Notes and Quotes:
"It's just a dream come true. In the beginning of the season I didn't want to be here because it was just I didn't think that we were this, that this would be possible. But I'm glad I decided to stay. When I signed my contract, Coach Whisenant told me this was my team. And he needed me to teach the young players how to mature at a young age."
Monarchs guard Nicole Powell, in her press conference after Game 4:
"It hurts to talk right now. I've been screaming so much. I'm just so happy to be here. It's just incredible."
Kara Lawson after the Monarchs clinched their first-ever WNBA title:
"When Ticha went down, all of us on the perimeter had to step up and get through that Houston series. So we have a firm belief in one another and we know what we're good at and we try to do those things. We don't try to be another team. We don't try to recreate our identity. We have a firm belief and that stems from our coaching staff and captains that we can win the way we play. And we proved that tonight."
The Sacramento Monarchs, 2005 WNBA Champions.
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images
"I think you don't really get over (losing in the Finals). That kind of fueled us throughout the season. We played hard every game. I can't say that there was one game we came out and we didn't play hard. And I think a lot of that came from the disappointment last year. And again, we got disappointed again, but, you know, it's over.
You just got to deal with it and just try to get better over the course of this break and just come back and just try to get here again."
John Whisenant, on what it means to win the title:
"There are a lot of players that played selflessly throughout the season. You can just name them all. So my coaching staff did a wonderful job. They even bought into our defensive system and believed in it. Getting people to believe is the first step in any, no matter whether you play a zone or a man to man like we do or some other type of defense or offense, you have to make people believe. And so it's very satisfying for me to come back."
Mike Thibault, after Game 4:
"The fact that we're in the Finals two years in a row is a great thing... As far as assessing what we need to do in the future, I think we need to keep kind of doing what we have done. We have some young players that we have been building around. One of them is Lindsay Whalen. We didn't have her a hundred percent for the series. So I would like to think that maybe we would have been able to play a little bit different in this series. But Sacramento got up on whoever played that position and played them. I just, I don't want to make any comments about the future of this team. The good is we have been here twice and now we have to figure out away to get over the hump."
Connecticut guard Lindsay Whalen said
in Monday's practice prior to Game 4:
"I think we just have to go in and know that it's a one game situation for us now. And we have to go out and play as hard as you can and do everything that you can do and do what you can do to help the team win the game. And that's the mindset that everyone is going to have going into the game."
guard Ticha Penicheiro:
"They know there is no tomorrow if they lose. So we just have to have that frame of mind of not relaxing and not focusing, because there will be a Game 5 if we do that. So we have to come ready to play, focused, with the same energy and effort that we had yesterday and in Game 1. And I think if we do that, in front of our fans, I think we'll be okay and we'll get out of here with a W."
guard Chelsea Newton on closing out the series:
"We're feeling confident but you still have to be careful because of course they have a great team, they didn't win the East for nothing. They didn't have the best record in the league for nothing either. They're a great team. We know they're going to come out tomorrow and probably play their best game of the series. And we just have to be he ready for that, be prepared."
Sun All-Star forward Nykesha Sales, before the final game of the series:
"I think usually when we are against the wall we probably dig a little deeper. That's not good, hopefully you want to be, to have that mentality throughout the whole series. But after the first loss, knowing we were against the wall, we had to come with something, now we know the atmosphere here a little bit and what to expect, so maybe we can come out and be a little more aggressive the next game."
Connecticut's Taj McWilliams-Franklin, after Game 3, on Finals rival and fellow
veteran Yolanda Griffith:
"Me and Yo have been doing battle since the ABL, so I know her game a lot better than a lot of the other players. So that's probably why (Coach) puts me on her. Great player, great touches. Get her where she can score. She's never far from her scoring range."
Sacramento's DeMya Walker, after Game 3's win at home to take a 2-1 edge,
looking back on Game 2:
"I did take it hard personally, because I'm smarter than that. I knew the game plan, I knew I was supposed to take away the three and I didn't do it. So I really was disappointed in myself."
Whalen, prior to Game 3, on the status of her health, after sitting out Game
"I feel better today. Better than yesterday. And my knee's fine. It's more the ankle now. It's all just down in my foot now."
Griffith, after Game 2's overtime loss in Connecticut:
"You've got to move on. You can't dwell on it and hang your head, and if we want to do it over, we might as well give it to them now."
Coach Thibault, after arriving in Sacramento before Game 3 with the series
"Well, it would be nicer to win this one and take a little bit of pressure off, knowing we have two games to win one after that. But this series could go back and forth the whole time. I have no idea."
Nicole Powell, on the Sacramento crowds expected at Games 3 and 4:
"They're awesome. I think they're just going to come out and support us. It feels good for us. I don't think Connecticut is going to really react to the crowd. They're a good team, they have been here before.
Sun forward Brooke Wyckoff, after hitting a shot at the buzzer in Game 2 to
send the game to overtime:
"Yeah, I mean, it was just first it was a feeling of relief being like, you know, we were back in the game and that I actually hit the shot and wasn't the dork that missed it at end with the wide open shot. But, yeah, it's a great feeling. This is what you play the game for is moments like that. So it was exciting, definitely."
John Whisenant after Game 2:
"I was afraid to foul. We talked about it. Coach T suggested fouling and I rejected it because I was afraid we'd foul them shooting and get beat that way. Hindsight, couldn't have been any worse than what happened to us. But at the time I thought we could defend them. That last two or three minutes were the only time all night we played well defensively, and got ourselves back in the game and got control and had the lead, and I thought when we play that way, I think we can win."
McWilliams-Franklin, on the Sun's momentum in the overtime en route to victory
in Game 2:
"Coach Thibault makes us practice a lot of hours, and at the end of practices, we have to play five minutes, no running clock, no fouls, no plays called, up and down. And in overtime, that's why we do it, so we can be prepared for overtime situations."
Yolanda Griffith, after Game 2:
"From beginning to the end, they had a lot of energy. They were more hungry than we were. I think we kind of put it in the back of our heads that we were going back home, but like I've been telling them from day one, nothing is guaranteed."
Lindsay Whalen, after the Sun were upset in Game 1 at home:
"We were 13-1 against the West, so I'm pretty confident that we can win on the road. Obviously we wanted to win tonight, but it happens, you lose a game at home, it was that way tonight. Now tomorrow, we got to go back, re-evaluate and be ready to come and play. Obviously we would have liked to have won, and we're disappointed right now, but at the same time I'm confident going into tomorrow."
Monarchs coach John Whisenant:
"My name is John Whisenant, Sacramento Monarchs, and we are tickled to death, of course, to come here and play a great team like the Sun, and get away with a win. And I'm proud of my team, they played hard, they worked defensively extremely well together, but Connecticut made some unbelievable shots. They stayed we feel fortunate to have won the game."
Sun guard Katie Douglas on the significance of losing Game 1 in a short series:
"It was definitely important for us to get off to a good start, you never want to open up a series, especially in the WNBA Finals, at your place and lose. Sacramento came at hungry and they came up with bigger plays at the end and we can't hang our heads to low because we got to come back out in another 24 hours and be ready to play in Game 2."
Sun guard Jen
Derevjanik, prior to Game 1, when she thought she would be starting for the injured
"I think it's my time to step up, but not only is it my time to step up; a lot of other people have to step up too. Lindsay Whalen is a big part of this team. When she's not able to play I do think, like, if I do good this could create more opportunities for me also, but this is more about the Championship. My team has been number one all through the year and I try to do what I can to help us win."
"They are a great team. It will be by far the toughest challenge we have faced all year. They really don't have any weaknesses as a team. I think they have the best starting five in the league as far as being cohesive and playing together. All five of their positions can score, they are all smart, and they can pass. They defend well; they are underrated defensively. A lot of people talk about us and our defense, but they are very good on the defensive end as well. But we believe in ourselves and have a great opportunity to do something special."
Sun center Margo Dydek on her team's chances in the Finals:
"We've been playing pretty good the whole season long. We have great players. In the middle of the season we had a couple of losses where we were not playing our basketball game, but right now I think we are back in the rhythm and share the ball, looking for the open player.
prior to Game 1:
"I think everyone has really bought into the defense. We work hard for each other. But then there's chemistry as well. Our chemistry is really great right now. You take chemistry and defense and everything else sort of falls into place."