Monthly Archives

July 2017

Dallas Win 2 in Houston, Carolina Gets First Win in Tennessee

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It was a favorable road trip for the Dallas Lighting in Houston Texas this past weekend. The Lightning racked up 2 wins against the Houston Galaxy and the San Antonio Troopers. Dallas set the pace early in the Friday night victory against Houston winning the game 107-51. Houston never stood a chance as Dallas looked sharper than ever this season. “We’re mentally preparing ourselves to win the championship. It’s approaching quickly so I’m pleased that our team is playing as cohesive as we are.” -Dallas Lightning Head Coach Alicia Thompson

Saturday night in Houston, Dallas was able to finish off the weekend with another win against the San Antonio Troopers 110-43. The Troopers showed signs of life early in the first half as the game remained a close match up until halftime. On Sunday, the Houston Galaxy were able to bounce back after their loss to the Dallas Lightning with a win against the San Antonio Troopers prevailing in the 77-57 victory. “Our squad comes to every game and fights for the win, unfortunately we’ve come up short several times season.”-San Antonio Assistant Coach Brushard Williams.

On the Eastern side of the WMLBA, the Carolina Stars got their first win of the 2017 season against the Midwest Reign. They were able to defeat the Reign 88-57 in Tennessee. The Tennessee Storm remains undefeated at home taking care of business against the Carolina Stars 112-57 and the Midwest Reign 116-47. The Tennessee Storm and Dallas Lightning will make a great match up for the WMLBA Championship Game set to tip off Sunday August 6th at 7 pm CST in Houston Texas. Both teams can run up a score board and are loaded with players who fill up a stat sheet. Full coverage of the WMLBA Championship Game will be provided on

-J. Henderson, WMLBA Writer

Two Teams Trying to Make Strong Pushes

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Two teams trying to make strong pushes to end the short, but vital Women’s Minor League Basketball Association (WMLBA) battled it out twice over the weekend here to take pole position over the other.

Score two for the host Midwest Reign.

Winning in two different fashions, the Reign (3-5) swept the visiting Carolina Stars (0-4) at the Joe E. Amayo Argentine Center with victories Saturday (88-84 in double overtime) and Sunday (72-68).

“The girls came back and fought and played together and played the game right, most importantly,” Reign owner and coach Jeff Graves said. “How they practiced turned over how they played in the game (Sunday). I think now, we are playing about 30 good minutes of basketball. We just need to bring together that last 10 minutes.

“We need to work better against pressure and our post needs conditioning and footwork. Working together as a team, we did that for about three quarters and we are better as a team.”

A rally in the fourth quarter by the Reign forced overtime and after two extra sessions, they were able to end a three-game skid behind the play of Leah Smith (22 points, four three pointers), Bree Fowler (17 points), Andrea Rhoiney (12 points), Raven Gary (11 points) and Zaneta Lindsey (10 points).

The Stars received strong performances from Tasha Willis (21 points), J. Tzmbowe and Rachelle Aupoint (16 points apiece) and Jasmine Franklin (10 points).

The Sunday win saw the Reign led by Smith (23 points, including five triples, five assists), Jasmine Thompson (16 points, six rebounds) and Tasha Johnson (14 points, six rebounds).

Carolina was paced by Tzmbowe (16 points), Franklin (13 points), and Aupoint (11 points).

“Since the beginning of the season we haven’t played our game yet, I am just waiting for it to come out,” Stars’ head coach Cierra Anderson said. “Compared to what we do back at home and against other individuals, we are a whole different team. The Stars haven’t showed up yet.

“We did play with heart, determination and desire. They were both good games and the Reign is a pretty good team. We did some things that were wrong and some things that were great.”

Anderson did say she wished the officiating would have been better.

In the second game of the weekend, the Reign came in with fresh legs and fighting spirit following the extra session win just 15 hours earlier, jumping out to a 26-16 lead north of the six-minute mark of the first half, thanks to two Smith threes that sparked a 10-0 run for the hosts.

The Reign used that push to lead 35-23 at the break.

In the second half, the Stars, showing plenty of grit themselves, rallying to within 39-34 halfway through the third quarter, before the Reign began playing some of its best ball on the season.

The hosts went on a 15-3 bender sparked by defensive play that led to scores and a few outside splashes to build a 54-37 edge before settling for a 54-42 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

There things got a little rough for the hosts, as the Stars used full court pressure to turn the Reign over and force some sloppy ball handling to chip away until finally tying the score at 61-all with 3:48 to go.

Smith then took matters into her own hands with a three and a nectar dish to Bree Foster for a five-point lead a minute later and the Reign would hold on for the weekend sweep.

“It was really big, we needed to win and hadn’t had any good wins in a while, so this was helpful for us,” Smith said. “We have our chemistry back and we are starting to be able to play together so that works. We need to get in better shape and just keep executing our plays.”

The Reign travel to Memphis, Tennessee next weekend for a 5 p.m. tip against the Stars on Saturday and then a 3 p.m. Sunday match up against the host Tennessee Storm.

Great Game Play

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Lightning Take Care of Home Court, Grab Two Wins Over Weekend

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The Dallas Lightning bookended a two-game weekend at home with two key wins at Hebron High School in Carrolton, Texas in Women’s Minor League Basketball Association (WMLBA) play.
Friday night, the host Lightning used a consistent run of form to build a double-figure advantage and hang on for a 102-94 win over the Tennessee Storm.
They then took the weekend sweep with a 91-73 win over the Midwest Reign of Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday afternoon.
Tennessee salvaged a split of the weekend with a 109-66 win over the Reign on Saturday as the two Lightning opponents made up the remainder of the weekend slate.
In Friday’s win, the Lightning were sparked by Akil Simpson’s 28 points and 13 rebounds while Antoinette Thompson (20 points, five assists, four rebound), Cecila Okoye (14 points) and Connie Roseman (12 points, four assists) chipped in for the win.
The Storm were led by Ashley Shields (28 points, four rebounds), Brianna Mitchell (18 points, four assists), Kiana James (13 points, 11 rebounds) and Aaliyah Whiteside (13 points, seven rebounds).
The Lightning won the rebound battle 45-33 in a game that saw the two teams combine for a spectacular 54-for-63 shooting from the free throw line.
Tennessee made it 3-for-3 against the Reign this season the next day, as they blew open a close game at halftime with a tremendous performance over the last 20 minutes.
The Storm outscored the Reign 63-28 after the break to turn a 46-38 game at the intermission into an easy win.
Shields (26 points, nine rebounds), Shonice Sprouse (24 points) and Mitchell (22 points) paved the way for Tennessee while the Reign got 17 points and eight rebounds from Jasmine Thompson and 14 points and six rebounds from Tasha Johnson while Bree Walker chipped in with 13 points.
Tennessee forced 23 Reign turnovers and shot 57 percent from the field to the Reign’s 50 percent.
In the win against the Reign, Dallas’ Okoye (27 points, 14 rebounds), Simpson (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Antoinette Thompson (12 points, five assists, four rebounds) led the way for the Lightning to help complete the weekend sweep.
The ladies from Kansas City were paced by Jasmine Thompson’s 26 points and eight rebounds, while  Leah Smith (16 points) and Fowler and Johnson (13 points apiece) helped keep the team in contention.
The Lightning broke out to a 33-19 lead after one quarter, but from there on, the Reign kept things manageable, but could not put a big enough dent on the deficit to make a serious rally.
  • Alan Dale, Women’s Minor League Basketball Association (WMLBA) Media

Grinding Out A Win

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SAN ANTONIO – It was the definition of grinding out a win. The Midwest Reign made the 10-plus hour drive to San Antonio Friday, jumped off the bus and soon took care of business to record the franchise’s first-ever win.

The Reign, led by Jasmine Thompson (22 points) and Rician Walker (11 points) rolled to a 71-49 win in Women’s Minor League Basketball Association (WMLBA) play to move to 1-2 on the season.

“The defense was a key, we are taking pride in our defense and it led to great offensive transition points and opportunities,” Reign owner and head coach Jeff Graves said. “I felt like it was impressive to see us deal with adversity like we have recently and then rolling off the bus and coming out and performing at a top level? I am very proud of these women. We only had eight players to go to and they found a way to get it done.”
The following night, the Reign fell to 1-3 and managed only a split on its first road trip of the season, when the team fell 65-55 to the Houston Galaxy in San Antonio.

Thompson (20 points), Tasha Johnson (15 points) and Bree Fowler (13 points) led the Reign in the defeat.

The squad will next travel to Dallas on Saturday to take on the Tennessee Storm at 7 p.m. and then face the host Lightning at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

– Alan Dale