Game Time League almost a wrap

BY TRAVIS VARNER | JULY 23, 2009 7:15 AM

Who will win the Game Time League championship — Coralville Hy-Vee or Active Endeavors/McCurry’s? The ninth-annual league title will be decided at 6 p.m. today at the North Liberty Community Center.

Hy-Vee tends to storm out of the gates early, pushing the tempo almost before the game starts. Then, it slows down having to try to protect its lead. Active Endeavors/McCurry’s is the opposite. It typically starts out slowly, usually waiting until halftime to light up the scoreboard.

Four of the top five Game Time points leaders, all of whom are Hawkeyes, will compete tonight. The top-seeded Hy-Vee squad features the league’s top pick, Iowa junior Kachine Alexander, who averages 24.8 points per contest. Teaming up with her is incoming freshman Morgan Johnson, who has averaged 17.1 points per game this summer.

Active Endeavors/ McCurry’s is led by senior JoAnn Hamlin and incoming freshman Jaime Printy. Hamlin has averaged 19.5 points per game, and Printy is not too far behind at 19 points per contest.
Hy-Vee head coach Mike Stoermer is confident about his team’s chances because of its ability to work the glass, capturing rebounds relentlessly.

“Well, you’ve got ‘Kash,’ who can go after rebounds better than anyone in the Big Ten,” Stoermer said. “Then, you put someone like Morgan Johnson, who is 6-4 and is the tallest person in the league. She’s very athletic and really goes after it. So, we really have the two best rebounders in the league, and I think that helps.”

Rebounding and second-chance points will be keys for Hy-Vee. Both Alexander and Johnson are monsters on the glass — Alexander brings down a league-leading 14.2 boards per game, and Johnson is second capturing 9.8 rebounds per contest.

Despite the rebounding threat Hy-Vee possesses, Active Endeavors/McCurry’s co-head coach Gary Altman thinks if his team sticks to basketball fundamentals, its chances of success are high.

“We are going to have to score more points than they do, going to have to rebound more than they do, and going to have to defend better than they do,” he said. “As long as we do those three things, we have a good chance at winning.”

Alexander loves her team’s size in the post but still thinks it needs to stop the entry pass in the post to claim victory, especially given the inside presence of Hamlin.

“I think more stopping the ball in the post is key; we let the ball get in the post too easily,” Alexander said.

The game tonight is sure to be exciting. Both teams possess talented bigs, great perimeter players, slashers, drivers, and intelligent coaches.

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