Hawk-less squad wins Prime Time

BY CLARK CAHILL | JULY 28, 2009 7:07 AM

Jill Armstrong of Lepic-Kroeger Realtors had last year’s Prime Time League Most Valuable Player — Iowa sophomore Matt Gatens — on its side.

But a tandem of University of Northern Iowa players led Culver’s of Coralville to the Prime Time League championship Monday night.

Ali Farokhmanesh and Adam Koch scored 31 points and 26 points, respectively, in a 104-88 win.
Trailing 72-58 with 15 minutes left in regulation, Armstrong stormed back with a 23-9 run to tie the game at 81 with seven minutes left.

But the tie was short-lived; Culver’s took a quick 84-81 lead after three free throws from Farokhmanesh and did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.

With 1:15 remaining, trailing 93-86, Armstrong started fouling, hoping that the Culver’s players would miss the free throws. But Culver’s drained seven of its next eight attempts, and Armstrong was only able to muster one field goal in the closing minute.

Gatens was not in his normal offensive form, shooting 1-for-9 from the 3-point line and finishing with nine points. The Iowa City native tallied six assists, but the loss was disappointing for the guard.

“Maybe we were just tired from last game,” he said. “It’s too bad, because we had a chance to win. We ended up having to foul at the end so we got spread out, but we were definitely right there until the end.”

Armstrong head coach Dan Ahrens, who was named the Coach of the Summer before the game, said his team played well, but it was Culver’s night.

“They were hitting shots that normally, I don’t think they are going to hit,” Ahrens said. “It was just one of those nights.”

The only Hawkeye player on Culver’s lineup, Andrew Brommer, could not play because of an ankle injury he suffered when he landed on Gatens’ foot on July 21, leaving Culver’s with only seven players.

Despite Brommer’s absence, head coach Ron Nove thought the team’s effort was the reason for the win.

“We played team basketball: shared the ball, found the open man, and we hit shots,” he said. “I thought we played really good defense and took them out of their game for a while.”

Culver’s roster was his ideal group of players, he said.

“Great bunch of guys. If I’m coaching next year, I’ll take every one of these guys again,” he said. “No one was a ball hog; they shared the ball, they know how to play basketball.”

Despite the loss, Ahrens noted that the league is a great tool for college players to figure out their weaknesses.

“You can go down every player on each college team and point out his weaknesses that each one of them need to work on,” Ahrens said. “Everybody plays so hard in this league, and they have a lot of fun.”

Before the championship game, Prime Time director Randy Larson announced the award winners for the summer.

Along with Ahrens’ coaching award, the league named three co-MVPs — Iowa sophomore Anthony Tucker, Northern Iowa senior Jordan Eglseder, and Northern Iowa senior Adam Koch. Kirkwood Community College guard Kaylon Williams won Defensive Player of the Summer.

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