In large Game Time loss, future-Hawk Jones still shines

BY SEAN MORGAN | JUNE 24, 2009 7:21 AM

It was the same old story for Shante Jones. Another strong performance, another big loss.

Leading a depleted Goodfellow Printing/ Imprinted Sportswear squad, the Hawkeye sophomore-to-be scored 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Jones was joined by Terri Dirks of Mount Mercy College, who scored 19. Two players, including Iowa guard Kamille Wahlin, missed the game.

“We are both leaders,” Jones said about her and Wahlin. “I’m just trying my hardest, doing what I can.”

Coralville Hy-Vee was too strong from the opening tip. Lead by a double-double performance by Iowa junior Kachine Alexander, Hy-Vee, which also boasts Hawkeyes Kelsey Cermak and incoming freshman Morgan Johnson, cruised to a dominating 95-71 win.

Alexander, who finished the game with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists, was instrumental in a nail-in-the coffin series that started the second half, in which Alexander either scored or assisted on 11 unanswered points.

She said there is still more work she has to do.

“Work on my 3-point shot,” she said when asked about what she needs to fix. “I need to get my percentage up.”

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Johnson helped control the paint, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking key shots, including a late-game rejection of Jones. Johnson and Cermak scored 12 points each. Adding to the offensive onslaught for Hy-Vee was an 18-point performance by Marion High School’s Morgan Paige, who drained four 3-pointers in the contest, and 15 points by Kayla Lincoln of Coe College.

Still, at the center of the victory, Alexander’s performance stood out.

“She’s such a great ball handler,” Johnson said. “She’s always throwing me pointers, telling me how to fix [my game].”

The lopsided score didn’t stop Jones from battling, and many of her points came from intercepting passes and hustling on fast breaks.

“It’s just something that comes natural,” she said. “I’ve always been really good at anticipation. I try to read people’s eyes and jump into the lane as fast as I can.”

The game was highlighted by two defensive efforts, one physical and the other athletic.

The former came when Jones, while leaping for a loose ball, ran over Alexander.

“She beats on me, I beat on her,” Jones said. “I put a little joke in her ear.”

Alexander got a chance at payback in the second half, when, seemingly out of nowhere, the game’s high scorer took to the air, blocking an unguarded lay-up attempt by Jones.

“[Jones] told me ‘don’t stutter,’ trying to mess me up,” Alexander said.

Hy-Vee will take on the Randy Larson-coached L.L. Pelling Company/ Cullen Painting on Thursday. Goodfellow/Imprinted will seek its first win on Thursday night against Active Endeavors/McCurry’s, which is led by incoming Iowa freshman Jamie Printy and Hawkeye captain JoAnn Hamlin.

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