Wahlin explodes in Game Time opener

BY KYLE HUGHES | JUNE 23, 2011 7:20 AM

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Even Kamille Wahlin couldn’t believe how well she played on Wednesday night in the Game Time League season-opener.

When asked about scoring the first 10 points of the second half for her team, Wahlin looked surprised, shook her head and laughed. Her blazing start ignited a 19-4 run that led to an easy 85-61 victory over Hawkeye teammate Morgan Johnson’s team.

Wahlin ended up with a game-high 29 points on 12-for-15 shooting, including 3-for-4 from behind the 3-point line.

“We did a very good job tonight of pushing the ball, and I just found myself able to get open and my teammates found me,” Wahlin said. “I got in the rhythm, and [the shots] went down for me tonight.”

Coach Clark Anderson, who took Wahlin with the first pick in the Game Time draft last week, said he was very pleased with the way his star played.

“[She’s a] great leader — she controls the pace of the game,” Anderson said. “I was joking around with her that I’m calling plays from the sideline, but really I’m not doing anything. It’s just her controlling the pace.”

Wahlin was aided by strong performances from a pair of her Hawkeye teammates, Kalli Hansen and incoming freshman Bethany Doolittle. The pair scored 13 and 15 points, respectively.

Hansen quietly stuffed the stat sheet, grabbing 11 rebounds and tallying seven assists.

However, Doolittle’s play appeared to grab the attention of many of the fans in attendance on Wednesday.

The 6-4 forward battled Johnson in the post all night and held her own against her future Hawkeye teammate. Johnson was assertive offensively, calling for the ball after gaining good post position, but Doolittle was able to disrupt shots with her length.

“Going up against Morgan Johnson is always a task,” Anderson said. “Morgan is a great player, but Bethany did a nice job of reading what she was giving her and then helping out on defense. She’s going to be a great player for Iowa, I think.”

Johnson agreed.

“I love playing against Bethany,” she said. “She’s going to make me so much better, and I’m going to make her so much better all summer long.”

Johnson scored 13 points in the first half for L.L. Pelling/Culver’s, which trailed Vinton Merchants/McCurry’s, 44-42, at halftime. Johnson and her teammates struggled in the second half, though — they shot 8-for-37 as a team and were limited to 19 points.

“I feel like, as a team, we could get a lot better,” Johnson said. “We lost by a lot more than we should have. We went through a spell where we didn’t score a lot … but it’s the first game of the season.”

Johnson’s Game Time teammates from Northern Iowa, Stephanie Davison and Brooke Brown, had solid games with 13 and 11 points respectively.

Wednesday night’s game was the first of four Game Time League regular-season games for each team, and Wahlin said she was happy to get summer-league play underway.

“The first night, you’re always getting used to your team and trying to figure each other out,” Wahlin said. “By the second half, it was a lot of fun playing with different people and getting to know each other.”

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