(ST. LOUIS, MO) The St. Louis Surge women’s professional basketball franchise is gearing up for their fifth consecutive appearance at a national tournament.
This comes as a result of their 93-59 victory over Midwest Flyers Elite in the Midwest Division final of the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) Saturday at Washington University’s Field House.
With the win, St. Louis (9-2) advances to the WBCBL Nation Championships held in Charlotte, North Carolina two weekends from now. They will get notification of their quarterfinal opponent when the governing body officially releases the bracket.
For now, the waiting is the hardest part.
“We can’t stand the waiting process,” joked Surge forward Brittany Carter after the dominant win. “Especially with us having a whole weekend off. I mean, no game? We work hard during the week so we can lead up to that game so having those weeks off is going to be tough.”
Perhaps the team feels impatient because they are arguably playing their best basketball of the season. As they began to carve out their fifth consecutive duke, and second straight against their Elsberry arch rival, St. Louis displayed the traits that foreshadow a possible trophy hoist two weekends from now.
As the quarter progressed, St. Louis forward Kristi Bellock began a streak of hot shooting with three straight buckets that helped push the Surge’s lead to 14-6 at the 4:30 mark.
The locals stretched the lead to double-digits with Carter’s three-pointer made with three minutes left that resulted in a 17-6 score. She added another trey one minute later that made the score 20-8.
With a pair of converted free throws made by Mariah King and Kelsey McClure, St. Louis’ 7-0 stretch run that finished the stanza resulted in their 24-8 lead after one quarter.
Carter’s stellar shooting continued in the second and her third three-pointer of the day scored at the 8:30 mark widened the game to 29-12.
Harris’ five-foot jumper at the 5:30 mark pushed the differential to twenty, 33-13, and was extended even further with Butler’s trey made with six minutes left in the half.
Per custom this season, the Surge’s deep bench continued to apply the pressure on both sides of the court. Leti Lerma’s scoop shot with three minutes left pushed the score to 44-18.
Launching the second half, back-to-back buckets from Bellock and Carter pushed the lead past thirty, 54-23 with 8:35 remaining.
Both teams traded points as the quarter progressed. Butler’s hook from under the bucket midway through the frame made the score 60-31. Harris kept the momentum rolling with a three-pointer with 2:20 left that extended the lead to 65-31 and Laura Johnson’s replica thirty seconds later pushed the score to 68-34.
Concluded by Taylor Robinson’s lay-up down the stretch, the Surge outscored the Flyers 22-14 in the third and maintained a 72-37 lead heading into the final quarter.
The fourth saw Bianca Lathom and Sherise Williams get into the scoring ledger en route to their 93-59 victory and automatic entry to the WBCBL national tournament.
Four Surge players scored double-digits on the evening, paced by Harris 19 points.
Offensively, St. Louis was close to fifty percent shooting from the floor (36-74) which included eleven three-pointers made.
“Most teams do not have the depth that we have,” said Carter, who scored 17 points. “If we get a few people who are in foul trouble or are tired, we have that back-up that can come in and contribute right off the bat. We don’t need to take a break.”
The Elite (7-3) could possibly receive an at-large bid to the eight-team WBCBL post-season finale.
The Surge now prepares to go after the top prize they claimed nationally in 2014 and 2016.
“We have worked so hard that we have to go all the way,” said Carter.
For more information on Surge Basketball go to their official website.
SURGE INDIVIDUAL SCORING: Harris 19, Carter 17, Butler 13, Bellock 12, Jones 7, Williams 6, Lerma 4, McClure 4, Robinson 4, Johnson 3, Lathom 2, King 2.