Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

May 14, 2013

Fever prep for WNBA title defense

INDIANAPOLIS — The defending champion Indiana Fever feel like they are under the radar all over again heading into the WNBA season.

The team brings back 10 players from the 2012 roster and will be trying to become the first repeat champion since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001-02.

They have exactly been the talk of the league so far.

"After we won, people were like, `Oh, they won.' Kind of shocked,'' Finals MVP Tamika Catchings said Monday at media day. "Even going into this year, they're looking at Phoenix because Brittney Griner's there. . Chicago Sky because (Elena) Delle Donne's there. . Tulsa to be a lot better because Skylar's (Diggins) is down there. They're not really talking about the Fever, even though we won. I don't feel like we're the hunted team. I do like that.''

Those first three picks of the 2013 draft are already household names. The Minnesota Lynx still feature Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson.

The Fever won't sneak up on anyone, but will still carry an underdog status. Again.

The Fever could have easily rolled over in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals when Katie Douglas tore a tendon in her ankle in the first five minutes. They went on to trounce the No. 1-seeded Connecticut Sun by 16 points. The defending champion Lynx were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and significant favorites in the finals, especially with Douglas out for the series. The Fever won in four games.

"It's all right,'' point guard Briann January said. "We got our time. We got our moment. We worked hard for it and we really embraced it. We took it all in. We gave it that time and now we have to move on. Now we're here to prove ourselves again.''

Catchings now has just about every conceivable achievement - a title, the 2011 MVP award, three gold medals, five defensive MVPs, seven All-Star games and was named the finals MVP. Douglas, a four-time All WNBA selection, is not 100 percent back from ankle surgery, but expects to be in the next couple weeks.

The core group of January, Shavonte Zellous, Erlana Larkins, Jessica Davenport and Erin Phillips are championship tested. Coach Lin Dunne also expects contributions from the last three first-round picks in Layshia Clarendon, Sasha Goodlett and Jeanette Pohlen.

"Nobody really cares what you did last year. The question is what are you doing right now?'' Dunn said. "What are you preparing to do for the future? We're trying to stay focused on the moment. I think the hunger's there, but you don't want it to be there too soon. You don't want to peak in training camp. It's a process. It's a journey where you get better every day.''

Later Monday, the Fever said forward Shyra Ely-Gash will miss the season after rupturing her right Achilles tendon - her third season-ending injury in four years. Ely-Gash, who missed last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, was signed to a training camp contract in February. In her last healthy season, Ely-Gash averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 33 games for the Fever in 2011.

The Fever open the regular season at San Antonio on May 24.



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0014web.jpg 9 straight for Lady Zebras

    Claremore sophomore forward Bailey Steckline got the ‘hat-trick’ plus one Tuesday night in the Lady Zebras’ 10-0 win over Tulsa Memorial at  LaFortune Stadium.
    Steckline tallied two goals in the first half, and added two more in the second to complete her impressive night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0156web.jpg Tulsa Memorial holds off Zebras, 2-1

    Tulsa Memorial scored a pair of first-half goals  to steal the momentum away from the Claremore Zebras, as well as the 2-1 win Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference action at LaFortune Stadium.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0015web.jpg BASEBALL: Whatley, Howe power Zebras past Tahlequah

    Claremore’s Matt Whatley has proven over the past four years that he’s one of the toughest outs in the Metro Lakes Conference.
    On Tuesday, Whatley went 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple while sparking the Zebras to a 12-2 win over Tahlequah in five innings at American Legion Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Dewey takes pair from Sequoyah

    It’s very difficult to win when you can’t score.
    Class 4A third-ranked Dewey blanked homestanding Sequoyah 7-0 and 2-0 in a district doubleheader on Tuesday, improving to 21-3 with a dominating two-hit pitching performance in the opener and a four-hitter in the nightcap.

    April 18, 2014

  • SOCCER: Sequoyah topples No. 15 Catoosa, 1-0

    Sequoyah boys soccer coach Bob Campbell had one phrase to sum up his feelings following the Eagles’ game with 15th ranked Catoosa at home Tuesday night.
    “We’re in the driver’s seat.’’
    Alex Bourgeois scored late in the first half and Sequoyah made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Indians in a showdown for the district lead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson sprints Zebras to 1st place at OBU Relays

    Claremore senior sprinter Tyler Jackson felt the need for speed Wednesday afternoon at the Oklahoma Baptist University High School Invitational.
    Jackson notched a pair of first-place victories in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash to help Claremore earn 130 points for top honors.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Arkansas Tech roughs up ‘Cats

    The Rogers State University baseball team had a disappointing finish in its home finale as No. 12-ranked Arkansas Tech blanked the Hillcats 11-0 Tuesday evening in non-conference action from the Diamond Sports Complex.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Southwest Baptist slips past NSU, 5-3

     The Northeastern State baseball team lost 5-3 to Southwest Baptist Thursday afternoon at Dobson Field.
     
    The RiverHawks (19-22, 15-18 MIAA) held a 3-0 lead early in the contest, but a late rally from the Bearcats (23-18, 19-13 MIAA) and costly errors from the visitors allowed the home team to secure the series-opening triumph.

    April 18, 2014

  • WOMEN'S TENNIS: Conference champion NSU lands top seed in MIAA tourney

    The No. 31-ranked Northeastern State women's tennis team has drawn the top seed in the 2014 MIAA Women's Tennis Championship, the league announced Thursday morning.

    April 18, 2014