To say that the home opener was a success for the Flyers Pro Elite would be an understatement. To find out how big of a success it was all one has to do is listen to Flyers Head Coach/Owner Brittney Koch Dowell.
“I guess first off wow. With that many people on Mother’s Day come out and support us is a great feeling,” said Koch-Dowell “We talked about that in the locker room after the game and it was special seeing that many people come out to see us play.”
Not only were there more fans in the stands than expected Koch-Dowell is even more impressed by the way the community has embraced her team.
“I felt like people were engaged with it and our Facebook has blown up with people telling us how we are role models for the girls in the community. I am blown away by the huge support,” said Koch-Dowell.
As for the actual game, what was supposed to be a dog fight ended up being one team’s game plan executed perfectly.
“We knew going in it was going to be a dog fight against Kansas City,” said Koch-Dowell. “We came out and executed our game plan from the get go. If we play good defense for forty minutes our offense will be there.”
Speaking of offense the Flyers were making quick work of Kansas City despite the efforts of one player quite a few people were there to see.
The homecoming of former Elsberry superstar Kari Koch-Dowell got off to a slow start offensively for the Flyers. However with slick play of Erica Smith, Hasina Muhammad, Channon Haywood and Shakira Jones the Flyers would be able to jump on the Majestic early and often.
“When we have a group of ladies that enjoying playing together it’s easy for them to share the ball,” said Koch-Dowell. “However, I never would have thought our leading scorer the last three years would have only two points going into the half and us have a double-digit lead.”
Even with the slow start Kari ended the game with 11 points, 17 assists and 7 rebounds showing that this team has a lot of depth and athletic talent.
Smith a former Miss Show-Me Missouri Basketball star led the Flyers with 18 points and 8 rebounds.
Muhammad was jumping out of the gym all night with her 4 blocks, 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Other players in double figures were Jones with 15 points and Samantha Price with 11 points. Nine of Price’s points game courtesy of the three ball.
Haywood finished with nine points, followed by Ashley Johnson with seven points and four points each from Cherice Jones and Rita Adams.
“We have the ability each night to have five or more players in double figures,” said Koch-Dowell “Part of that is because of our style of play, we like to get out and run.”
Despite being one of the older teams in the league the Flyers showed in the home opener that their opponents need to lace up those shoes and get ready for fast paced all out game each and every night.
“That type of play is exactly what they give me in practice, all go,” said Koch-Dowell. “I think that is what makes us so tough on the court.”
The Flyers next game will be on Saturday, May 21 at 7 p.m. against the Missouri Arch Angels at Harris Stowe University. Then the next night at home on Sunday, May 22 at 7 p.m.
Both games can be seen live on the Indian Sports Network at www.elsberrydemocrat.com