The St. Louis Surge begins its post-season this weekend and looks to punch its ticket to the upcoming Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) national tournament.
The Surge (9-1) is the top seed of the four-team WBCBL Mid West Division tournament and faces fourth-seeded Iowa Force (3-6) in a semifinal match-up set for noon Saturday at UMSL’s Mark Twain Building (1 University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO).
The victor meets the 2 p.m. semifinal winner between second-seeded Nebraska Strikers (8-2) and third-seeded Flyers Elite (6-3) for the WBCBL Mid West Division finale at 7 p.m. The team that raises the trophy at UMSL advances to the eight-team WBCBL National Championship tournament held in Houston, Texas two weekends from now.
St. Louis collected its eighth straight win with Saturday’s 95-58 home victory over Kansas City. In the contest, the Surge posted a 50-37 at intermission and utilized a 24-8 final quarter en route to the triumph.
Six players posted double-digits for the Surge, paced by veteran forward Jaleesa Butler’s 17 points. Bianca Beck, Brittany Wilson and Rebecca Harris each added a dozen while Shanity James and Leah Cotton contributed 11 and 10, respectively.
The slate is now completely wiped clean with the launch of the WBCBL’s playoff brackets. The Surge, national champions in 2014 and overall runner-up last season, treats the upcoming weekend with a fresh mentality.
“It seems like a whole new season for us now,” said Surge guard Rebecca Harris following last Saturday’s 37-point win. “Our regular season record means nothing at this point. It’s a whole new ball game.”
A perpetual twelve-player rotation is key to the Surge’s future success. Contributing to the St. Louis attack will be the steady shooting of forward Michala Johnson, the powerful post play of Cassie Rochel, Tori Waldner, Denisha Womack and Raven Berry as well as the solid ball-handling skills of guard Jenny Rocha.
“Any time it could be anyone’s night and we need that,” said Harris of her team’s depth. “You never know when you’re going to be counted on, so it’s nice to have that.”
The Surge’s Saturday semifinal opponent, Iowa Force, clinched its post-season berth following Saturday’s 80-64 victory over division rival Missouri Arch Angels.
The Force is paced by 5-8 guard Rebecca Kramer, who averages 18 points per contest. Double-digit averages are also possessed by guard Charmaine Bell and forward Alison Nagle.
In its pair of Mid West divisional games played against each other earlier this season, the Surge swept the series but the Force mightily improved in mid-June’s rematch and only trailed by a solo point heading into the fourth quarter of an inevitable 78-66 setback.
St. Louis, who seeks its fourth straight Mid West division title, is amped for the weekend.
A Saturday pass for all three games is $12 while individual game tickets are $8 while those five and under as well as youth players that wear their team’s jersey receive free admission.
For more information, go to stlsurgebasketball.com.
Arch City Sports will be in attendance on Saturday and will have a full recap posted Sunday.