The Texas triangle is synonymous with basketball rivalries, namely the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.
Well it’s time to add the Women’s Minor League Basketball Association (WMLBA) to that list of top spots to watch those three cities wage battle on the hardwood.
This past weekend, the WMLBA launched its first season at the Pearland Recreation Center, home site for the Houston Galaxy who played host to the Dallas Lightning and San Antonio Troopers for a 3-games in 3-days showcase for a new home for professional women’s basketball.
The host Galaxy came out of the round-robin weekend of action with two wins in the same number of contests while the Lighting salvaged a .500 split of the weekend at the expense of the Troopers, who tipped off the 2017 campaign winless.
In the season opener, the Galaxy held off the Lightning, 65-63 on Friday, as Mercedes Johnson led the hosts with 15 points while guard Brittany Maxey added 10 points and four rebounds.
Dallas was led by Shaunte Smith (17 points, nine rebounds), Brandi Leal (12 points), Shaconda Roseman (11 points, four rebounds) and Antoinette Thompson (10 points).
Houston outshot Dallas 41.33 to 33.71 percent and out rebounded the Lightning, 53-30, which included 23 offensive boards that helped the Galaxy get 19 more shots off over the course of the contest.
On Saturday, the Lightning came out looking to bounce back and did so in dominant fashion, pulling away for a 106-48 win over the Troopers.
Smith finished with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Leal and Antoinette Thompson each scored 20 points apiece and Kelsey Wilson contributed 16 points and six rebounds. Roseman added 11 points.
The Lightning shot a blistering 58 percent from the field and committed an impressive eight turnovers compared to 17 for the Troopers, who were held to 30 percent shooting from the field.
San Antonio was led by Ashanti Davis (14 points, seven rebounds) and Ruth Gutierrez (12 points and four rebounds).
The Galaxy closed the weekend out Sunday with a comprehensive 74-48 win over the Troopers.
Houston shot 56.3 percent from the field and were led by Maxey (13 points, five rebounds), Donielle Breaux (12 points) and Johnson (11 points).
Houston also out rebounded San Antonio, 52-31, despite efforts of Trooper forward Tyler Gibson who finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Davis finished with 19 points and Rosy Ofoebu chipped in with 10 points in a losing effort.
-Alan Dale, WMLBA media