Written By: Brian Ledford
After finishing second at the WBCBLs Mid West tournament two weekends ago at University of Missouri-St. Louis, the Surge had to hold its collective breath to see if it would receive an at-large bid to the governing bodys national trophy tilt.
St. Louis inevitably snared entry and, as the seventh seed heading into this weekends eight-team single elimination tourney, netted seeded upsets over #2 Conyers Rockets (112-100), #3Charlotte Invasion (77-62) and #5 Flyers Elite (69-55) en route to its second national title in the past three seasons.
The Surge, the 2014 WBCBL National Champions and last seasons runner-up, finished its 2016 title campaign with a 13-2 record.
This season we set out to accomplish winning another National Championship and we worked hard to build just that, a championship team, said Surge Owner/General Manager Khalia Collier. All season long, we have a been a true team that goes twelve-deep. Every single player contributed to winning this title!
In Saturday mornings quarterfinal match-up against second-seeded Conyers Rockets, the Surge were trailing 26-22 after the first quarter but a 36-17 sprint in the second frame gave the locals a 58-43 lead at intermission.
Saturday nights semifinal against third-seeded Charlotte, the defending WBCBL champion, featured a tighter game defensively. Sporting a 21-13 lead after one quarter, the Surge maintained a 41-32 lead at halftime.
The Surges defense held the Invasion to single digits in the third quarter and, with its 18-7 edge in the frame, possessed a 59-41 lead heading into the fourth.
Charlotte chipped away at the differential but could not stay close as the Surge, paced by 14-point outputs from Shanity James and Michala Johnson, notched the 77-62 duke and entry to the title game.
Sunday afternoons WBCBL trophy meeting with Elsberry, Missouris Flyers Elite, the team that had previously thumped the Surge in the aforementioned Mid West division finale, once again saw St. Louis buckle down defensively and possess a 16-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Flyers Elite outscored the Surge, 20-13, in the second quarter but St. Louis maintained a 29-26 lead at intermission.
The Surge edged the Flyers, 16-13, in the third quarter and possessed a 45-39 lead heading into the WBCBLs final quarter of the season.
In the fourth, St. Louis capitalized on late fouls, converted on free throws, and outscored the Flyers 24-16, en route to the 69-55 triumph that netted the franchise its second WBCBL national trophy.
As a result of its Mid West title setback two weekends ago, the Surge was proverbially on the ropes. With its national trifecta collected in the Lone Star State, the squad has fully established itself as a WBCBL legacy franchise with a 40-5 overall record over the last three seasons and two national trophies.
Our players, coaches, staff and fans gave it everything they had, said Collier. I could not be more proud in all that we have accomplished and what we have built in the city of St. Louis! We are National Champions yet again! I am forever grateful!
Power up, indeed!
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