Sans coaches, Active Endeavors/McCurry’s fall in Game Time

BY SEAN MORGAN | JULY 10, 2009 7:10 AM

Playing a team headlined by such Hawkeyes as Kachine Alexander, Morgan Johnson, and Kelsey Cermak is a difficult task. Doing so without the help of a coaching staff is nearly impossible. For Active Endeavors/McCurry’s, it was.

“It’s difficult, sitting on the bench,” said Iowa senior-to-be JoAnn Hamlin, who because of her veteran status took the role as substitute head coach. “I would have liked to see us get the ball down low. Maybe [the coaches] would have seen things we didn’t.”

But even without the absences of coaches Gary Altman and Mark Weaver, it may not have mattered going against Coralville Hy-Vee.

Led by Alexander, who was the top selection in the Game Time League draft last month, Hy-Vee scored 11 points before Active Endeavors/McCurry’s could tally three. Hy-Vee never let up from there, leading by 30 points for most of the second half and finishing with a 90-68 win.

“We moved the ball around well all game; everyone was hitting her shots,” Alexander said. “We just kept moving and passing. I feel like [Kayla Lincoln] hit every 3 she took.”

Lincoln, of Coe College, went 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and scored 24 points total. The star of the blowout was without a doubt Alexander, who finished with her second-consecutive triple-double.

This time around, the Hawkeye junior posted 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Her blanket defense of Active Endeavors/McCurry’s Jaime Printy left the incoming Iowa freshman with an understanding of the work she would have to do to prepare for NCAA competition.

“I’ve got to get stronger,” she said. “Much stronger. She’s the best defender I’ve ever faced. I’ve got to learn to come strong with the ball.”

Printy, who was held to just 10 points and shot only 38 percent from the field, still managed to impress Alexander.

“Printy is a great guard; she can really drive,” Alexander said. “But like a lot of freshmen, she’s looking to pass too much. She’s got such a good shot, I want her to just let it go. “Like I always say, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Alexander, who admits the competitor in her enjoys shutting down freshmen, wasn’t the only Hawkeye battling an Iowa teammate. The game also showcased another underclassmen-upperclassmen struggle between the veteran Hamlin and the incoming freshman Johnson.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” Johnson said. “I’ve always wanted to play against her. One of us has always been out when our teams play. I was really up to play her tonight. Trying to play the underdog thing.”

Statistically speaking, the two centers had almost identical performances. Each put up 12 points, with Johnson pulling down five rebounds to Hamlin’s two. Their styles contrasted though, Hamlin using her polished technique against Morgan, who at 6-5 and fast, posed a mismatch for everyone on the Active Endeavors/McCurry’s roster.

“Morgan is such an active player; she never stops moving,” Hamlin said. “She’s always calling for the ball.”

Cermak shot 80 percent from the field, finishing the game with 17 points for Hy-Vee in the win.

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