League play a transitional test for incoming freshman hoopsters

BY SEAN MORGAN | JULY 06, 2009 7:20 AM

The leap from prep sports to college can shine a spotlight on a player’s strengths and weaknesses.

For incoming freshmen, Game Time serves as a transitional stage for improving on their game before putting on an Iowa uniform.

L.L. Pelling/Cullen Painting head coach Randy Larson hopes this summer will serve that very purpose for the younger members of his squad, especially incoming freshman Trisha Nesbitt.

“[Nesbitt] is so strong, she’s used to being able to attack the basket easily,” he said. “She’s learning to add to her game. That’s what we are trying to accomplish with this league and the Prime Time League.”

Nesbitt, who scored 10 points on 7-for-10 shooting on July 2 in North Liberty, echoed Larson’s assessment of her game.

“I need to work on my mid-range shot,” she said. “Right now, I rely on my drive.”

Pelling/Cullen and Hawkeye teammate Kelly Krei also struggled in Pelling/Cullen’s 92-73 loss to Active Endeavors/ McCurry’s on July 2. Finishing with 11 points and six rebounds, the sophomore-to-be had problems with accuracy, shooting 5-for-13. She also missed both of her free-throw attempts.

Pelling/Cullen kept if close in the first half, trailing by one at halftime, 43-42. Larson’s squad unraveled at the start of the second half, though, with the players unable to find an answer to the one-two punch of incoming Hawkeye freshman Jaime Printy and Bradley’s MacKenzie Westcott, who finished with 20 and 26 points, respectively.

“We couldn’t make a basket, and we couldn’t stop them,” Larson said. “We had about the same shots that they did, but we couldn’t buy a basket.”

Westcott contributed 15 of her 26 points in the second half, and Printy proved to be too much of a physical mismatch for Pelling/Cullen’s guards, slashing into the lane and shooting the ball around defenders reach.

“We tried to put quick girls on her and not give her the 3, which I think we did a good job doing,” said Larson, whose team did hold Printy to two 3-pointers on four attempts. “She’s very long and is taller than the girls guarding her. She can get past you.”

Printy had a more humble assessment of her game.

“I just shot when I was open,” she said.

She wears No. 24, though not in honor of the Lakers’ future Hall of Famer. She does admit she is a fan.

“This has always been my family’s number. My brother wore it, and my dad wore it,” Printy said. “But I like Kobe [Bryant], though. Kobe’s the man.”

Both teams were missing a Hawkeye presence because of injuries. Pelling/Cullen was without sophomore Hannah Draxten, and senior JoAnn Hamlin sat out for Active Endeavors/McCurry’s. Neither injury is serious.

Pelling/Cullen will face Kachine Alexander and Coralville Hy-Vee on Tuesday. Active Endeavors/ McCurry’s will play Goodfellow Printing/ Imprinted Sportswear on the same night.

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