Sky center Stefanie Dolson remained positive as the Sky struggled early in the season, but her contributions have been more tangible now as the team has won four of its last five games, including a come-from-behind win over the Seattle Storm on Tuesday night.
Dolson was named Eastern Conference player of the week Monday and was named as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star team along with teammate Allie Quigley on Tuesday.
The accolades followed a weeklong stretch when Dolson led the conference in scoring (20.7 points per game) and was third in field goal percentage (.575). The Sky (7-13), who visit the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday, have benefitted as they attempt to turn things around.
“With our team, no matter what the game [result] is, you’ve just got to keep looking forward,” Dolson said. “I’m always a happy person, always looking at the positive things and I just try to relay that to my other teammates and make sure that everyone has a good attitude no matter where we are.”
Dolson’s impact has been important because veteran guard Cappie Pondexter (concussion protocol) has been out. Pondexter is expected to be upgraded to probable Thursday.
Dolson is averaging 13.8 points and 5.9 rebounds and has found a rhythm with point guard Courtney Vandersloot.
“It feels great to just feel a little bit more comfortable with our execution and the way our flow game is happening naturally,” Dolson said.
As Dolson has found her groove, so have her teammates. The five-game turnaround, which includes just a double-overtime loss to the Dallas Wings, has been sparked by improved chemistry and offensive effectiveness. And that has led to increased confidence.
“There’s always a little bit of time for a grace period and a learning curve,” coach Amber Stocks said. “We are getting in sync with our offensive flow. We’re moving the ball extremely well and everybody is understanding their role.”
That includes Dolson, who will be making her second All-Star appearance.
“We just do what we’re doing,” Dolson said. “It just shows how much growth we’ve had. We just have to keep fighting and staying together as a team.”
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