As Liberty Fall to Washington, Cappie Refuses to Concede Season
Added by Luis Vazquez on August 19, 2013.
Leilani Mitchell harassed by defenders. (Photo by Marlene Amaya-Vazquez)
Sometimes, a loss has to be filed away and forgotten. Such was the case when New York (10-14) dropped their first game to the Washington Mystics in their third encounter this season. The 66-57 loss at the Prudential Center, was a case of doing most everything right, yet still coming out wrong. When a player disrupts the script like Tierra Ruffin-Pratt on this occasion it can be maddening. Tierra scored ten of her twelve points, hitting all five jumpers to keep the Liberty at bay throughout the final quarter. Liberty guard, Cappie Pondexter, confirmed that sometimes these things happen.
“They made plays. I can’t take that away from Washington.” Cappie shrugged, “They penetrated. We tried to stop the penetration. Instead of doing what they normally do, they made us rotate a little more than we should, but that’s the game of basketball.”
The addition of 15 year veteran forward DeLisha Milton-Jones, was the latest in a set of musical chair moves, but DeLisha showed some of the skillset that we can expect as few calls went her way. Also adjusting to a new offense had to be, as expected, pedestrian. Coach Laimbeer, as he juggles role of coach and GM concurrently has made some moves which were curious. Cappie stood by Bill regardless. “I don’t question Bill’s decision making, he’s a smart guy, he’s a winner.”
The battle for consistency is something that gets mentioned and will be the key to making the playoffs. Pondexter sees the glass as half full and intends to drink it for what it’s worth. “We could be one of those teams, who are relevant at the end of season, rolling into the playoffs.” Cappie explained, “You never know when a team like that, with momentum, what kind of devastation we can do.”
The simple formula of success is well known by this club. The problem of implementing it for extended periods, from quarter to quarter, game to game, has been elusive. There have been flashes of brilliance to match the mediocrity of other moments. What will it take to make the playoffs is quite clear to Plenette Pierson, who was held to under double digits in nine of her last eleven games. “We have to come with a killer instinct every game.” Plenette broke it down, “If we want to make the playoffs, we are going to have to scratch, claw, and chew, and everything else to get those victories. We have to have our mental toughness and focus on at all times.”
The chances of making the playoffs, with ten games remaining, four at home, are starting to dwindle. They currently trail the last stop by a half game for the final playoff spot in the east. But sometimes a great player can carry a team through, if convinced. Cappie, who it was announced had a left heel injury, is still determined. “I still have faith. I’m the Ultimate competitor. I’m a winner, and I’m going to keep grinding it out, do what I have to do.