Payne shines in Prime Time double OT

BY SEAN MORGAN | JULY 07, 2009 7:20 AM

It was just a Prime Time League game. Winning or losing in this league will not reflect on a college player’s career success.

Just don’t tell that to incoming Iowa freshman Cully Payne.

“I like to win,” he said. “Yes, it was tiring. But we already played so much, I was thinking, ‘Why not just win it?’ ”

Just winning it against Iowa teammate Eric May and Gatens Real Estate/McCurry’s proved to be too difficult to accomplish in regulation. It took two overtimes for Imprinted Sportswear/Goodfellow Printing to put away Randy Larson’s squad, 109-106. Imprinted/Goodfellow coach Kevin Lehman said the key to victory was the team’s offensive approach.

“We talked about attacking the basket before we shot the 3 or the jump shot,” he said. “To try to draw defenders at us. Not just settling for the easy jump shot.”

Attacking the basket is exactly what Imprinted/ Goodfellow did. With 30 seconds to go in regulation, Payne cut into the lane, faked the lay-up, and fed Iowa sophomore Aaron Fuller at the baseline with a through-the-legs pass. Fuller scored, making the score 89-87. Payne finished with 22 points and eight assists.

“He’s a great point guard,” Fuller said. “He really knows how to pass the ball. I’m excited to see how he progresses this summer.”

Following a missed free throw by the incoming freshman May, Imprinted/Goodfellow tied the game after former UNI player Eric Coleman rebounded a Fuller miss and put it in at the buzzer.

The opening minute of the first overtime belonged to Fuller, who scored seven quick points, all in the paint, to give Imprinted/ Goodfellow the early lead.

“We thought he had a mismatch,” Lehman said. “We kept using a little high screen. Got him isolated on the weak side block.”

Fuller’s mismatch was exploited to the tune of 27 points and 13 rebounds. His performance wasn’t enough to end the contest in the first overtime, though; Gatens/McCurry’s wouldn’t go away. May used his 6-5 frame and quick first step to slash into the paint and fire off shot after shot from difficult angles, scoring 23 on the night. May beat the other nine down the court and scored a fast-break lay-up to bring the game within two.

Payne missed a 2-pointer on the next possession, and Gatens/McCurry’s got the ball to the game’s high scorer, Jordan Eglseder, who scored on a low post turnaround lay-up to force a second overtime. He finished his double-double outing with 31 points and 18 rebounds.

The second overtime ended much like the first, decided on the final two possessions.

Payne brought his team within one point after scoring on a falling left handed lay-up from a break with 1:07 left in the contest. With a chance to put the game away, May drove to his right but lost control ofthe ball with 30 seconds left.

With the ball in the hands of its leading scorer, Imprinted/Goodfellow looked to win the game with a Fuller lay-up. It bounced harmlessly off the rim but was caught by Coleman and dunked with authority. On the ensuing possession, Eglseder’s 3-pointattempt rimmed out, giving Imprinted/Goodfellow a 109-106 victory.

“We are really coming together now,” Lehman said. “Cully is very intelligent. Fuller had another double-digit rebound performance, and [Devan] Bawinkel has been getting some really great shots.”

There are no games on Wednesday, but when Prime Time returns to action on July 13, Imprinted/Goodfellow will face Jarryd Cole and Pelling /Ready Mix. Culver’s of Coralville is the next team on the schedule for Gatens/ McCurry’s.

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