Victorious Monarchs repeat as WABA National Champs
Monarch team photo after winning National Championship
FLINT, MI – Nearly 400 fans witnessed the Flint Monarchs capture its second straight Women's American Basketball Association national title on Saturday, Aug. 8 at Mott Community College.
The Monarchs used a 30-point fourth-quarter surge to close out the Milwaukee Aces in a 84-61 victory at Ballenger Field House.
Former Michigan State guard and Flint Hamady product Jasmine Thomas was named the Finals MVP after posting a game-high 24 points with seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of blocks.
"Jasmine Thomas is a pro player at any level and she demonstrated that skill today through her dominance during the biggest game of the season," Flint Monarchs president and general manager Drey Wynn said.
Former Marquette star Arlesia Morse also contributed 13 points in the fourth quarter while playing in front of friends, family and her Flint Hamady High School coach Keith Smith.
Wynn confirmed that the championship game attendance, with 380 people, was the best for a home game all season.
During the post-game ceremony, Wynn announced that Nicole Randolph would remain as the Monarchs' head coach as he moves forward with the franchise.
"Coach Randolph was put in a very difficult position being elevated into an interim role during mid-season. She knew there were a lot of people watching her but her performance resulted into a national championship," Wynn said. "She got the team to rally behind her, to pull together as one unit and play at a level I have not seen the Monarchs play in three seasons.
Jasmine Thomas named MVP of WABA Championship Game
Jasmine Thomas looks to attack
Jasmine Thomas (Flint, MI/Michigan State University) was name MVP of the 2015 WABA National Championship game on Saturday August 8, 2015. She posted a game high of 24 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks in the 84-71 victory against the Milwaukee Ace’s in Flint, MI. Congrats Jasmine on representing your city, team and the WABA in a job well done... go Monarchs!
Monarchs host National Championship Game August 8, 2015
Arlesa Morse (#4) leads the Monarchs on Defense
Flint, MI – Mott Community College will host the second annual Women's American Basketball Association national championship game Saturday, Aug. 8 at 4 p.m.
The defending champion Flint Monarchs (6-1) will face the Milwaukee Aces for the title.
At halftime, the Hasselbring Hustlers and Carman-Ainsworth Senior Center Hustlers will combine their dance teams for a special performance.
General admission is $7 for adults and $3 for kids.
"Hosting the WABA National Championship game is something these women earned and an achievement they should be proud of," Monarchs president and general manager Drey Wynn said.
Flint won every league game this summer but suffered its first loss in an exhibition contest Saturday, July 25, at the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Mark Twain Center against the St. Louis Surge.
In a game that was billed as "the Battle of the Champions," Flint lost 87-81 in overtime to the Surge in front of 1,000 fans, according to Arch City Sports. The Surge were the defending champions of the Women's Blue Chip Basketball Association.
Flint closed the regular season with a 97-48 road victory against the Minnesota Flame on Saturday, Aug. 1. Jasmine McCall led the Monarchs with 24 points off six 3-pointers, Lorreal Ryan Jones added 24 points, Tab Harvey scored 22 points, Nya Jordan contributed 17 points and Trenia Barbee finished with 10 points.
"Through all the adversity the team has encountered this season, they have pulled together, become closer and shifted their focus on wining another WABA championship," Wynn said.
Monarchs thrash Minnesota Flame to close regular season
New Head Coach Nicole Randolph instructs the team
Minneapolis,MN-The Flint Monarchs (6-1) defeated the Minnesota Flame 97-48 on the road Saturday August 1, 2015 to close regular season with the best record in league play. The Fabulous Five consisted of Jasmine McCall (24 points & SIX 3-pointers), Lorreal Ryan Jones(24 points), Tab Harvey(22 points), Nya Jordan (17 points) and Trenia Barbee (10 points).
OT Electricity: St. Louis Surge Tops Flint Monarchs, 87-81
Trenia Barbee drives to the hole for 2 of her 14 points
(ST. LOUIS, MO) For the 1,000 in attendance at the St. Louis Surge’shome finale at UMSL Saturday, they certainly got their money’s worth…and then some.
Tied 78-78 after regulation, the Surge utilized a 9-3 overtime frame to pick up an 87-81 victory over the Flint (MI) Monarchs.
As projected, the exhibition match-up between St. Louis, the defending champions of the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball Association (WBCBL), and Flint, holders of the same distinction within the Women’s American Basketball Association (WABA), provided plenty of heart-stopping moments throughout. Nine lead changes during regulation propelled the narrative.
“This was a great match-up between champions and it lived up to expectations,” said Surge forward Rebecca Harris of the six-point win that pushed the team’s overall record to 10-1. “We liked that they came in and brought it to us. We expected nothing less.”
The ensuing donnybrook between the two hard court queen pins was the perfect primer for the Surge’s trek to the WBCBL National Championships next weekend in Greenville, South Carolina. St. Louis, seeded third in the bracketed field of eight, meets sixth-seeded San Antonio in the quarterfinals this Saturday.
“This just prepared us for what’s in store,” assessed Harris. “It provided a great opportunity for us to practice and see that we’re about to see. It wasn’t a pretty game, but it was a battle. That’s what we needed.”
Prior to the opening tip, the numbers overwhelmingly favored St. Louis as the Surge brought a roster of eleven while the Monarchs only fielded six.
However, the visiting empresses brought plenty of firepower and came close to slaying the Surge’s 12-game home winning streak at UMSL’s Mark Twain Building.
Trailing 6-5 two minutes in, St. Louis churned a 7-0 rally to grab the early advantage. Brittany Carter’s scoreboard-flipping three-pointer at the 7:15 mark, followed by buckets from Jaleesa Butler and Carter on the next two possessions, gave the Surge a 12-6 edge with 4:45 left in the first quarter.
The score stretched to 17-10 following Carter’s second three pointer of the quarter at the 3:05 mark but Flint’s 5-0 run, punctuated by Trenia Barbee’s 10-foot jumper with 2:00 left, narrowed the Surge’s lead to 17-15.
St. Louis’ Gabriella Green connected with a three-foot put back off the glass deep in the quarter to give the Surge a 19-15 lead at the conclusion of the first stanza.
Flint whittled away at the deficit to start the second quarter and regained the lead two minutes in as Barbee’s five-foot swisher resulted in a 22-21 scoreboard flip.
After both teams traded buckets on their ensuing possessions, which pushed Flint’s lead to 24-23 at the 7:30 mark, the Surge posted six points uncontested over the next minute. Harris’ eight-foot jumper, Cassie Rochel’s lay-up and Leah Cotton’s five-foot strike gave St. Louis a 29-24 lead with 6:20 left in the half.
Following five minutes of traded points, the Surge’s advantage was pushed to eight with 1:00 left in the frame with Raven Berry’s reverse lay-up that gave the hostesses a 41-33 edge.
The Monarchs countered with a 6-2 run in the final moments as a pair of three-pointers from Jasmine McCall helped narrow the Surge’s lead to 43-39 at halftime.
A 5-0 Surge run to start the third quarter gave the locals its largest lead at that moment. Following Butler’s bucket at the 8:10 mark, St. Louis sported a 48-39 edge.
To its credit, Flint charged back with a 13-6 run over the next five minutes and inevitably sliced the score to 54-52 with 3:25 left in the third quarter.
Harris hit a trey with 2:40 left to push the Surge’s lead to 57-52 but the Monarchs followed with six uncontested. Following Natasha Morris’ lay-up with 1:40 left, Flint manufactured a 58-57 lead change.
St. Louis regained the advantage with one minute left as Carter’s no-look pass to Butler in the paint resulted in an easy lay-up and a 59-58 lead for the Surge that concluded scoring in the third.
Back-to-back St. Louis buckets launched the fourth quarter. Following Harris’ floater with 8:15 left, the Surge sported a five-point lead, 63-58.
The five-point differential was maintained for a good stretch of the final frame. St. Louis held a 73-68 lead with 4:00 remaining following Butler’s two-foot put back.
The Monarchs then proceeded to make its strongest declaration of the evening with an 8-0 run over the next two minutes. Accented by McCall’s three pointer, Flint regained the lead, 76-73, with 2:05 left in the contest.
The Surge countered with back-to-back buckets. Carter’s lay-up at the 1:55 mark whittled the deficit to one point and Harris’ put back with 1:06 remaining gave the Surge a 77-76 lead change.
After both teams came up empty on their next respective possessions, the Surge’s Berry was fouled while shooting with six seconds remaining. She converted the front half of her free throws to give St. Louis a 78-76 lead.
On the ensuing inbounds, the Monarchs raced up the court and McCall forced a shot that tickled twine with three seconds left that tied the score, 78-78.
That would be how the scoreboard read after regulation. The stalemate after forty minutes of competitive play now added an extra frame of five.
“It’s a new ball game,” said Surge coach Tony Condra of the team’s mindset heading into overtime. “Every possession counts.”
Possessions were equal early and the game was tied, 80-80, with 3:40 left in overtime. Defensive pressure ensued from both squads, but the Surge was able to grab an 82-80 lead following Butler’s 10-foot jumper with 1:30 left.
The Monarchs’ Nya Jordan was fouled with :58 remaining and narrowed the game to one point with a converted free throw, 82-81.
The Surge responded with its biggest shot of the night as Butler connected with a three-pointer with :32 left that gave the hostesses an 85-81 lead.
Late free throws made off of Monarch fouls helped St. Louis outscore Flint, 9-3, in overtime to collect the 87-81 victory that pushed the team’s overall record to 10-1.
Four Surge players scored double-digits, paced by Butler’s 25 points.
Harris, who finished with 16 in the ledger, felt that the gut check helped Surge prepare for Saturday’s national tournament launch. Three straight wins in Greenville against the WBCBL’s elite will result in back-to-back championships.
“Going into these games, it will be a battle,” she said. “Probably every game. Whether it’s ugly or not, we need to get wins by any means necessary.”
FLINT MONARCHS (81): Jasmine McCall 22, Jasmine Thomas 17, Trenia Barbee 14, Nya Jordan 12, Lorreal Jones 10, Natasha Morris 6.
ST. LOUIS SURGE (87): Jaleesa Butler 25, Rebecca Harris 16, Brittany Carter 13, Cassie Rochel 13, Raven Berry 8, Leah Cotton 8, Bianca Beck, Gabriella Green 2.
Coach Randolph during the 2015 WABA Championship ceremony
FLINT, MI – As the season winds down, the Flint Monarchs have a new sideline leader.
Former Monarchs coach Bill Schnorenberg abruptly resigned on Friday, July 17 and his assistant Nicole Randolph has been promoted to interim head coach for the remainder of the year.
Monarchs president and general manager Drey Wynn says he was delighted to announce the decision.
"She brings a wealth of knowledge as a former semi-pro and a NCAA Division I basketball player, assistant coach and head coach at the high school and semi-pro levels," Wynn said. "Also, she is familiar with this wonderful group of players who have rallied around her to show their support in her new role."
Randolph played collegiately at Indiana and Oakland Universities. Prior to the Monarchs, she worked as an assistant varsity coach at Detroit Country Day High School and as head coach of the Detroit Blackhawks' semi-pro basketball team.
According to Wynn, Schnorenberg was placed on a one-game suspension before he stepped down due to allegations that he broke a team rule.
"Accountability is a major part of the Monarch philosophy, if a player or coach cannot accept accountability for their actions on or off the court, they will not be a member of the Monarchs basketball club, plain and simple," Wynn stated.
"Ms. Randolph is very hardworking, reliable, and trustworthy and is not the type of person to run from accountability."
Schnorenberg wouldn't go into detail about his decision to leave but did state that he and Wynn "had a difference in opinion in philosophy of the team and our differences became irreconcilable."
"These things never have good timing," he added.
The Monarchs are the defending champions in the Women's American Basketball Association. The franchise became the city's first professional women's basketball team by joining the league last season.
The WABA isn't the premier hoops league for women but ladies do get paid and it's run professionally. Franchises in Springfield, Chicago, Minnesota, Milwaukee and New England all compete in the league. Sonya Nichols is the CEO of the WABA, which relaunched last summer.
Flint (4-0) rallied to beat the Milwaukee Aces 72-63 on Saturday, July 18 at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wis.
Former Marquette star and Flint native Arlesia Morse hit 16 of her game-high 26 points in the victory and former Michigan State guard Jasmine Thomas, another Flint native, added 16 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals.
On Saturday, July 25 at 7 p.m., Flint will travel to the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Mark Twain Center in a game that is being billed as "the Battle of the Champions." Flint will take on the St. Louis Surge in a non-league game. The Surge are the defending 2014 WBCBL National Champions.
Milwaukee, WI- July 19, 2015–The Flint Monarchs rallied to beat the Milwaukee Aces 72-63 on Saturday July 18, 2015 at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI.
“This was the most critical game of the season because the winner would have claimed rights to host the National Championship game,” stated Flint Monarchs President and General Manager Drey Wynn, “and we knew the eyes of the WABA basketball world were upon Coach Nicole Randolph, I’m proud of how she coached this team.”
The Monarchs (4-0) got off to a slow start that later resulted in the Aces (2-2) leading at the end of 1st quarter 16-13.But Arlesia Morse (Flint, MI/Marquette University) sharp shooting broke open the game in the 2nd quarter, she hit 16 of her game high 26 points in that quarter alone making 4 of 5 three point field attempts.
“This was a very physical, mentally challenging victory and it all finally seemed to click for this group of young ladies,” stated Mr. Wynn, “the crowd was into the game, talking trash to our players but it actually fueled them to fight harder to pull off the victory.”
Jasmine Thomas recorded 16 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals, Nya Jordan posted 10 points and 12 rebounds and Jasmine McCall finished with 14 points, 5 assists, 6 steals and 3 rebounds.
The Flint Monarchs next opponent is the St. Louis Surge at 7pm on Saturday July 25, 2015 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis Mark Twain Center. This game is being advertised as “the Battle of the Champions” as the Surge is the defending 2014 WBCBL National Champions.
Jasmine Thomas heads to the free throw line after hitting a layup against Minnesota
The Flint Monarchs have existed for five years but within the past year and a half they have never experienced what it's like to lose, and Saturday was no different. The Monarchs jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they improved to 3-0 on the year. Jasmine McCall and Jasmine Thomas led the Monarchs in scoring with 18 and 16 points respectively. Flint will be back in action next Saturday when they take to the road to battle the Milwaukee Aces.
Monarchs look to extend two-game winning streak at home
Flint Monarchs cheering after home game victory
FLINT, MI – The defending Women's American Basketball Association champion Flint Monarchs are back in action for the summer.
Flint (2-0) hosts the Minnesota Flames (1-1) at Mott Community College's Ballenger Field House this Saturday, July 11 at 4 p.m.
"We are excited to play a new team from a different part of our country," said Monarchs President and General Manager Drey Wynn, "I am confident that Minnesota will come into this game hungry to start their first winning streak."
Fans will be treated to a special dance performance at halftime by the Hasselbring and Carman Ainsworth Senior Center Hustlers.
The Monarchs became Flint's first professional women's basketball team in 2014 when they entered the WABA. The ladies captured a league title last season.
All games this season will be broadcast on MRSN Sports Radio at www.mrsn.us with Donald Mathews calling the play-by-play action. General admission is $7 for adults and $3 for kids.
Flint Monarchs mash the Milwaukee Aces to win home opener 83-72
June 21, 2015-FLINT, MI -- After winning the WABA title last season the Flint Monarchs came into the 2015 season with a bullseye on their backs but so far, they have remained at the top of the food chain. After an 82-49 of drubbing of Springfield last week, the Monarchs improved to 2-0 on the season Saturday with an 83-72 win over Milwaukee. Flint is back in action next weekend when they take on Gem City.