(NORMANDY, MO) The St. Louis Surge women’s professional basketball franchise finished second at the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) Midwest Divisional tournament Saturday but still have an outside chance of making the governing body’s national championships next month.
In its pair of hosted games at UMSL’s Mark Twain Building, the Surge (10-2) topped Iowa Force, 105-76, in the semifinals held that afternoon but then fell to Flyers Elite, 91-76, in the trophy game later that night.
With Saturday’s runner-up finish, St. Louis now awaits the decision made by the WBCBL to see if it can net an “at-large” bid for the ensuing eight-team tourney held in San Antonio, Texas in two weeks time.
The Surge, the weekend’s top seed in the WBCBL Midwest Division, handled the fourth-seeded Force easily Saturday afternoon, but then faced the juggernaut of the Flyers Elite, the 2013 WBCBL champs, later that night.
The narrative of the Surge’s 15-point loss in the Midwest Division trophy game was sub-par shooting as St. Louis was 20-of-63 from the floor.
The Elite capitalized on the Surge’s early infractions and posted a 17-9 lead after the first quarter.
In the second, the Surge attempted to stay close but ensuing rallies of six and eight pushed the Elite’s advantage to 31-15 with 2:45 left in the half.
The Flyers sported a 36-23 lead at intermission but the Surge collected back-to-back buckets t o launch the second half as Jaleesa Butler’s ten-foot jumper and Rebecca Harris’ turnaround jump shot narrowed the differential to single points, 36-27 with 9:05 left in the third quarter.
The margin remained at nine to conclude the third quarter as Brittany Wilson connected with a three-point buzzer beater to make the score 57-46 heading into the final frame.
With 3:50 left in the game, the Surge trailed 71-63 but never narrowed the gap. Elite guard Kari Koch-Dowell scored the next 13 points for her squad and widened the score to 84-73 with under a minute left.
The Elite outscored the Surge34-30 in the fourth quarter en route to the 91-76 victory, the Midwest Division title and automatic entry to the WBCBL national championships.
Harris topped Surge scoring with 22 points.