”

Even in its 12-point loss to Phoenix on Tuesday, Wednesday made the Mercury sweat as Washington was within eight points early in the fourth quarter.

The second half of the season offers an opportunity for the Mystics to do some great things and surpass last season’s win total of 17. There are also rumblings that last year’s fourth overall pick Tayler Hill out of Ohio State could play before the season is done. Hill has not played this season as she recently gave birth to a son.

For fans envisioning a backcourt rotation of Hill, Bria Hartley, Latta, Ruffin-Pratt, and Kara Lawson, it’s as close to Christmas as you can possibly get during the summer.

You gotta have a lot of confidence whether you are playing a young or old team,” Latta said. “That's the great thing about our team. You know we're very strong in different areas whether we're young or old. We have a lot. We just have to go out and play hard.”

SCHIMMEL’S SHINING MOMENT: The WNBA is basking in the glow of a terrifically played All-Star Game that was decided in overtime by Indiana’s Tamika Catchings’ layup with six seconds remaining. It was fitting that in a game in which first timers Schimmel and Diggins combined for 56 points and put on a super show, that Catchings, playing in her record-tying ninth All-Star Game made the difference in the end.

The performances of Diggins and Schimmel were simply sick. At one point, they should have cleared the court and let the two scoring machines go one-on-one.

During the broadcast, ESPN commentator Rebecca Lebo accurately mentioned Schimmel was built for an All-Star Game. Raining jumpers like Jimmy Chitwood in “Hoosiers”, Schimmel delivered a treat for the fans, who selected her to the starting lineup. There was some immediate backlash about her being named a starter, but Schimmel more than made that selection look great.

Who knows where this will lead for Schimmel, who averages 7.1 points and has started twice for the Dream this season. Schimmel’s effort will definitely go down as one of the memorable moments in the WNBA’s 18-year history. She scored 24 of her 29 points after intermission. Thanks to her huge native American following, Schimmel leads the WNBA in jersey sales.

“Being Native American, it's a huge accomplishment to go out there and be in the WNBA,” Schimmel said. “To have the fans look up to me and to be a role model not only for my siblings but also the Native American fans, the Native American people. It's huge. I take on my shoulders because I enjoy it.”

COMMISH SPEAKS: WNBA Commissioner Laurel Richie provided her annual state of the WNBA address prior to Saturday’s All-Star Game in Phoenix. Here are some of her comments about viewership, the rookie class and potential expansion. Perhaps she knew that Schimmel and other young players would play spectacular on Saturday. She said during her address, “I think we are going to have a great game.”

On Schimmel: “Shoni Schimmel is with us. For those of you who haven't heard already, she was No. 3 in votes and she's also the proud recipient, I guess would be the word, of the most jersey sales of any WNBA player. So we are thrilled to have her with us today and with us in the league.”

On viewership: “In some ways this All‑Star reflects what I think has been a terrific season. Our viewership on ESPN2 is pacing ahead of year‑end last year by about 16 percent. Fans have been signing up in record numbers for Live Access – bringing in both more subscribers and more revenue for the league, so that is terrific, particularly as we look to bring the game to those who don’t live in WNBA cities.”

On the rookies: “We had 28 rookies make a WNBA team and seven rookies start in at least one game. So I think that really speaks well and bodes well for the future of the league. We have four rookies who are averaging 10 points per game; that's Tulsa’s Odyssey Sims, Hartley, San Antonio’s Kayla McBride, and Connecticut’s Chiney Oguwmike. So I'm very, very excited about where we are today.” I think we are going to have a great game.

On potential expansion: “I very much look forward to the day that we do expand, and based on what I have seen from those conversations, (Golden State/Oakland) would be very much in the top rung on the list. And the nice thing was during that process, there were others who expressed interest as well. So again, I don't have a time frame for it, but very excited about that as a possibility.”

COOPER TO TAKE LEAVE OF ABSENCE: Atlanta head coach Michael Cooper, who guided the East in Phoenix, has been diagnosed with early stage tongue cancer, and will take a temporary leave of absence the team announced Monday.

Cooper will undergo a surgical procedure this week at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta. Typical recovery time for the procedure is two weeks. A full recovery is anticipated following the surgical procedure. During Cooper’s absence from the team, assistant coach Karleen Thompson will assume head coaching duties.

“The doctors and staff at Emory have been tremendous, and I know I’m in good hands,” said Cooper. “I’m fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection. I know the team will be in good hands with coach Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon.”

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Cooper, who has led the Dream to a 15-6 record and a first-place standing in the Eastern Conference in his first season leading the Dream. The two-time WNBA Champion head coach has the Dream in contention for its first Eastern Conference regular-season title in team history, as the team holds a five-game lead with 13 games remaining. He coached the East to a 125-124 overtime victory at the WNBA All-Star game on Saturday.

HOME NOT SO SWEET: Half of the league’s 12 teams have winning records at home (Atlanta 10-2, Phoenix 10-1, Minnesota 10-1, Connecticut 7-5, New York 7-5 and Seattle 5-4). Los Angeles is 3-7 at the Staples Center and has not won at home since June 24. Tulsa, which is 5-7 at home, recently lost all four games during a four-game homestand. Amazingly, despite losing records at home, Indiana (6-4), Washington (6-6), Los Angeles (7-6) and San Antonio (7-5) all sport winning records on the road.

LIBERTY ROAD: It’s essentially now or never for the New York Liberty, 1-8 from the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden. New York starts the second half of the season by playing six of its first seven games on the road. The Liberty have a pair of three-game road trips (Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix; Wednesday-Saturday) and (Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington; July 31-Aug. 5) sandwiched around a July 29 home date against the Mystics. So even in the congested East where everybody is alive, these next seven games will go a long way to determining if the Liberty’s three-game home stand in August (Connecticut, Indiana and Phoenix) will be meaningful.

FLYING SKYLAR: During a dizzying 24-hour sequence, Diggins was literally all over the map, flying close to 4,478 miles. On Wednesday, she scored 19 points in Minnesota against the Lynx before flying three hours to Los Angeles for the ESPY’s and participate in the Drake skit, which ended with her kissing the rapper on the forehead causing sparks to fly literally.

She returned to Tulsa for Thursday afternoon’s game against San Antonio and had 19 points and eight assists in a victory just before flying to the All-Star game. The only person busier than Diggins, the league’s second leading scorer, during that stretch was her travel agent. While her 27 points in the All-Star Game were noteworthy and exciting, many people wanted to know her reaction to all the attention she received from Drake leading up to the ESPYs via social media.

“It was just a way to clear the air and just have fun with everything,” Diggins told The Associated Press. “Just be light about it. He’s (Drake) a cool guy, and I thought it was a fun moment to lighten the mood. I was happy to be there, and I thought it went over well with everybody. We got great feedback from it.”

BENTLEY BALLING: Former Penn State standout Alex Bentley had a week to remember, averaging 21 points to help the Connecticut Sun split a pair of games.

She scored 22 points against Seattle in a surprisingly easy, 86-63 road win. Two days later in a 101-85 loss to Phoenix, Bentley scored 20 points. The former Penn State standout shot 51 percent in the two games (17-for-33). She will try to score 20 or more points in three straight games for the second time this season when the Sun visits Washington Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m.

Between June 7-13, during the Sun’s six-game winning streak, Bentley scored 21 points against Indiana (June 7), 22 against Phoenix (June 12) and a season-high 24 against New York (June 13). For the season, Bentley is averaging 11.8 points and 3.5 assists per game. She has scored in double digits 15 times this season. Despite, dropping eight of its last 10 games, Connecticut enters the second half of the season in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

MAGNIFICENT MAYA: Maya Moore finished with 32 points on 10-for-18 shooting in Minnesota’s 93-82 victory over the Shock Wednesday afternoon. It was the ninth-time this season, Moore has scored 30 or more points in a single game. The Lynx host Atlanta Tuesday in a WNBA Finals rematch. The Dream won the first meeting, 85-82, in Atlanta on June 13.

MERCURY UPDATE: Phoenix (18-3 overall) begins the second half of the season with a 12-game winning streak, three shy of the all-time WNBA winning streak of 15 established by the Houston Comets. Essentially, Phoenix can clinch a playoff spot if it beats Seattle Tuesday night on ESPN2. The Mercury are one win, or a Seattle loss, away from clinching a playoff spot, with a month left in the season.

COACHING CHANGE IN L.A.: The Los Angeles Sparks have relieved Carol Ross as head coach and named Sparks executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler as the team’s head coach for the remainder of the season. Ross joined the Sparks as head coach in 2012, amassing a 61-36 career record in two and a half seasons, including two playoff appearances (2012, 2013).

“I’d like to thank Carol for her contributions to the Sparks organization, team and Los Angeles community,” said Toler. “Carol is a tremendous coach, but we felt it was time to bring in a different energy to this team. Decisions like this are never easy, and we wish Carol the best.”

Toler has spent her entire WNBA career in Los Angeles, amassing 17 years as a player, general manager and executive vice president with the Sparks. The longest tenured general manager in the WNBA, Toler took over the reigns as general manager just prior to the 2000 season and compiled back-to-back WNBA Championship teams two seasons into her tenure, bringing Los Angeles titles in 2001 and 2002.

In her 14 seasons as general manager, Toler has guided the team to the WNBA playoffs 12 times (2000-06 and 2008-10, 2012-13), three conference championships (2001-2003) and two WNBA titles. As a player, she scored the first basket in WNBA history on June 21, 1997 vs. the New York Liberty, and finished the inaugural season as the Sparks’ second leading scorer with 13.1 points per game.

The Guru contributed to the Knox WNBA notebook

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

WNBA All-Star Report: Rookie Schimmel Leads East to Wild 125-124 Overtime Victory

By Mel Greenberg

PHOENIX --
Appropriately, in the Arizona desert the WNBA All-Stars brought some intense heat Saturday afternoon to the annual summer classic, resulting in a wild shootout that ended in a East squad 125-124 victory that took a first-ever overtime period to complete.

It might have been the most explosive afternoon in this state since the frontier days of the Old West in Tombstone near the Mexican border when the Earp brothers and members of the Cowboys such as the Clanton brothers went at on Fremont Street near the O.K. Corral.

As the torch begins to get passed again to a newer group, Saturday was especially a time for league youngsters.

The youth movement was highlighted by former Louisville star Shoni Schimmel, who became the first to gain MVP honors as a rookie.

Schimmel, the first Native American to play in the league, scored a record 29 points, including seven 3-pointers by the Atlanta Dream reserve point guard playing for the East.

On the other bench second-year pro Skylar Diggins of the Tulsa Shock in her first All-Star encounter also broke the previous scoring mark as the former Notre Dame all-American collected 27 points playing for the West.

But in the end, golden oldie Tamika Catchings, the former Tennessee great with the Indiana Fever, decided the issue by grabbing a missed shot by second-year pro Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks out of Stanford and going length of court to score the winning layup with 6.9 seconds left in the extra period.

"I looked up and in the course of the moment it's like -- 'Okay, you got two decisions, either pass or take it all the way.'

"The coach (Atlanta's Michael Cooper) said during the timeout that whoever got the rebound, to just go with it and keep playing. I got the ball and was able to go coast-to-coast with a free lane to the basket."

Diggins then lost the ball on the ensuing possession and Catchings took possession to preserve the East triumph.

"Our roookie class, we were made for this," Schimmel, with the nickname 'Showtime', said of the way so many recent newcomers have quickly adjusted to the pro game. "We're a solid rookie class and it's not just one, two or three of us, it's our whole class.

"...You go out there and strive to be the best and play against the best and you got to go out there and beat the best."

Atlanta teammate Angel McCoughtry, who also starred at Louisville and scored 13 points Saturday for the East, talked about Schimmel.

"I already knew she was a great shooter," McCoughtry said. "I was just waiting for it to come out and it did. It was just amazing to watch.

"Hopefully, tonight, we took the women' game to a whole new level. So that means that Atlanta needs more ESPN games."

It was the most exciting All-Star game by the league in all 12 that have been held and the five minutes more of additional time needed to determine a winner was a special treat for the nearly building-filled crowd of 14,685 in the USAir Arena.

All of them, most of whose Phoenix Mercury have been enjoying one of the WNBA charter franchise's best seasons and are currently on top of the standings in the West, were on their feet down the stretch as if the WNBA title was about to be decided.

Three Mercury stars were on the West squad with second-year pro Brittney Griner, who missed last year's game as a rookie due to injuries, scoring 17 points and additionally she became the third All-Star to throw down a dunk in the game.

However, unlike the previous two that came in sort of set-up plays, the throw-down by the former Baylor All-American and two-time national player of the year came in the flow of the action.

Lisa Leslie, whose WNBA career was spent all in Los Angeles, scored the first dunk in an All-Star game -- she also had the first WNBA regular season dunk -- nine seasons ago while the Chicago Sky's Sylvia Fowles had the other in 2009.

"That's big," Griner said of her slam. "When they clear the court and let you dunk, that's cool, too, but being able to do it in the midst of the game just shows, you know, the progress of the league.

"Before, you know we had to set things up. Now, you just tell 'em 'Hey, we should try to get a dunk,' and we know we can do it now."

Former Temple star Candice Dupree of the Mercury scored 12 points off the bench to complete all the points in double figures by West players but Phoenix's Diana Taurasi, another former UConn star who is one of the world's top players, added four points to the West attack.

Dupree talked afterwards of Griner's improvement after a rookie season in which she had been hampered by injuries.

"She's gotten a lot better. I was curious in the offseason, coming back to see how much she had developed while playing overseas," Dupree said.

"She looks good. She's a lot more poised on the block. She's got moves with her back to the basket. She's playing really well."

All-Star records fell during the 45 minutes of action like a midafternoon cloudburst in these parts.

One of them won't appear in the books but the first do-over balloting for a potential recount of votes cast by a panel of selected media representatives who were to choose the Most Valuable Player had to be held when in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter the West erased an 11-point deficit with a 13-2 run to tie the game on Diggins' layup with 26.3 seconds left.

The re-count may have been unecessary.

The votes seemed to be heading in Schimmel's direction when the East had the big lead and if she was about to land a trophy in regulation, her six points in the overtime preserved her latest hardware acquisition.

At the end of regulation with the teams tied 112-112, Diggins had already edged the previous scoring mark of 23 points set a year ago by MVP Candace Parker of Los Angeles out of Tennessee playing in her first game after missing several previous All-Star clashes due to injuries.

Schimmel, who has the top-selling jersey in the league, had matched that former scoring mark of Parker's in regulation, but with the game's five-minute extension, former UConn great Maya Moore of the defending champion Minnesota Lynx also topped the mark with 24 points.

Moore was the overall vote recipient in the fan tabulations to select starters.

One spectacular play involving Schimmel, who had 24 of her points after halftime, saw her make a circus shot over Griner.

It was Schimmel's Louisville squad that short-circuited Griner's collegiate career in 2013 with an upset in the NCAA Sweet 16 that denied Baylor a repeat NCAA title.

Schimmel Saturday also set new marks for made treys with the seven scored and attempts with 16 from beyond the arc.

She also set records for made field goals with 11 and attempts with 24.

"That's the reason we drafted her because she was a three-point threat," said Atlanta's Cooper, who made Schimmel the eighth overall pick in the first round in April.

Schmimmel, who had her whole family here to watch her play, was the third WNBA reserve to start as an All-Star, the Associated Press cited STATS, and she was also the third overall vote-getter.

There were 11 other team records set or tied and one of them included fewest fouls in which the West tied the 2009 East mark of five. In fact, the East on Saturday was a meager 1-for-1 from the charity stripe for the entire game and did not get to make an attempt in the first half.

Parker talked about Schimmel erasing her All-Star mark that lasted just one year.

"Man, she showed out. She played on my overeas team when she was younger and she was amazing then," Parker recalled. "So I wish she would have went to Tennessee."

In terms of the performances by the rookies both on the All-Star squads and elsewhere throughout the league, Parker noted, "I thought everybody did a great job, just coming out and showing how the game's changing. We got a dunk for the fans, we were able to get some nice moves. Obviously, Shoni played well. It's good for the future of our game."

In WNBA president Laurel J. Richie's pre-game press conference, she noted 28 rookies made WNBA rosters -- the team size was increased by one slot to 12 in the new CBA agreement made in the offseason -- and that seven had started in at least one game.

Richie also said among other things that the New York Liberty's return to Madison Square Garden after three summers of across the Hudson River in the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., because of renovations, has resulted in an increase of revenues at 26 percent for the franchise housed in the WNBA's largest market.

Meanwhile, during the 13-2 run, Moore and Diggins, who were collegiate and national rivals for two seasons in the Notre Dame-UConn series in the former Big East configuration, accounted for all the points with Diggins scoring eight and Moore collecting five.

"We're competitive, that's what happened," Diggins said. "Ir turned into a real game and not an All-Star Game and we played defense, finally.

"But we're all competitors and we knew we were going to turn up the heat," Diggins continued.

"When you got players like (Griner) and Nneka out there you can make things happen quickly, and you can score in bunches.

"We had Sue out there with the young legs tonight," she said of Seattle Storm veteran Sue Bird, another UConn great, who was picked by league president Laurel Richie as a replacement when reserve Seimone Augustus of the Lynx was unable to play because of an injury that has had her sidelined in recent weeks.

"I thought we did a great job of making the comeback and tying it up, making it go into overtime and that was a show," Diggins said. "That was a show for the fans and they got extra. Everybody got their moneysworth tonight and it was fun to be a part of."

The West would not yield its momentum at the start of the overtime and when Moore hit a trey for a 124-117 lead with 1 minute, 59 seconds left in the extra session, it seemed the West would rule again.

"Well, I'm glad we were the ones coming from behind, so it was a great push," Moore said. "We scored ... points in a couple of minutes and had a lot of momentum going into OT. But it was a fun game. I'm sure everyone enjoyed it."

The East, who had erased a 12-point deficit in the second quarter for a 57-53 lead at the half, was not done, just as the West had not hung it up at the close of regulation.

Katie Douglas of the Connecticut Sun hit a trey, then Catchings grabbed Diggins' miss and then Schimmel nailed another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one before Catchings' heroics put the East in possession of the trophy.

Neither team topped the one-squad mark set by the West in 2009 in a 130-118 win at the Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Connecticut squad.

But with the overtime, the combined 249-point total is also a record in that category.

Catchings, who finished with 14 points but is also one of the defensive stars of the league, was one short of a game-record on the rebounding end with her 13 falling just behind the 14 achieved by Los Angeles' Leslie in 2002 and Yolanda Griffith of the former Sacramento Monarchs in 2005.

Leslie was here as part of the weekend events and during the game the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame released word that she will be part of the next six-member induction class to be enshrined June 13 of next year.

A separate Guru post on the announcement is just under this report.

Griffith was one of the six inductees who entered the Women's Hall a month ago and is also currently an assistant coach with Lafayette of the Patriot League.

Threes were easy to come by for many players though the overall combined team mark of 29 was just missed by one 3-pointer as Douglas connected on five from beyond the arc, Briann January of Indiana who starred at nearby Arizona State over in Tempe, connected on three; and New York Liberty star Tina Charles, another former UConn great, hit one trey for the East as part of the combined 28 total.

Charles also scored in double figures with 19 points, Douglas finished with 15, and McCoughtry, as previously mentioned, scored 13.

"You can tell (the West) had the home court and everybody thought the West was going to blow us out," Douglas said of the game in which for a time she was reunited with Catchings with whom she had played in Indiana in recent seasons prior to this summer.

"I'm happy for the East," Douglas said. "We had a lot of first-timers and it was a lot of fun."

Three-pointers were also made on the West by Moore with four, Parker and Griner with one each -- "it'a an All-Star game, why not?" Griner said of her make -- and former UConn star Bird of Seattle, here as an injury replacement for Minnesota's Seimone Augustus, also hit a trey.

Jessica Breland, a cancer survivor who is with the Chicago Sky, grabbed 12 rebounds for the East and Ogwumike was the West's top rebounder with 11.

Her younger sister Chiney of Connecticut, who also played for Stanford, represented the East and scored eight points as did Nneka.

"When you play with 'Showtime Shoni' it's so much fun, Chiney said. "Honestly, as rookies, we feel really blessed to be here.

"We were like, 'let's make the most of it, and honestly we're like, 'Shoni, your job today is to shoot the ball everytime you get it.'

"You cannot guard her when she is in the open court. She's a perfect player for an All-Star game. So just to have her on my side as rookies together, in the East, getting the win, ideal for an All-Star game -- we're lucky."

It was a first to have two sisters in the game and they met for the first time a week ago when Los Angeles visited Connecticut and will meet again when Chiney and the Sun go West to play the return game.

"Before, after, halftime, during, we're always talking," Chiney said of being on opposite sides from Nneka after two seasons together at Stanford before Nneka's graduation in 2012.

Both of them were the first sisters to also become the top overall draft picks as Los Angeles picked Nneka in 2012 before Connecticut took Chiney in April.

"We were just having a lot of fun. We just played a week ago or so in Connecticut and that was really serious. So this time it was just a lot of fun being on the same court in this atmosphere," Chiney smiled.

"It's one of those things when we're old ladies, we're going to talk about -- 'well, this was really cool,' you know? But we had a lot of fun and she was definitely the first one to start talking trash.'"

Former Delaware star Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky, the second best overall vote-getter this time around and tops in the East, was not here and is back home dealing with a recurrence of Lyme Disease that sidelined her for a portion of her collegiate career with the Blue Hens.

She also missed last year's classic in a season in which she was rookie of the year and top overall All-Star vote-getter but suffered a concussion in a game just before the event at the Mohegan Sun.

A year ago the focus was off the "Three to See," promotion focusing on Griner, Delle Donne, and Diggins, who arrived as the overall 1-2-3 picks in the draft, but the hype, according to Chiney, became motivation for the next group of seniors who are this year's WNBA rookies.

"I don't know if we took it personal, but our class was like we all put it on our own selves to come in and do well," Cbiney explained.

"I think it's amazing. We have Shoni here at the All-Star game. We have (former Baylor star) Odyssey Sims doing great things, Natasha Howard, Kayla (McBride) in San Antonio, so we're all spread out but I think we all have this competitive spirit that you saw today from Shoni.

"We just love to play -- love to uplift each other. We've known each other for a long time. A lot of people don't know that we started off in Nike skills camps like when we were 12 or 13 years old and that sort of set the foundation for us to play against the older women," Chiney said.

"Today was an opportunity for us to get our feet wet in this scenario and obviously, Shoni, MVP, she's a real MVP for all reasons so I just think we're blessed and fortunate to be here as rookies but at the same time we're very hungry.

"Our whole class is hungry."

Atlanta's Cooper became the first to coach winners as well as East and West teams in general in both divisions after previously coaching the West in 2002 and 2003 after the former NBA Lakers star had guided Los Angeles to its two titles the previous summers.

Fred Williams was gone from the Dream after last season's East title and is now head coach of ther Tulsa Shock in the West.

So with Cooper's Dream leading the East in the regular season at the cutoff point to select the All-Star coach in the division, he got the job.

"Boy, what a wonderful basketball game," Cooper said. "This was so wonderful to be a part of -- this is what the WNBA is about.

"Spectacular moments, spectacular games. But for our game to put 249 points on the board between two teams really showed we can put the ball in the basket and hopefully this attracted a lot of people who questioned whether they liked the WNBA as far as watching it or attending it -- I think they can come out and be a part of it.

"But it was fantastic. I told our team to just go out and wow the crowd and have fun and boy they did that."

Minnesota's Cheryl Reeve, who coached the West after three straight West Division playoff titles and two of them translating into WNBA crowns in 2011, Moore's rookie season, and 2013, talked about the almost tennis-like back-and-forth by play between Schimmel and Diggins.

"It was fun. Shoni, once she got going, everytime it left her hand, it had a really good chance of going in, even when she was off balance, kicking her leg a little bit, but she was feeling it, the All-Star game, no question, is right in her wheelhouse.

"That's her game, her style, and I was really happy her college coach Jeff (Walz) could be here.

Obviously, Michael Cooper, he's got big decisions to make. He's got the MVP of the All-Star game so I suspect when we see him (against Atlanta) on Tuesday (when the regular season resumes) that Shoni might be in the starting lineup. I don't know."

Reeve was asked about the uniqueness in the WNBA All-Star event where unlike similar games in other sports both sides really start engaging as if the game was more than a display of the league's best talent.

"Fourth quarter, we're trying to win the game," Reeve said. "Our players just took it upon themselves to try to get back into the game. I thought Skylar was terrific in that stretch.

"Playing off our defense in that stretch. I told Sue Bird, she had the legs of a 22-year-old out there. Maya started making some shots Nneka was getting rebounds.

"It's that fine line All-Star game. The fans want to see a show. Obviously we don't want to give 100 percent where they're going crazy but I thought our balance was really good of just playing really good basketball, playing hard for the most part but not playing hectic where everybody's getting hurt.

"I thought the officials did a good job, don't think I've ever said that before," Reeve quipped. "But the vibe of the game, a lot had to do with the fans were engaged in the game, we just kind of fed off their energy.

"I think you have certain players, they're All-Stars for a reason and they've got that competitive fire in them and it gets to the point where you're trying to get separation to win a game and that's what you see."

Reeve is also an assistant to UConn coach Geno Auriemma, in charge of the USA Senior National Women's Team, for this September's FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

All-time great Dawn Staley, currently coaching South Carolina since leaving Temple in 2008, is also on the staff, making three Philly people because Auriemma grew up in Norristown after arriving as a baby with his parents from Italy.

The other assistant is DePaul's Doug Bruno in Chicago.

The USA squad will train in Annapolis, Md., in early September with one game to be played on the way overseas in Bridgeport, Conn., against Canada in a friendly on Sept. 15.

Not announced yet, but after leaving the training site, another game is expected to be played prior to Bridgeport in Delaware's Bob Carpenter Center where a sellout crowd in May saw Delle Donne's Chicago squad beat the Washington Mystics in a preseason game.

Of the 23 Americans, counting the replacements and stars with injuries, on the combined rosters here -- Atlanta's Erika de Souza is a Brazilian -- 10 have played on Olympic gold medalists squads for USA and most besides a few others here are likely to be at training camp when the final members of the FIBA tournament squad are being determined.

And that is everything.

-- Mel












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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Former WNBA Great Lisa Leslie Heads Six New Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees

By Mel Greenberg

PHOENIX --
Now Dawn Staley is reunited with her good friend Lisa Leslie in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, which is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., and likely to be joined by the former Southern Cal all-American and WNBA All-Timer a year from now in the next class in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Leslie, who won four Olympic gold medals and played alongside Staley for three of them on the USABasketball squad, is one of six new inductees to the Women's Hall announced here Saturday afternoon during the annual WNBA All-Star game.

Ceremonies will take place on June 13 in Knoxville.

Additionally, the Immaculata championship era 1972-74 is having a pretty good year with another tribute in being named the lastest team honoree as a Trailblazer Award winner by the Women's Hall, following the 1976 USA Olympic squad, which was honored in June.

The Mighty Macs will be inducted as a team winner early next month into the Naismith Hall and in November will join the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame as inductees.

The Trailblazer winners are not part of the formal induction class but former Immaculata coach Cathy Rush and stars Theresa Grentz and Marianne Stanley, now an assistant with the WNBA Washington Mystics, are already in the Women's and Philly Halls as individual enshrinees.

"I'm not surprised that Lisa has been named," Staley said of Leslie, who is being inducted on her first eligibility after retiring from the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks five years ago. "I'm sure this is the first of many for her.

"It's hard to believe that it's already five years since she's played."

Leslie was the MVP on the Sparks' WNBA titles back-to-back in 2001 and 2002.

Her coach Michael Cooper is here coaching the East squad as a result of having the best record with the Atlanta Dream to date and also coached the West squad when he was with the Sparks, making him the only individual to coach both All-Star contingents.

Fred Williams won the East title last season but after not being retained by Atlanta is now with the Tulsa Shock.

Leslie was in familiar territory here having played on seven WNBA All-Star West squads.

The other five inductees are Los Angeles Sparks assistant Gaail Goestenkors, who had a distinguished collegiate coaching career with a longtime stint at Duke followed by a stop at the University of Texas.

Goestenkors also was an assistant on several USA Olympic gold medal-winning coaching staffs.

Brazilian Janeth Arcain was part of the first four WNBA titles won by the former Houston Comets and also earned two Olympic siver medals with her country's national team.

Janet Harris, who her earned accolades as the 1982 national freshman of the year at the University of Georgia, is the latest of four Women's Hall of Famers out of the Georgia proram joining coach Andy Landers, and former olympic stars Theresa Edwwards and Katrina McClain.

Harris, a prolific center, as was Leslie, was the first NCAA player to score 2,500 points and grab 1,250 rebounds.

The late Kurt Budke coached at Louisiana Tech and moved on to Oklahoms State, where his career was tragically cut short in November, 2011, when he and his assistant Miranda Serna were killed in a crash of a private plane while on a recruiting trip.

Budke also led Trintiy Valley Community College to a 222-16 record in seven seasons all of which resulted in conference titles and six trips to the NCJAA title games to earn four championships and two runnerup finishes.

The other inductee is longtime Oregon City High School coach Brad Smith, who in 27 seasons in the Northwest guided the program to three USAToday national championships from 1995-97 and 26 league titles compiling a record of 629-87.

After his East squad had edged the West in overtime 125-124 in the most exciting All-Star game in WNBA history, with all sorts of records being set for the event, Cooper took a few moments to talk about Leslie's entrance to the Women's Hall.

"I was so proud to see her out there today," Cooper said.

Leslie said, 'Coach Cooper, you guys got Shoni Schimmel,' and she took her head band out with the Schimmel 23 and put that on her and that shws that she still has fun with this game of basketball.

"But again," Cooper said, "with her being inducted into the Hall of Fame, what better player? I've never been around a young lady that really worked as hard as they could every single day to get better and was never content.

"She had an MVP season and wanted to do it again," he recalled. "She was always calling me and pulling me into the gym.

"It's funny, if you get a player of her caliber and her magnitude that wants to get better and not just settle for the level she's at, so kudos to 'Smooth,' she did it her way, she went out her way and I'm so glad and honored that I had an opportunity to coach her and still know her as a friend."

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


Philly Summer League: Fairbanks' 35 Points Keeps Hunter Green in the Mix

By Mel Greenberg

Saint Joseph's junior Sarah Fairbanks scored a league-season-best 35 points Thursday night to spur Hunter Green to a 78-62 win over Orange to remain in the upper half of the Philadelphia/Suburban Women's NCAA Summer Basketball League standings.

The five teams that completed their eighth night of competition at Kelly Bolish Gym, home of the AAU Renegades in Hatboro, Pa., in lower Bucks County reached the three-quarter mark on the 12-game schedule whi8le the other eight will get to that point after Tuesday's action.

Two other players hit the 20 or more points in nightly individual achievement milestones.

Division II West Chester star senior Mariah Powell scored 26 for the White squad in a lopsided 102-62 win over Red while former Division II Holy Family star Meghan Gibson out of Archbishop Ryan scored 25 for the first-place and still unbeaten Gold squad which despite having only six players available still pulled out an 83-62 win over Navy Blue as the first four teams all held their spots with wins.

The performancs of the three mentioned players are among the top six in the competition, which is held at the complex that is part of Willow Grove Industrial Commons by the Pennsylvania Tunrpike.

The Guru was not on the scene, having flown here to Phoenix for Saturday's WNBA All-Star game but will return on a red-eye early Monday morning and will be back for Tuesday night's action as well as Thursday this week.

That is one of several reasons for a delay in the report, written from the Arizona desert, but it was sustainable considering there is a long break from Thursday until the league plays again on Tuesday.

There was not much movement in the standings, there is still a clear break after the eighth position that would determine all the playoff squads if the season ended right now, which it doesn't.

So winless Royal Blue (0-7), which was idle, still has a chance, though trailing No. 8 Orange (3-4) by 3.5 games with five games left on Royal's schedule.

When it returns to action, Royal on Tuesday night meets Purple ((3-5) on Court 1 in one of the three opening games among the nightly trio of doubleheaders.

Out of the mix right now but still in playoff contention are 12th-place Red, which is 1.5 games behind Orange, the 10th place duo of Kelly Green and Navy Blue, which are a game back, and No. 9 Purple, which is just a half-game back.

Sewing the Seeds

Here's how the standings shape up right now in determining seed positions, especially off breaking ties.

Gold (7-0), White (6-1), Maroon (6-2), and Hunter Green (5-3) hold the first four slots uncontested.

Sky Blue (4-3) and Black (4-3) are tied for fifth but because the two have yet to meet head-to-head, Sky Blue gets the fifth slot because of a better quality win, having beaten third-place Maroon.

Pink is alone in seventh at 4-4 while Orange barely holds on to the eighth spot at 3-4.

Purple is alone in ninth at 3-5, while Kelly Green wins the 10th-place tiebreaker with Navy Blue because of a head-to-head win, which occurred in overtime.

Red and Royal Blue bring up the rear with uncontested poitions at 12th and 13th.

A Life in Stripes

In a note to the Guru from co-director Steve Michielli, who has been filling in for Commissioner David Kessler during the commissioner's rehab from hip replacement surgery, Michielli says this is his 50th year as a referee -- he also works games in the league.

Michielli said he started when the women played the old six-player system under which only two players called rovers could cross the half-court while among the remaining four, two played offense and two played defense.

They could only dribble the ball three times or it was a violation.

"They've come a long way," Michielli said.

He also worked one of WNBA All-Star Elena Delle Donne's early high school games involving Ursuline Academy when she scored 42 points and has been following her career ever since.

Delle Donne was rookie of the year in 2013 coming out of her collegiate life as an All-American at Delaware but the Chicago Sky center has been sidelned in recent weeks becuse of a recurrence of Lyme Disease.

Thursday's Recaps

White 102, Red 62 --
In this blowout by the Division II West Chester squad after Powell's 25 points noted in the opening segment, four other Golden Rams also scored in double figures for White (6-1).

Junior Dallas Ely snd senior Kendall Benovy each scored 14 points -- Ely also zipped three 3-pointers through the nets -- while junior Brittany Sicinski out of Downingtown West and sophomore Emily Torrance of Henderson High each scored 3 points.

Red (2-6) got 15 points from Oneonta State sophomore Brianna Spector, who also starred at Upper Dublin, while Calypso Carty, a Utica College sophomore out of Central Bucks West scored 13 points. Ely also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.

Black 56, Purple 39 -- The winners, who are also Division II Phildelphia University, got 18 points, including a pair of treys, from senior Najah Jacobs, a former Central star, to lead Black (4-3), while sophomore Mary Newell and Rams sophomore Kelsey Jones out of Mount St. Joseph's each scored nine points with all of Jones' points courtesy of hitting on a trio of 3-point attempts.

Purple (3-5) got 12 points all courtesy of four treys from Division Three Scranton senior Lia DiScasciascio who played at Archbishop Ryan, while Jaclyn Gantz, a Scranton sophomore out of Haverford High, scored 11 points.

Hunter Green 78, Orange 62 -- Besides Fairbanks' big game with 35 for Hunter Green (5-3), Taylor Walker, an incoming Holy Family freshman from Delsea Regional in South Jersey, scored 14 points with a pair of treys, and Holy Family junior Erin Fenningham out of St. Basil scored 1 points, including one 3-pointer.

Orange (3-4), which struggled to make shots, was paced by 17 points from Kelsey Watson, a Division II Kutzteown sophomore out of Methacton High, while Amanda Fioravanti, a Saint Joseph's sophomore scored 14 points.

The Bonenberger sisters, who went to Northampton High, also scored in double figures for Orange as Penn senior Kara collected 11 points and Alyssa of Kutztown scored 10 points.

Gold 83, Navy Blue 62 -- Holding firm behind Gibson's 25 points mentioned in the open passage of information, Gold (7-0) also got 16 points from Jasmine Elum, a Bethune-Cookman graduate out of Bodine High, while Stephanie Leone, a University of Delaware sophomore,scored 15 points, and Darby Festa, a Division III Haverford sophomore out of Cherry Hill East.

Lauren Gold, a Shippensburg sophmore out of Abington Friends, scored 11 points and hit three 3-pointers for Navy Blue (2-5) and Saint Joseph's sophomore Kathleen Fitzpatrick had nine points off three 3-pointers.

Maroon 55, Pink 36 -- Division III Delaware Valley junior Brittany Wood out of Archbishop Ryan, scored 14 points and knocked down four treys while Molly Rubin, a Kenyon College junior out of Princeton Day School scored nine points for Maroon (6-2), and Ryann Fiascki, an East Stroudsburg senior out of Archbishop Carroll, scored eight points.

Pink (4-4), which is also Division II University of the Sciences of Philadelphia, got 13 points and three threes from 2020-targeted senior Sarah Abbonizio of Episcopal Academy, a total matched by Devils teammate and sophomore Brianne Traub.

From the enhanced report of the game from USP's Bob Heller, Pink had juat one field goal in the second half when Maroon used a 14-1 run to pull away.

Sky Blue 70, Kelly Green 55 -- Megan Gallagher, a recent DeSales graduate who also played at St. Basil, scored 13 points for Sky Blue (4-3), which pulled into a fifth place tie, while teammate Jenna Swope, a Division III Gettysburg senior out of Archbishop Wood matched the total.

Brittany Keyes, a Gettysburg senior also out of Archbishop Wood, added 11 points and made three treys for Sky Blue.

Kelly Louin, a Villanova incoming freshman from Mount St. Joseph's, scored 17 points with a pair of treys for Kelly Green (2-5), which is mired near the bottom of the standings, while Villanova sophomore Megan Quinn from Episcopal, scored 13 points.

Newly acquired Vickie Tumasz, a North Penn recent graduate who is heading for Shippensburg, had six points off a pair of 3-pointers.

Individual Scoring Performances
(20 or more points)

35 pts. -- Sarah Fairbanks, Hunt. Grn(W) vs. Orange, July 17
31 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs. Maroon, July 1
27 pts. -- Samantha Stipa, Purple (W) vs. H.G., June 26
26 pts. -- Mariah Powell, White (W) vs. Red, July 17
26 pts. -- Courtney Brown, Maroon (W) vs. R. Blue, July 2
25 pts. -- Meghan Gibson, Gold (W) vs. Navy Blue, July 17
24 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs Hunter Green, June 24
24 pts. -- Erin Fenningham, Hunt. Green (W) vs. N.B., July 1
24 pts. -- Alexis Smith, Gold (W) vs. Maroon, July 1
24 pts. -- Brianne Traub, Pink (W) vs. Royal Blue, July 10
23 pts. -- Lexi Scrivano, Kelly Green (L) vs. White, June 24
22 pts. -- Mariah Powell, White (W) vs. Kelly Green, June 24
22 pts. -- Alex Smith, Gold (W) vs. Orange, June 26
22 pts. -- Brianne Traub, Pink (L) vs. Sky Blue, July 1
21 pts. -- Alex Smith, Gold (W) vs. Hunter Green, June 24.
21 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs. Orange, June 26
21 pts. -- Chelsea Woods,Nav Blu (L-OT),vs.Kelly Grn, July 8
21 pts. -- Amanda Fioravanti, Orange (L) vs. Maroon,July 10
21 pts. -- Natalie Stella, Pink (W) vs. Royal Blue, July 10
21 pts. -- Sarah Fairbanks, Hunt Grn (L) vs. White, July 14
21 pts. -- Ciara Andrews, Royal Blue (L) vs. Gold, July 14
20 pts. -- Brittany Sicinski, White (W), vs. R.B., June 26
20 pts. -- Lauren Crisler, Gold (W), vs. White, July 10
20 pts. -- Natasha Cloud, Gold (W), vs. Royal Blue, July 14

Running Tracker for Playoff Seeds and Tiebreakers
Placements now reflect seeds for most teams but not all if the season ended today, which it doesn't

Gold (7-0): H.G. (W), Orange (W), Maroon (W), Purple (W), White (W), R.B. (W), N.B. (W)
White (6-1): K.G.(W), R.B. (W), Purple (W), S.B.(W), Gold (L), H.G.(W), Red (W),
Maroon (6-2): Red (W), K.G. (W-F), Gold (L), R.B. (W), S.B. (L), Orange (W), N.B. (W), Pink (W)
Hunter Green (5-3) Gold (L), Purp. (L), N.B. (W), Pink (W), Red (W), vs. Black (W), White (L), Orange (W)
Sky Blue: (4-3) R.B.(W), Pink (L), White (L), Maroon(W), Purple (W), Orange (L), K.G. (W)
Black (4-3): Pink (L), Red (L), Orange (W), K.G. (W-F), R.B. (W), H.G. (L), Purple (W)
Pink (4-4): Black (W), N.B. (L), S.B. (W), H.G. (L), Orng (L ), R.B. (W), Red (W-OT), Maroon (L)
Orange (3-4): Gold (L), Black (L), Purple (W-F), Pink (W), Maroon (L), S.B. (W), H.G. (L)
Purple (3-5): N.B.(W), H.G.(W),White (L), Orange (L-F), Gold (L), S.B. (L), K.G. (W), Black (L)
Kelly Green (2-5): White (L), Maroon (L-F), Black (L-F), N.B. (W-OT), Red (W), Purple (L), S.B. (L)
Navy Blue (2-5): Purple (L), Pink (W),H.G.(L), Red (W), K.G. (L-OT), Maroon (L), Gold (L)
Red (2-6) Maroon (L), Black (W), R.B.(W), N.B. (L), H.G. (L), KG (L), Pink (L-OT), Gold (L)
Royal Blue (0-7): S.B. (L), White (L), Red (L), Maroon (L), BLack (L), Pink (L), Gold (L).

Standings (Thru Monday, July 21)

Team, W-L, Pct., G.B., Pts., Opp Pts.

Gold, 7-0, 1.000, --, 556 426
White, 6-1, .857, 1.0, 534 364
fw-Maroon, 6-2, .750, 1.5, 439 281
Hunter Green, 5-3, .625, 2.5, 490 524
Sky Blue, 4-3, .571, 3.0, 450 372
w-Black, 4-3, .571, 3.0, 320 298
Pink, 4-4, .500, 3.5, 430 436
Orange, 3-4, .429, 4.0, 340 385
fl-Purple, 3-5, .375, 4.5, 388 401
fl(2)-Kelly Green, 2-5, .286, 5.0, 291 360
Navy Blue, 2-5, .286, 5.0, 436 462
Red, 2-6, .333, 5.5, 444 537
Royal Blue, 0-7, .000, 7.0, 377 552

fw -- includes forfeit win, fl -- includes forfeit loss

Past Results

Thursday (July 17) Results

White (D2-West Chester) 102, Eed 62
Black (D2-Phila. U.) 56, Purple 39
Hunter Green 78. Orange 62
Gold 83, Navy Blue 83-62
Maroon 55, Pink (D2-USP) 36
Sky Blue 70, Kelly Green 55
Bye: Royal Blue

Tueaday (July 14) Results

White (D2-West Chester) 89, Hunter Green 37
Gold 79, Royal Blue 64
Pink (D2-USP) 64, Red 59, ovt.
Purple 62, Kelly Green 59
Orange 73, Sky Blue 72
Maroon 68, Navy Blue 61

Black (D2-Phila. U.), Bye

Thursday (July 10) Results

Maroon 53, Orange 47
Sky Blue 59, Purple 36
Kelly Green 59, Red 45
Gold 69, White(D2-West Chester) 47
Hunter Green 51, Black (D2-Phila. U) 43
Pink (D2-USP) 70, Royal Blue 50

Tuesday (July 8) Results

Black (D2-Phila. U.) 58, Royal Blue 56
Kelly Green 74, Navy Blue 70, ovt.
Orange 50, Pink (D2-USP) 49
Sky Blue 52, Maroon 47
Hunter Green 75, Red 60
Gold 77, Purple 57

Wednesday (July 2) Results

Hunter Green 51, Pink 47
Maroon 98, Royal Blue 48
White (D2-West Chester) 59, Sky Blue 48
Navy Blue 78, Red 52
Black 2, Kelly Green 0, forfeit
Orange 2, Purple 0, forfeit

Tuesday (July 1) Results

Hunter Green 69, Navy Blue 59
White (West Chester) 54, Purple 45
Gold 85, Maroon 68
Black (Phila. U.) 54, Orange 38
Pink (USP) 59, Sky Blue 56
Red 70, Royal Blue 57

Thursday (June 26) Results

Red 55, Black 54
White 84, Royal Blue 59
Gold 79, Orange 68
Purple 80, Hunter Green 50
Navy Blue 62, Pink 46
Maroon 2, Kelly Green 0 (forfeit)
Bye: Sky Blue

Tuesday (June 24) Results

Purple 69, Navy Blue 44
Maroon 48, Red 42
Sky Blue 93, Royal Blue 43
White (West Chester) 99, Kelly Green 44
Pink (USP) 59, Black (Phila. U.) 53
Gold 84, Hunter Green 59
Bye: Orange

Upcoming Schedule

Tuesday, July 22

7 pm.

Royal Blue (0-7) vs. Purple (3-5), Court 1
Navy Blue (2-5) vs. Black (4-3), Court 2
Gold (7-0) vs. Sky Blue (4-3), Court 3

8:15 p.m.

White (6-1) vs. Orange (3-4), Court 1
Hunter Green (5-3) vs. Maroon (6-2), Court 2
Pink (4-4) vs. Kelly Green (2-5), Court 3

Bye: Red

Thursday, July 24

7 p.m.

Kelly Green vs. Gold, Court 1
Maroon vs. Black, Court 2
Orange vs. Royal Blue, Court 3

8:15 p.m.

Sky Blue vs. Hunter Green, Court 1
Navy Blue vs. White, Court 2
Purple vs. Red, Court 3

Tuesday, July 29

7 p.m.

Red vs. Orange, Court 1
White vs. Maroon, Court 2
Hunter Green vs. Kelly Green, Court 3

8:15 p.m.

Royal Blue vs. Navy Blue, Court 1
Black vs. Sky Blue, Court Court 2
Gold vs. Pink, Court 3

Bye: Purple

That's it for this report.

-- Mel


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WNBA Report: Bird and Latta Picked as Injury Replacements Which Now Gives Each Team Representation at All-Stars

By Rob Knox @robknox1

Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm and Ivory Latta of the Washington Mystics were named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie Wednesday as replacement players for Saturday’s Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN, with tip-off at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT) from US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The addition of Bird and Latta to the two division rosters means every WNBA team will be represented at the annual mid-summer party.

Bird and Latta’s participation in the game will be a treat for fans as both players are pleasant packages of electricity and excitement.

Bird will join the Western Conference roster, filling the spot of Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus, who has missed the last six games due to bursitis in her left knee.

Augustus was picked as a reserve by the West coaches of the six franchises while Latta joins the Eastern Conference roster in place of frontcourt star and former University of Delaware standout Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky.

The all-time Blue Hens great, who has been sidelined for 12 of the Sky’s last 13 games due to the effects of Lyme disease, is missiing the event for the second time in her two seasons as a pro.

Delle Donne had been voted into the game as a starter by fans, receiving the most votes in the East and second overall to West starter Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx.

In 2013 in which she was named rookie of the year unanimously for leading Chicago to the East title and first playoff appearance eight attempts, Delle Donne was the top overall vote getter but missed the All-Stars when she suffered a concussion in a game in Washington just before the weekend's festivities at the home of the Connecticut Sun in Uncasville.

For the 33-year-old Bird, this marks her eighth All-Star appearance, having previously been voted as a starter seven times.

The two-time WNBA champion most recently participated in the 2011 All-Star event held in San Antonio, when the league officially unveiled and honored its Top 15 Players of All Time, of which Bird was a member.

Now in her 12th WNBA campaign, the former University of Connecticut standout ranks second in WNBA history in total assists (2,035) and assists per game (5.4).

Latta, who participated in her first Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star event last year as a reserve, currently leads the Mystics in scoring (11.1 ppg).

The former University of North Carolina star who is an assistant coach to Hall of Famer Sylvia Hatchell at her alma mater in the winter is also tied for second in the league in three-point field goals made this season (45).

Latta has scored in double figures 15 times this season, including in seven of her last eight games. She dropped a season-high 25 points in the Mystics’ season opener against Minnesota.

Eastern Conference Head Coach Michael Cooper will select a player to start in place of Delle Donne.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WNBA: Ogwumike Sister Act and Dupree's Return Highlight All-Star Reserve Selections


By ROB KNOX @knoxrob1

Candice Dupree will be participating in the WNBA’s biggest midsummer party for the first time since 2009.

With the All-Star game being played in Phoenix Saturday afternoon (3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, ESPN2), Dupree, a Temple graduate, will be celebrating at being named an all-star for the fourth time in her remarkable career (2006, 2007 and 2009).

Dupree will enjoy being part of a festive atmosphere that will recognize the best players in the sport and honor her Mercury, who have won 10 straight games entering Tuesday’s home game against Washington.

With Dupree contributing 15.7 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per outing, the Mercury are a league best 16-3 overall.

She has scored in double figures in 13 straight games and recently notched her franchise-best 28th double-double and fourth this season as the Mercury beat the Chicago Sky last Friday.

Dupree also became the 22nd player in WNBA history to score 4,000 career points.

She will join teammates Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, who were named starters last week, as Phoenix representatives in the All-Star game.

Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike, who in April became only the second set of siblings ever selected with the top overall pick in an American professional sports draft made history again.

Chiney, the No. 1 overall pick by the Connecticut Sun this year, and Nneka, the No. 1 overall selection by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2012, have been chosen by the league’s head coaches as reserves.

With that, Chiney, who will be making her first All-Star appearance, and Nneka, who will be making her second, become the first pair of sisters ever selected to participate in the WNBA’s All-Star event.

They started the week by playing against each other for the first time in a game and now they will end the week most likely doing the same thing at some point Saturday.

Nneka scored 24 points to Chiney’s 18 points during an easy Sparks win Sunday in Connecticut.

Also highlighting the reserves are former regular-season MVP Tina Charles (2012), former MVP of the WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile Seimone Augustus (2011), former All-Star MVP Katie Douglas (2006), and third-year forward Jessica Breland, who is enjoying a stellar 2014 campaign just two years after being out of the league following just one season.

For the Eastern Conference, Chiney Ogwumike, Charles of the New York Liberty, Breland of the Chicago Sky, and Erika de Souza of the Atlanta Dream will serve as frontcourt reserves.

Douglas of the Sun and Briann January of the Indiana Fever were both voted in as backcourt reserves.

Douglas will be making her fifth All-Star appearance and Charles and de Souza their third, while Breland and January will join Chiney Ogwumike in making their All-Star debuts.

January played collegiality at Arizona State so this all-star appearance will be meaningful for her.

In addition to Dupree, the reserves for the Western Conference are a pair of two-time WNBA champions from the Minnesota Lynx – backcourt star Augustus and backcourt star Lindsay Whalen.

Joining Augustus and Nneka Ogwumike as frontcourt reserves and Glory Johnson of the Tulsa Shock, while Danielle Robinson of the San Antonio Stars joins Whalen as a reserve in the backcourt.

This marks the fifth All-Star appearance for Augustus and the fourth for both Dupree and Whalen, while Johnson and Robinson join Nneka Ogwumike in returning to the All-Star stage for a second time.

Among the Eastern Conference reserves, Charles and Chiney Ogwumike enter Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 tied for third in the league in double-doubles (8 apiece).

Charles also ranks sixth in scoring (17.1 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (9.0 rpg), while Ogwumike ranks seventh in both scoring (15.4 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg), and sixth in blocks (1.3 bpg).

Breland, who overcame cancer while at the University of North Carolina, and was out of the WNBA in 2012, is having a career year, averaging 11.8 ppg (more than double her previous best of 5.3 ppg) and 7.7 rpg (nearly double her prior best of 4.0 rpg).

De Souza is tied for second in the league in rebounding (9.7 rpg) and ranks 10th in scoring (15.2 ppg), WNBA season – is averaging 13.5 ppg. January is averaging a career-best 11.1 ppg in her sixth WNBA campaign while Douglas – now in her 14th.

For the Western Conference, Johnson sits in fourth place among WNBA rebounders (9.3 rpg) and is 13th in scoring (14.8 ppg). Nneka Ogwumike (15.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Dupree rank among the top 15 in both scoring and rebounding, while Robinson is among the top 10 in both assists (5.2 apg) and steals (1.86 spg).

Whalen ranks third in assists (5.6 apg) and 12th in scoring (15.0 ppg), and her Lynx teammate, Augustus, ranked sixth among WNBA scorers (17.2 ppg) prior to sitting out the last six games due to knee bursitis.

The Ogwumike sisters are two of nine former No. 1 overall draft selections on this year’s All-Star rosters.

The others include starters Diana Taurasi (2004, by Phoenix), Candace Parker (2008, Los Angeles), Angel McCoughtry (2009, Atlanta), Maya Moore (2011, Minnesota), and Brittney Griner (2013, Phoenix), as well as fellow reserves Augustus (2006, Minnesota) and Charles (2010, Connecticut).

Reserves were chosen by the league’s 12 head coaches.

Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team and selected reserves by voting for six players within their own conference, including two guards, three frontcourt players, and one player regardless of position.

Seattle and Washington are the only two teams without any all-stars.

Replacement players, who will take the roster spot of players who cannot play due to injury, will be named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie.

Any changes to the starting lineup necessitated by injury will be made by the head coach of the respective All-Star team.

Under WNBA guidelines, the coach of the previous season's conference champion serves as the All-Star coach for that conference, provided that the coach remains in the same position.

Since Fred Williams, head coach of the 2013 Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream, is now at the helm in Tulsa, the East head coach – Atlanta’s Michael Cooper – was selected based on the club with the best winning percentage through games on June 29. Cooper earned the honor after guiding his club to an 11-4 mark (.733) at that point in the season.

Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve, the former La Salle star from South Jersey who guided the Lynx to the 2013 WNBA title, will lead the West squad.

Individual tickets for Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 start at just $20 and can be purchased online at PhoenixMercury.com/allstar, through Ticketmaster viaTicketmaster.com, by dialing 800-745-3000, or at the US Airways Center Ticket Office.

For every All-Star Game ticket sold, the Mercury will donate $1 to its “All-Stars and Stripes” program benefiting local military heroes and their families.



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Philly Summer League: Cloud's 20 Points Keeps Gold Clear for First

By Mel Greenberg

HATBORO, Pa. --
If the performances in the Philadelphia/Suburban Women's NCAA Summer Basketball League are any indication for competition out of the local collegiate schools this winter then Saint Joseph's coach Condy Griffin and her staff may be NCAA tournament bound for the third straight season.

The Hawks have been blistering the nets on the various squads they have played in the 13-team league and on Tuesday night three of them hit the nightly performance milestone of 20 or more points, including two of them in the same game.

Incoming senior Natasha Cloud out of Cardinal O'Hara High scored 20 points to keep Gold (7-0) unbeaten and alone in first after holding off winless Royal Blue 79-64 at Kelly Bolish Gym, home of the AAU Renegades in Lower Bucks County.

Jasmine Elum, a 2012 graduate of Bethune-Cookman out of Bodine High added 17 points to the Gold attack.

Royal Blue (0-7), which has the nightly bye on Thursday next time out, was still in condition midway through the second half until Goild pulled away.

Saint Joseph's junior Ciara Andrews out of Cheltenham High had 21 points for Royal Blue as did her Hawks teammate Sarah Fairbanks, a junior, for Hunter Green (4-3) in an 89-37 loss to second place White (5-1), which is also the Division II West Chester squad.

Incoming Saint Joseph's freshman Adashia Franklyn out of West Chester Rustin High added 13 points to Royal Blue's offense.

Maroon (5-2) also kept pace among the standings leader with a 68-61 victory over Navy Blue (2-4).

On a night that longtime league commission David Kessler was in the gym for the first time this season following hip replacement surgery several weeks ago four of the six games were tightly contested highligted by Pink (4-3), which is also the Division II University of the Sciences of Philadelphia (USP) squad beating Red 64-59 in overtime while Orange with two members of Penn's defending Ivy League champions competing edged Sky Blue 73-72.

Purple handed Kelly Green a tough loss 62-59 while Maroon survived Navy Blue 68-61.

Bob Heller of USP again provides extra detail on the Pink game which will be covered in the recaps below.

Return of the Commish

As mentioned, comissioner Kessler was in the gym, and while he was still using a wheel chair to get around he hopes to be back driving himself to the complex in the next week or so.

"It was great being back in the gym," Kessler noted in sending the quick recaps to the Guru for the evening's post-games coverage for the first time this season after co-director Sreve Micheilli, who also referees, had been filling in while the comissioner was sidelined.

"I got a lot of hugs and handshakes wishing me well," Kessler said of his first night that is part of his 20th season organizing league operations dating back to his time working for the Dept. of Recreation.

"I was especially grateful for the huge 'get well' card that so many people signed. It was really sweet considering many were new to the league and didn't even know who I was."

It could be noted that Kessler would not have known many of us for a while immediately after his surgery.

He also reported that the Chestnut Hill Local's Tom Utescher, who also covers and photographs the league, had the same procedure but less intensive and is on the mend.

"I talked to him after Tuesday's games and he is doing well," Kessler said.

Celebrity Mom in the House

While Adashia Franklyn was mentioned in the top of this report, what wasn't said was her mother, all-time Temple great Marilyn Stephens, a former Gratz High star, was on the scene for the first time this season.

"I'm just being a mom," Stephens smiled while holding an iPad and taking video action of the Gold-Royal Blue game.

Having previous coached Division II Cheyney, Stephens was busy urging the Royal Blue squad on from the spectator area.

Ironically, the Guru spoke with Stephens just a few moments before WNBA Phoenix Mercury star Candice Dupree, another former Temple all-time great, was announced as one of the league reserve selections by the coaches of the West Division for Saturday's All-Star game, which will be played in Phoenix, where the Guru will be on the scene.

Rob Knox has a separate post on the reserve picks which is either or below this post, depending how the Guru's summer league report drops into the publishing area, though the intent is for Rob's story to be above this.

As to why Franklyn ended up on Hawk Hill and not on North Broad Street, the Guru knows but you'll have to come back this winter when the collegiate action begins.

Trust the Guru, it is not for any negative reason.

Sewing the Seeds

To help guide the radar to the eight-team postseason playoffs in early August, the standings are set in the way they would be to break ties to determine the participants and the pairings.

At the mnoment, the Tuesday action has resulted in a clear break for the eight if the season ended today, but, of course, the action is either just at the halfway point or a game over depending if a squad has played either six or seven games.

But here is how the seed positions are formed and there is a running grid before the standings so you can see what each team has done against the rest of the competition and there is also a complete list of each night's results below to check scores.

Gold, White, and Maroon are clear-cut 1-2-3 right now. Hunter Green and Pink are tied for fourth but Hunter Green's head-to-head win over Pink earns fourth seed and Pink is fifth.

In a three-way tie for sixth, taking games among the three, though there is not a uniform number in the current exercise, Black, which was idle Tuesday and is also the Division II Philadelphia University squad, is sixth with a 1-0 record beating Orange, which is seventh at 1-1 beating Sky Blue, which is eighth being 0-1 with the loss.

Purple is alone in ninth followed by Kelly Green and Navy Blue tied for 10th but Kelly Green ahead on a head-to-head overtime win over Navy Blue.

Red is alone in 12th while Navy Blue completes the list.

But everyone is very much alive for a playoff slot. Purple is only a half-game behind Sky Blue, the current No. 8, while Kelly Green and Navy Blue are a game back, Red is 1.5 games back, and Royal Blue is 3.5 back with five games left on its slate.

Tuesday's Recaps

Orange 73, Sky Blue 72 --
Penn senior Kathleen Roche kept Orange (3-3) in the playoff hunt with 17 points, including four treys, while her senior Quakers teammate Kara Bonenberger out of Northampton High scored 13 points.

Kara's sister Alyssa, a Division II Kutztown senior, is also on the squad. Amanda Fioravanti, a Saint Joseph's sophomore, scored 14 points for Orange.

Hawks sophomore Jessica Pongonis had 13 points for Sky Blue (3-3), while Megan Gallagher, a recent DeSales grad out of St. Basil, scored 12 points and MaryEllen McCollum, a recent Holy Family grad also out of St. Basil, scored 11 points.

Maroon 68, Navy Blue 61 -- Ryann Fiascki, an East Stroudsburg senior out of Archbishop Carroll had 15 points to keep Maroon (5-2) in third place while Taylor Bryant, a Penn player out of Upper Dublin, scored 12 points.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, a Saint Joseph's sophomore, scored 17 points for Navy Blue (2-4), hitting five 3-pointers, while Chelsea Woods, an incoming Saint Joseph's freshman, scored 13 points.

Purple 62, Kelly Green 59 -- Samantha Stipa, an incoming Lafayette freshman out of Spring-Ford, had 17 points, while Lindsay Fluehr, a Division III Scranton senior out of Nazareth Academy, had nine points.

On Kelly Green (2-4), which had won two straight, Villanova incoming freshman Alex Louin from Mt. St. Joseph's, scored 18 points, and her future Wildcats teammate Megan Quinn, a sophomore out of Episcopal, scored 13 points.

White 89, Hunter Green 37 -- The West Chester unit stayed a game behind frontrunner Gold, who beat them last week, as Kendall Benovy, a senior, scored 17 points, sophomore Victoria Smick out of Woodstown High scored 14 points, which was also collected by junior Brittany Sicinski out of Downingtown West.

While Sarah Fairbanks' 21 for Hunter Green (4-3) was already mentioned, Erin Fenningham, a Holy Family junior out of St. Basil, scored 13 points.

Gold 79, Royal Blue 64 -- All the details were provided in the opening part of the blog but the outcome is repeated here to keep everything grouped in one place for the recaps.

Pink 64, Red 59, overtime -- Sarah Abbonizio, targeted for 2020 graduation because of the work/study program at USP and is an Episcopal Academy Grad, had 15 points to get Pink (4-3) tied for fourth.

Kaitlyn Schmid, a Devils senior, scored 12 points.

Red (2-5) got 16 points from Tuga Goff, a Rosemont sophomore out of Upper Dublin, while Calypso Carty, a Utica College sophomore out of Central Bucks West, scored nine points.

Now for a more detailed account of the action of this game, here is the report from Bob Heller:

USciences’ seniors Kaitlyn Schmid and Jessica Sylvester combined for six straight free throws in the final 1:31 of overtime as the Pink team (made up of all players from University of the Sciences) defeated the Red team 64-59.

Schmid has 12 points for the Pink squad while incoming freshman Sarah Abbonizio led the team with 15 points. Senior Bella Ross added nine points

Tuga Goff (Rosemont College) led the Red team with 16 points and made one of two free throws with 1.7 seconds left to send the game into overtime and erased a 15-point Pink lead. Calypso Carty (Utica College) chipped in nine points while Oneonta State’s Brianna Spector added eight points.

The Pink team had a 15-point lead 43-28 with 9:35 left in regulation before Red scored 11 straight points to pull within four 43-39 as Goff sank a pair of three-pointers in the run.

Two buckets from Abbonizio with slightly over five minutes to play stopped the run and put Pink back up by eight.

A Schmid triple with 4:05 left increased the advantage to nine. Red then closed out the second period with an 11-2 run, holding Pink to just two free throws (both by Ross) to send the game into overtime.

Red trailed by just one when Goff went to the free throw with 1.7 seconds left, missing the first shot before making the second to even the score.

Pink scored the first seven points of the overtime with senior Brianne Traub (eight points) nailing a three-pointer on the team’s first possession and Schmid knocking down a driving layup on the next one.

Sylvester then made a pair of free throws (her first points of the game) to make the score 60-53 with 1:31 left.

Spector hit a triple to pull Red within four 60-56 before Schmid sank two from the charity stripe.

Lauren Rothfield added a three-pointer for the Red team to make it a one-possession game 62-59 with 34.2 seconds left before Sylvester rounded out the scoring with two more free throws with 17.4 seconds left.

Individual Scoring Performances
(20 or more points)

31 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs. Maroon, July 1
27 pts. -- Samantha Stipa, Purple (W) vs. H.G., June 26
26 pts. -- Courtney Brown, Maroon (W) vs. R. Blue, July 2
24 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs Hunter Green, June 24
24 pts. -- Erin Fenningham, Hunt. Green (W) vs. N.B., July 1
24 pts. -- Alexis Smith, Gold (W) vs. Maroon, July 1
24 pts. -- Brianne Traub, Pink (W) vs. Royal Blue, July 10
23 pts. -- Lexi Scrivano, Kelly Green (L) vs. White, June 24
22 pts. -- Mariah Powell, White (W) vs. Kelly Green, June 24
22 pts. -- Alex Smith, Gold (W) vs. Orange, June 26
22 pts. -- Brianne Traub, Pink (L) vs. Sky Blue, July 1
21 pts. -- Alex Smith, Gold (W) vs. Hunter Green, June 24.
21 pts. -- Jasmine Elum, Gold (W) vs. Orange, June 26
21 pts. -- Chelsea Woods, Navy Blue (L-OT), vs. Kelly Green, July 8
21 pts. -- Amanda Fioravanti, Orange (L) vs. Maroon,July 10
21 pts. -- Natalie Stella, Pink (W) vs. Royal Blue, July 10
21 pts. -- Sarah Fairbanks, Hunt Grn (L) vs. White, July 14
21 pts. -- Ciara Andrews, Royal Blue (L) vs. Gold, July 14
20 pts. -- Brittany Sicinski, White (W), vs. R.B., June 26
20 pts. -- Lauren Crisler, Gold (W), vs. White, July 10
20 pts. -- Natasha Cloud, Gold (W), vs. Royal Blue, July 14

Running Tracker for Playoff Seeds and Tiebreakers
Placements now reflect seeds for most teams but not all if the season ended today, which it doesn't

Gold (6-0): H.G. (W), Orange (W), Maroon (W), Purple (W), White (W), R.B. (W)
White (5-1): K.G.(W), R.B. (W), Purple (W), S.B.(W), Gold (L), H.G. (W)
Maroon (5-2): Red (W), K.G. (W-F), Gold (L), R.B. (W), S.B. (L), Orange (W), N.B. (W)
Hunter Green (4-3) Gold (L), Purp. (L), N.B. (W), Pink (W), Red (W), vs. Black (W), White (L)
Pink (4-3): Black (W), N.B. (L), S.B. (W), H.G. (L), Orng (L ), R.B. (W), Red (W-OT)
Black (3-3): Pink (L), Red (L), Orange (W), K.G. (W-F), R.B. (W), H.G. (L)
Orange (3-3): Gold (L), Black (L), Purple (W-F), Pink (W), Maroon (L), S.B. (W)
Sky Blue: (3-3) R.B.(W), Pink (L), White (L), Maroon(W), Purple (W), Orange (L)
Purple (3-4): N.B.(W), H.G.(W),White (L), Orange (L-F), Gold (L), S.B. (L), K.G. (W)
Kelly Green (2-4): White (L), Maroon (L-F), Black (L-F), N.B. (W-OT), Red (W), Purple (L)
Navy Blue (2-4): Purple (L), Pink (W),H.G.(L), Red (W), K.G. (L-OT), Maroon (L)
Red (2-5) Maroon (L), Black (W), R.B.(W), N.B. (L), H.G. (L), KG (L), Pink (L-OT)
Royal Blue (0-7): S.B. (L), White (L), Red (L), Maroon (L), BLack (L), Pink (L), Gold (L).

Standings (Thru Wednesday, July 16)

Team, W-L, Pct., G.B., Pts., Opp Pts.

Gold, 6-0, 1.000, --, 473 364
White, 5-1, .833, 1.0, 432 302
fw-Maroon, 5-2, .714, 1.5, 384 245
Hunter Green, 4-3, .571, 2.5, 412 462
Pink, 4-3, .571, 2.5, 394 381
w-Black, 3-3, .500, 3.0, 264 259
Orange, 3-3, .500, 3.0, 278 307
Sky Blue, 3-3, .500, 3.0, 380 317
fl-Purple, 3-4, .667, 3.5, 349 345
fl(2)-Kelly Green, 2-4, 333, 4.0, 236 290
Navy Blue, 2-4, .400, 4.0, 374 379
Red, 2-5, .286, 4.5, 382 435
Royal Blue, 0-7, .000, 6.5, 377 552

fw -- includes forfeit win, fl -- includes forfeit loss

Past Results

Tueaday (July 14) Results

White (D2-West Chester) 89, Hunter Green 37
Gold 79, Royal Blue 64
Pink (D2-USP) 64, Red 59, ovt.
Purple 62, Kelly Green 59
Orange 73, Sky Blue 72
Maroon 68, Navy Blue 61

Black (D2-Phila. U.), Bye

Thursday (July 10) Results

Maroon 53, Orange 47
Sky Blue 59, Purple 36
Kelly Green 59, Red 45
Gold 69, White(D2-West Chester) 47
Hunter Green 51, Black (D2-Phila. U) 43
Pink (D2-USP) 70, Royal Blue 50

Tuesday (July 8) Results

Black (D2-Phila. U.) 58, Royal Blue 56
Kelly Green 74, Navy Blue 70, ovt.
Orange 50, Pink (D2-USP) 49
Sky Blue 52, Maroon 47
Hunter Green 75, Red 60
Gold 77, Purple 57

Wednesday (July 2) Results

Hunter Green 51, Pink 47
Maroon 98, Royal Blue 48
White (D2-West Chester) 59, Sky Blue 48
Navy Blue 78, Red 52
Black 2, Kelly Green 0, forfeit
Orange 2, Purple 0, forfeit

Tuesday (July 1) Results

Hunter Green 69, Navy Blue 59
White (West Chester) 54, Purple 45
Gold 85, Maroon 68
Black (Phila. U.) 54, Orange 38
Pink (USP) 59, Sky Blue 56
Red 70, Royal Blue 57

Thursday (June 26) Results

Red 55, Black 54
White 84, Royal Blue 59
Gold 79, Orange 68
Purple 80, Hunter Green 50
Navy Blue 62, Pink 46
Maroon 2, Kelly Green 0 (forfeit)
Bye: Sky Blue

Tuesday (June 24) Results

Purple 69, Navy Blue 44
Maroon 48, Red 42
Sky Blue 93, Royal Blue 43
White (West Chester) 99, Kelly Green 44
Pink (USP) 59, Black (Phila. U.) 53
Gold 84, Hunter Green 59
Bye: Orange

Looking Ahead

Hunter Green (4-3) and Orange (3-3) will be going into Thursday's 7 p.m. meeting on Court 2 just a half-game apart.

Pink (4-3) can make Maroon (5-2) part of a tie in the upper part of the standings with a win on Court 3, which will be played as the same time as the Hunter Green/Orange matchup.

Maroon (4-2) will look to stay in the uppper part of the standngs in an 8:15 p.m. game when it meets Navvy Blue (2-3) on Court 3.

It's a key game for Kelly Green (2-4) in one of the three 8:15 p.m. nightcaps when it meets Sky Blue (3-3) on Court 3.

Black (3-3) returns to action just a half-game up on its Purple (3-4) opponent at the same time on Court 1.

Gold (6-0) will be a strong favorite to stay unbeaten when it meets Navy Blue (2-4) in the other nightcap.

Upcoming Schedule

Thursday, July 17

7 p.m.

White (5-1) vs. Red (2-5), Court 1
Hunter Green (4-3) vs. Orange (3-3), Court 2
Pink (4-3) vs. Maroon (5-2), Court 3

8:15 p.m.

Black (3-3) vs. Purple (3-4), Court 1
Gold (6-0) vs. Navy Blue (2-4), Court 2
Kelly Green (2-4) vs. Sky Blue (3-3), Court 3

Bye: Royal Blue (0-7)

Tuesday, July 22

7 pm.

Royal vs. Purple, Court 1
Navy Blue vs. Black, Court 2
Gold vs. Sky Blue, Court 3

8:15 p.m.

White vs. Orange, Court 1
Hunter Green vs. Maroon, Court 2
Pink vs. Kelly Green

Bye: Red

Thursday, July 24

7 p.m.

Kelly Green vs. Gold, Court 1
Maroon vs. Black, Court 2
Orange vs. Royal Blue, Court 3

8:15 p.m.

Sky Blue vs. Hunter Green, Court 1
Navy Blue vs. White, Court 2
Purple vs. Red, Court 3

That's it for this report.

-- Mel


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