Monarch – More Than A Butterfly

What’s to do in Sacramento on a Saturday Night? Plenty. Sacramento has many different forms of entertainment to amuse anyone. However, this particular Saturday Night, May 17th, 2008 we decided to attend a Sacramento Monarchs game. I’m glad we did. It was a great experience. The Sacramento Monarchs are our entry into the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) and is run by the male NBA. So, we have the Sacramento Kings of the NBA and then the Monarchs of the WNBA. Never heard of the Monarchs? Well, in 2005 they just happened to win it all. That’s right. The Monarchs were champions of the WNBA. I think they’re still champions. Anyway, last night was “Opening Night”. The very first game of the new 2008 season and with tickets in hand off we went.

Here is a close-up of the commerative T-Shirts they were selling at the arena last night.

As we exited the freeway this was our first glimpse of Arco Arena. During the winter this is the home of the Kings but in the summer the Monarchs rule.

The entrance to the parking area. The purple banners say “Go Monarchs”. That’s what we said too.

We arrived early and were able to park real close. Here’s a view of the arena as we walked up.

Those are the doors we must enter through. More purple banners saying “Go Monarchs”.

One of the concession stands for buying all types of food.

This one serves made to order Asian food.

Beer not enough for you? Here’s what you need. Have them prepare your favorite cocktail.

These food vendors have almost everything. Pizza, nachos, hot dogs, popcorn and on and on.

At another food station they offer hand carved sandwiches. Here the chef is slicing the meat.

The customer eagerly awaits his sandwich as the chef puts it all together.

Get your wallet out, here’s the souvenir stand.  Gotta’ have a remembrance.

Another stand selling different souvenirs.

We walk down to the court area.  Just missed the Monarchs practicing.   Anyway, I’m looking up at where our seats are.  We’re in the upper level, the seventh row.  Hey, that’s pretty good for only $10 each!  🙂

Why there’s Mrs. Goyo.  How did she get in here?  Oh yeah, that’s right, she came with me.  🙂

Goyo himself.

This is the view from our seats.  Like I said, pretty good for $10!  🙂

If you like to keep track of the statistics here’s one place to find them.  This board shows total field goal %, free throw %, assists and turnovers for each team.

This one has total blocked shots, rebounds and steals for each team.

Hey, what’s the blimp doing inside the arena?  Best Buy is advertising their store in a unique way as this remote controlled blimp flies around the arena before the game.

The Monarchs doing their warm-up drills right before the game.  Go Monarchs!  Yay!!!

Tonight’s opponent, the San Antonion Silverstars, also warming up at the other end of the court.

Only 1 minute and 41 seconds until game time and the score is 0-0.  This board also shows the starting line-up.  For the Monarchs it is;

#23 La’Tangela Atkinson, a 6 foot 1 guard/forward, University of North Carolina 2006

#32 Rebekah Brunson, a 6 foot 3 forward, Georgetown University 2004

#34 Adrian Wiliams-Strong, a 6 foot 5 forward/center, University of Southern California 1999

#20 Kara Lawson, a 5 foot 9 guard, University of Tennesee 2003

#21 Ticha Penicheiro, a 5 foot 11 guard, Old Dominion University 1998

The San Antonio Silver Stars;

#55 Vickie Johnson, a 5 foor 9 guard, Louisiana Tech 1996

#33 Sophia Young,  a 6 foot 1 forward, Baylor University 2006

#00 Ruth Riley, a 6 foot 5 center, Notre Dame University 2001

#25 Becky Hammon, a 5 foot 6 guard, Colorado State University 1999

#30 Helen Darling, a 5 foot 6 guard, Penn State University 2000

In the WNBA the quarters are only 10 minutes.  After tipoff the Monarchs controlled the ball but failed to score.  But so did the San Antonio Silverstars.  The Monarchs then brought the ball down again.  Ticha Penicheiro hit two free throws after a foul was called and made the first points of the game.  With 9 minutes and 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter the Monarchs lead 2-0.

The Monarchs playing some tough “D”.   Good defense is a key.

Now on offense, the Monarchs, with the ball, attack the goal looking to score.

At the end of the first quarter the Monarchs lead 23-20.  Yay!!!!  Go Monarchs!!!!

Between quarters there is always entertainment.  Here these children came out to dance.  Between the 3rd and 4th quarter one fan was allowed onto the court to try and make some 3 pointers for money.  The also threw T-Shirts into the crowd, gave away an I-Pod and a 37″ LCD TV.  Goyo didn’t win any of those.  😦

The Monarchs must have made a good play because the fans are waving their thundersticks and yelling woohoo!!!  Mrs. Goyo was also yelling woohoo all night.  And so was Goyo.  The attendance was a whopping 16,225!  A lot of people.  Thundersticks are similar to a balloon.  They were given away before the game.  Their an oblong shape, you blow them up, seal the ends and then bang them together to make noise.  Or just wave them while yelling woohoo!!!!  🙂

Halftme and the Monarchs have doubled their lead to six and lead 41-35.  There’s only 13 minutes and 43 seconds remaining before the 3rd quarter starts.  It ought to be exciting.

At half time we were entertained by these two acrobats.  Here the woman is climbing onto the man’s shoulders.

Using only one hand each she balances herself while upside down.  Whoa.  Hey kids, don’t try this at home.  Ok?

End of the 3rd quarter and the Monarchs lead is now ten at 61-51.  Only ten minutes left to play.

The players get ready for a jump ball after a previous play where two players each held onto the ball.

Final score.  Monarchs 73, Silverstars 64.  Monarchs win!!!  Yay!!!! Woohoo!!!!  Yay!!!!   🙂

 

The Monarchs had a good overall game.  They outrebounded the opponent 42-30, 16-13 in assists and 8-7 in blocked shots.  The Silverstars had 11 steals while the Monarchs only had 7.

We had won two tickets to an autograph session with two of the players after the game.  After showering, cleaning up and donning street clothes they emerged.  Here Kara Lawson is eager to sign your autograph.  Kara had a good night, playing 22 minutes, making 3 of 6 from the field (including one 3 point goal), 2 for 2 from the free throw line, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 9 points. 

The other Monarch signing autographs was Adrian Williams-Strong.  She had a very good night.  She also played 22 minutes, was 6 out of 10 from the field, 1 for 1 from the free throw line, 7 rebounds and 13 points.

Here’s what we brought home with us.  Our 4 free thundersticks (2 per person) and a couple of Opening Night commerative T-Shirts.  We also had autographs!!!!  Plus we had a really great time.  The Monarchs are a very exciting team this year with their uptempo style of play.  I can’t wait to go back.

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