BRADENTON, Fla. – For a second time in less than a week, they’ve found a way to win a game on their final possession of a contest.
Just as they did last Sunday against the Aces, the Sky looked to a veteran to deliver in the clutch against the reigning WNBA champions.
Cheyenne Parker, who has been with the Sky since the 2015 season, got the game-winning hoop with 5.9 seconds to go to give her team an 88-86 victory. She took the pass from Diamond DeShields inside and got the basket along with the foul, scoring two of her final 16 points on the evening.
According to Parker, the final sequence was quite improvised.
“The last play, it did not go as planned actually. It was just recognition that ‘Sloot’ wasn’t open on the handoff. I was supposed to hand it off to ‘Sloot’ actually but she obviously was being denied and pressured. So, I attacked the rim, and kicked out to the corner. Diamond drove-in, pocket-pass, layup,” said Parker of the last play. “It was not planned at all, it’s, just us playing basketball and doing what we do, moving without the ball, cutting, passing.
“Something that we work on a lot called beautiful basketball I think that’s what helped us get that done.”
It’s the second time in the first four games of the WNBA season that the Sky have won with a shot in the closing seconds. Allie Quigley’s three-pointer with 14 seconds left helped her team beat Las Vegas in the season opener on July 26th.
Like that contest, the Sky finished off the contest on the defensive end with a steal, as Courtney Vandersloot got the steal on the baseline as time ran out. By knocking off the previously undefeated Mystics, the Sky are now tied with them along with the Storm and Lynx atop the early WNBA standings at 3-1.
Parker, who is in her sixth season with the Sky, also had six rebounds on the evening and was matched in points of the bench by Gabby Williams (16). She also had a team-high nine rebounds with Quigley chipping in 15 points, Kahleah Copper 14 and Diamond DeShields 10.
“That’s what makes us the championship team that we’re going to be. Just the threat is one through eight, nine, whatever we have right now,” said Parker of the Sky’s strong offense. “The list goes on with the players that aren’t even playing right now that we miss. We were just saying just imagine if we had Jantel [Lavender] here, just imagine if we had [Stefanie] Dolson playing tonight.
“So, the talent is endless.”
With the veterans getting the job done in the clutch during this first week of the season.