Fuller, Payne shine in Prime Time game

BY TRAVIS VARNER | JULY 02, 2009 7:20 AM

Imprinted Sportswear/ Goodfellow Printing set a Prime Time record Wednesday, scoring 26 unanswered points to give it just enough to cling onto a 97-94 victory over Vinton Merchants.

Imprinted/Goodfellow’s success was made possible by the three Hawkeyes on their roster. Aaron Fuller slammed his way to 25 points, Cully Payne dished out 15 assists, and Devan Bawinkel made six 3-pointers en route to collecting 22 points.

Vinton Merchants’ Ray Swetalla was in disbelief after his team was on the wrong side of a 26-0 run. With a 30-22 lead roughly halfway through the first half, he was proud of his team’s intelligent play, but then, Vinton collapsed, not scoring again until 30 seconds remaining in the half.

“We didn’t score for six, eight,10 minutes. I mean it’s a 26-0 run,” Swetalla said. “The whole complexion of the game changed. We probably shot 30 percent for the game … we didn’t play very well for a long stretch and it came back to bite us.”

The basketball just wouldn’t fall through the net for Vinton. The team was frigid from beyond the arc, chilly in the post, and simply ice-cold for 10-straight minutes. Hypothermia had long set in for Vinton when halftime finally arrived.

Damaging its chances at winning was Imprinted/Goodfellow’s Payne. Playing both sides of the ball with precision, the incoming Iowa freshman contested shots, stole passes, shared the ball, and shot jumpers.

Imprinted/Goodfellow head coach Kevin Lehman was pleasantly surprised by his team’s extraordinary play in the first half, and he credits the squad’s success to quality ball movement and good point-guard play.

“Well, we changed the way we played about two games ago, and we’re getting a lot more movement — a lot more ball movement and player movement,” he said.

Despite its record-setting performance, Imprinted/Goodfellow almost squandered the run. Iowa sophomore Anthony Tucker seemed determined to will Vinton back into the game; 23 of his 35 points came in the second half.

“I think I just tried to score a lot more in the second half because we were struggling to get good shots,” he said. “I was just focused on trying to get better shots for others and for myself.”

Swetalla was happy with the players’ ability to dig down and try to come back.

“Well, we started playing more aggressively,” he said. “It was kind of a panic situation. We started moving the ball more in the second half. All kinds of ball movement — drive, kick, and swing the ball, and we got really good shots.”

Lehman was worried near the end of the game that his Imprinted/Goodfellow squad was going to blow its big lead. In the final minutes, his team was getting dominated on the glass and failing to get back on defense. Counting down the clock, Lehman was relieved to hear the final horn.

“They don’t like to rebound because it’s a tough thing to do, and they don’t like to run back on defense in summer league,” Lehman said. “You just got to keep hammering that into your kids that you got to do that. Those are rules of the game that you just can’t violate.”

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