Dallas played a high level game against another high level team in their 79-89 loss. They fired on all cylinders from both sides of the ball. They served stops and big shots with fervor but the Sky had an appetite for whatever they served. The first quarter was a blur with each team going shot for shot with the Wings falling short in the race.
The second quarter should have come with football pads. Chicago struck the first blow after a ball tie up between Kayla Thornton and Diamond Deshields. Deshields didn’t take too kindly to Thornton digging for the ball and gave a hearty nudge and Thorton responded with a few words of her own.
The short interaction would lead to double technicals and a spark for Dallas. The bruising blows didn’t stop there Stefanie Dolson took out Allisha Gray with a perfectly place shoulder while they peppered small pokes and scratches until the final buzzer rang.
“You’ve got to be mentally strong with that. You can’t let those things break you down,” Thornton explained after the game. When asked about the flagrant foul Thornton was given at the end of the half Isabelle Harrison gave her thoughts on it “You can’t really control the refs you can only control what you do after that and how you react.”
Chicago’s stars made their appearance in the third quarter. Diamond Deshields returned from halftime making a 5-0 run herself to tie the game. Courtney Vandersloot orchestrated the rest of the quarter’s dominance. The savvy veteran dissected the Wings’ defense with pinpoint passes and crafty drives to the basket. When Allie Quigley joined the fun, the trio combined for 21 of their team’s 31 third quarter points.
The fourth quarter was more somber. Dallas kept the energy, looking competitive until the last second but they just couldn’t string along enough buckets to turn the tide. This loss marks their consecutive and their first at home since July 5th.
The locker room was stripped of the energy you saw on the court. Neither player nor coach had much to say as they reflected from this tough loss. “They just came out fighting more. We got out of our zone,” says Kayla Thornton when revisiting the game.
The game’s outcome was obviously tough for everyone but coach Brian Agler say a bright spot in it. While not being able to put an inspiring show together he noticed glimpses of what can be in future scenarios. “I look at how we’re playing more so than I do the score…Just because we get beat doesn’t mean it’s a wash down the drain. It’s some good thing we’re doing and some things we’ve got to work on. So we use that as a learning process.”
Trending on the better side of news, Arike Ogunbowale quietly scored an efficient 20 points. She’s turning the corner from volume scorer to comfortable lead scorer making her Rookie Of The Year conversation more clear.
Dallas will travel to Phoenix on Tuesday to prepare for their July 17th rematch against the Mercury. They’ll look to get their sixth win of the season and right the ship for the second half of the season.