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Only 1 Hawk in Prime Time final

BY SEAN MORGAN | JULY 23, 2009 7:15 AM

With only one game left on the Prime Time schedule, Matt Gatens remains the only active Hawkeye left, and he is in jeopardy of losing his title as Prime Time League champion to a team that will field no players who wear the Black and Gold in December.

Gatens and No. 2 Jill Armstrong of Lepic-Kroeger Realtors beat No. 3 Vinton Merchants, 99-89, Wednesday in North Libery, and they will face No. 1 Culver’s of Coralville July 27 in the Prime Time League championship. Culver’s, a team led by the Northern Iowa 1-2 punch of Adam Koch and Ali Farokhmanesh, rolled over No. 5 Imprinted Sportswear/Goodfellow Printing, 101-93.

Hawkeye sophomore Andrew Brommer, a member of Culver’s, will be sidelined two to three weeks with a sprained ankle he received playing a pickup game with his Hawkeye teammates on July 14.

The two squads reached the final round in quite different fashion. Gatens, who finished with a 16-point, 10-assist performance, and his team were tied with Iowa sophomore Anthony Tucker and Vinton Merchants at halftime, at 49.

The second half was a different story.

“We D’d up — that was the main thing. At their first second-half time-out, we had held them to one point,” Gatens said. “From that, we started knocking down some big shots.”



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Tucker, who is also Gatens’ roommate, had a different theory on why his team fell to Armstrong.

“We just didn’t hit any shots. We ran out of gas, we couldn’t counter them — it’s tough not having much of a bench,” said Tucker, who finished with 27 points for the second game in a row. “But [Gatens] doesn’t really have much to say because we already beat them twice.”

Helping to keep it close was Moore, who also contributed 27 points, a feat he was happy to accomplish against much younger competition.

“For me, it’s been great playing with the guys, showing that I can still compete, that I can still hold my own,” he said. “It’s also been great to see some of the younger players progress over the summer.”

One of the players Moore was especially impressed with was incoming Iowa freshman Brennan Cougill, who finished the semifinal loss with a 15-point, 11-rebound outing.

“It’s been great getting the extra workouts this summer, going against strong college players like [Jarryd] Cole and [Jordan] Eglseder,” Cougill said. “It’s been helpful, seeing what I can do and what I can’t. It’s really built up my confidence going into the [Iowa] season.”

Helping to overcome the strong showings from Cougill and Moore were lights-out shooting from Matt Schneiderman, formerly of Northern Iowa, and ex-Upper Iowa star Nick Kramer.

Schneiderman finished with 21 points, with five 3-pointers and seven assists, and Kramer scored a game-high 27 points, sealing the deal for Armstrong.

The Iowa-laden Imprinted/Goodfellow was denied access to the title game by Culver’s, mostly because of excellent chemistry between Panther teammates Farokhmanesh and Koch, who at one point, had their team up by 20 points.

“We play pretty unselfish basketball,” Koch said, who along with every other current Northern Iowa player, was wearing bright purple shoes. “We’ve got a lot of guys contributing.”

Koch finished the game with 19 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds, and he also slammed home two alley-oops sent to him by Farokhmanesh, who finished with 16 points. Kaylon Williams of Kirkwood Community College had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists on his way to a near triple-double.

Randy Larson, who coached Culver’s in place of usual coach Ron Nove, who was out of town, likes the matchup the playoffs produced.

“You’ve got two teams that play the game the right way — that’s how they both got to the finals,” he said. “None of these teams differ in talent. These two just play good basketball.”


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