Moore keys Prime Time win

BY TRAVIS VARNER | JUNE 30, 2009 7:21 AM

Ex-Hawkeye Darryl Moore did a little bit of everything in Monday’s Prime Time game, leading Vinton Merchants to victory over L.L. Pelling/Iowa City Ready Mix, 85-74.

Feeding off of sloppy ball handling by Pelling/Ready Mix, Moore pounced on erratic passes, created numerous fast breaks, and scored 18 points. Crediting his coach with some key game plans before tip-off, Moore was happy with his new role in the adapted defensive scheme.

“We were trapping the pick ’n’ roll,” he said. “The fact that I was floating allowed me to play a couple of guys at the same time, so when I can float like that, like a safety, it just kind of helped.”

Before the opening tip, the Vinton players discussed the importance of communicating when back on defense. Every time the opposition tried running a pick ’n’ roll, the Vinton players screamed commands and warnings of screens. The team talked more than a teenage girl on the telephone.

Vinton head coach Ray Swatella harped at his guys during warm-ups to talk when back on defense, and he was pleased with thecommunication exhibited. He thinks the team can make a positive run in Prime Time if it plays as it did Monday.

“When you guard in this league, don’t turn the ball over, and get breakaway lay-ups, you’re probably going to win every night,” Swatella said. “We contested most of their jumpers. They got very little on the pick ’n’ roll. We held them to 75 points, and in this league, that’s everything.”

Turnovers were the key to Pelling/Ready Mix’s defeat. The team fell behind early and tried to cut the deficit all at once. Pushing the tempo to an unmanageable pace, Pelling/Ready Mix forced bad passes and launched quick shots. The majority of the team’s possessions seemed to be over in fewer than six seconds.

Former Hawkeye Duez Henderson was shocked by his team’s performance. Seeking reasons for the team’s sloppy play, he thinks the early deficit largely contributed to Pelling/Ready Mix’s problems.

“We were out of sync … it was just bad basketball,” he said. “I think we kind of got behind early. We got a couple of guys who are capable of scoring one-on-one and tried making things happen. It just got us out of rhythm early, and we just never got back on track.”

Despite Pelling/Ready Mix’s high turnover rate, the team was able to pull a last-ditch rally. With roughly four minutes to play, it cut the lead to 10 points at 73-63, the closest score since early in the first half, and the players seemed to have newfound energy. But then, Iowa sophomore Anthony Tucker pulled up for a quick 3-point shot and extended the lead at 13. The dagger was drawn.

While junior Hawkeye forward Jarryd Cole was disappointed with his Pelling/Ready Mix team’s performance, he was in high spirits after learning he had received the Chris Street Award on Monday. The award recognizes a Hawkeye player that exemplifies the leadership qualities of the late Chris Street.

“I think it’s a great feat. That’s wonderful that the University of Iowa thinks of me as that kind of character,” Cole said. “I’m going to do my best to live up to those expectations. Chris Street was a great man on and off the court is what I hear — I just want to be able to do him some justice.”

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