Despite absences, Coralville Hy-Vee still trounces in Game Time

BY ROBBIE LEHMAN | JULY 08, 2009 7:21 AM

A seven-player roster wasn’t enough to stop Coralville Hy-Vee from laying a smack down on L.L. Pelling/Cullen Painting, winning 98-78 in the Game Time League Tuesday night in North Liberty.

One of Hy-Vee’s absentees was Iowa junior Kelsey Cermak, out with strep throat. That forced the team’s other two Hawkeye players to step up to the challenge, which both junior Kachine Alexander and incoming freshman Morgan Johnson gladly did.

“Today, we didn’t have that deep of a bench,” Alexander said. “We were low on posts. It was kind of one of those things where you just had to go and rely on what you had, which is shooting. This time our shooting was good.”

Alexander assembled an amazing stat line in the victory — 28 points, 23 rebounds, and 10 assists for a triple-double. Johnson held her own with a double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds. Alexander was pleased by her teammate’s performance, and is looking forward to seeing the same type of production from Johnson this winter.

“She’s a good contributor, I’ll put it like that,” Alexander said. “She just keeps moving, and that’s going to be great because it wears defensive players out. She’s a hard worker, and I think that’s going to pay off a lot for us next year.”

Johnson saw some good, some not so good in her performance.

“I thought I played better; I went a little bit stronger to the basket,” she said. “I’m still not making my free throws yet, but that’s something to improve on.”

Iowa sophomore Hannah Draxten hit a 3-pointer to start the game, and Alexander promptly answered with one of her own. That was about as close as it got once Hy-Vee got rolling, and it cruised to a 58-40 halftime lead. Stops were few and far between for Pelling/ Cullen, with coach Randy Larson calling from the sidelines for his squad to make one final charge with about six minutes to go in the second half. But Hy-Vee proved too strong both offensively and defensively to let its lead slip.

Pelling/Cullen’s Hawkeye trio of Draxten, sophomore Kelly Krei, and freshman Trisha Nesbitt were up and down. Nesbitt scored 22 points, hitting all five of her 3-point attempts, but Draxten and Krei both scored in single digits, with seven and eight points, respectively. Draxten saw limited action, however, because she was dealing with back pain.

Johnson said her team, which improved its record to 6-1, is coming together nicely. Five of the team’s seven active players scored in double figures.

“I think we’re really starting to play well, and we’re having a little more fun on the court,” she said. “We are relaxed a little, which is really good, and a lot of people have started to step up, which is good.”

Hy-Vee will match up in a heavyweight showdown with second-place Active Endeavors/ McCurry’s on Thursday, a game that Alexander thinks will be a good test.

“It’s going to be a rough one, I’ll tell you that, because we’re going to have the same team that we had tonight,” she said. “Hopefully, [Morgan] will be able to contain JoAnn [Hamlin], but we’re just going to have to work hard.”

When asked whether she thought her team could make a run at the championship game on July 23, Johnson was blunt.

“Most definitely,” she said. “I can’t be on the team and say we wouldn’t, but I definitely, definitely have a good feeling.”

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