Despite absences, team comes close in Game Time

BY SEAN MORGAN | JULY 17, 2009 7:15 AM

With only five players on hand, Goodfellow Printing/Imprinted Sportswear head coach Brendan Unkrich couldn’t ask much more of his team.

That doesn’t mean the 65-63 loss his team suffered at the hands of Active Endeavors/McCurry’s on Thursday wasn’t still painful.

“They played extremely well, especially because many of our players were on vacation,” Unkrich said. “The problem was slowing them down in the second half. We were tired and needed to slow it down and play the old Tom Davis-style offense. I would have liked to control the final few possessions, but [Active Endeavors/McCurry’s] had the energy.”

Playing calculated, tempo-controlling basketball was not how Goodfellow/Imprinted took an early lead in the contest, though. It outworked and outshot Active Endeavors/McCurry’s to the tune of a 45-31 halftime score, thanks in part to a 14-point first half by Iowa sophomore Shante Jones. She finished the game with 18 points, seven assists, and four steals.

“We only had five players, so the strategy was to just go your hardest and whatever happens, happens,” Jones said. “I’m really pleased with how we played even though we lost.”

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As dominant as Goodfellow/Imprinted looked in the first half, the second half started out every bit as one-sided, only in Active Endeavors/McCurry’s favor. It went on a 11-4 scoring run at the start.

“We had a slow start,” said incoming Iowa freshman Jaime Printy, who had an uncharacteristically cold shooting night, finishing with only eight points. “We stepped up on defense and came out with more energy in the second half.”

The real key to Active Endeavors/McCurry’s comeback was Iowa senior JoAnn Hamlin, who was the game’s top performer with 22 points and six rebounds. The depleted Goodfellow/Imprinted roster lacked a player with the height and skill set to match up against the 6-3 Hawkeye cocaptain, who was fed the ball down low repeatedly.

Still, the game came down to the wire. Following a missed lay-up by Brooke Quigley of Ellsworth Community College, Active Endeavors/McCurry’s gained possession with 30 seconds left on the clock. Milking the clock down to five seconds, Hamlin got the ball 10 feet from the hoop and scored with two seconds left in regulation. Terri Dirks of Mount Mercy College missed a desperation 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, giving Active Endeavors/McCurry’s the 65-63 come-from-behind victory.

Even though the game-winner didn’t come in a Big Ten game, Hamlin still felt the excitement of the shot.

“It was an emotional comeback,” she said. “Especially since we came from being down by so much. It’s always good to get the game-winning shot.”

By losing a coin flip, Goodfellow/Imprinted, which finished tied for third at 2-8 with Pelling/Cullen, is the No. 4 seed in the Game Time playoffs and will face top-seeded Coralville Hy-Vee at 6 p.m. on July 21. Active Endeavors/McCurry’s clinched the No. 2 seed with the win and will face Pelling/Cullen at 7:30 p.m. that same day.

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