Hubbard makes good first impression in Prime Time League

BY ERIK PAPKE | JUNE 20, 2011 7:20 AM

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Anthony Hubbard introduced himself to a packed gym in North Liberty in a big way on Sunday afternoon.

Hubbard torched Jill Armstrong of Lepic/Kroeger Realtors for a game-high 26 points on 7-for-14 shooting, and he made 12-of-17 free throws and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead Coach’s Corner/Two Rivers Bank & Trust to a 100-91 victory.

The incoming Hawkeye wing player didn’t wait long to show off his athleticism. About halfway through the first half, he received the ball on a fast break, drove toward the paint, and leaped toward the basket from 2 feet inside the free-throw line. Although he missed the dunk, the play drew cheers from the gathered crowd.

Hubbard’s day started off fairly slowly, though. He made just two baskets in the first half and knocked down 2-of-4 free throws for a total of six points in the period. He played primarily down on the block and did not get many chances to score, but he was able to still help his team with three assists and eight rebounds.

“I want to get the guys to trust me with the ball,” Hubbard said. “Part of that is getting other people the ball [and] just making sure they stay involved in the game.”

Teammate Anthony James, a point guard from Northern Iowa, carried most of the scoring load in the first half. His speed and quickness made him a nightmare for Armstrong’s Matt Morrison, a current Panther, and Ali Farokhmanesh, a Northern Iowa alum. His nine first-half points on 2-of-5 field goals and 2-for-2 free throws led Coach’s Corner.

The pace of the game started to pick up in the second half, as players began to look more comfortable playing with each other. Hubbard in particular looked like a completely different player — the Woodbridge, Va., native scored 20 points on 5-for-7 shooting in the second period. He also appeared more confident at the free-throw line and converted 10 of his 13 freebie attempts in the half.

“I really thought [Hubbard] adjusted well in the second half,” Coach’s Corner head coach Kevin Lehman said. “He did what I thought he could do, which was get to the free-throw line a bunch.”

Iowa sophomore forward Zach McCabe also showed up in the second half — literally. The Sioux City native missed the first half of the game for Armstrong.

“I think it’s ridiculous when the Iowa player can’t show up on time,” Armstong coach Dan Ahrens said about his second-round draft pick.

McCabe missed the opportunity to warm up for the game, and it appeared to affect his playing. He missed all four shots he took in the second half and finished with a pair of rebounds and a foul.

Farokhmanesh picked up the slack for Ahrens’ squad. The current Swiss pro had a team-high 21 points on 5-for-7 shooting, while knocking down three 3-pointers to keep the game close.

Other notable players included former City High standout Eric Washpun, who poured in 19 points, and current Hawkeyes Darius Stokes and Jordan Stoermer. The Black and Gold walk-ons finished with 2 and 4 points, respectively.

“[Stokes] needs to learn to play defense,” Ahrens said. “He’s got to play 100 miles an hour … when he comes in and help rebound and defend.”

DI reporter Sam Odeyemi contributed to this article.

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