Absent Printy makes difference in Game Time loss

BY ERIK PAPKE | JUNE 23, 2011 7:20 AM

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The crowd that showed up on Wednesday evening to see one of the most anticipated matchups of the Game Time League season left disappointed.

The expected battle between Jaime Printy and Kachine Alexander was put on hold when the All-American Printy underwent a procedure to have a cyst removed from her right hand.

The absence of his best player was too much for coach Randy Larson’s team to overcome, and his squad was routed by Alexander and Company, 88-60, in the season-opener.

Printy’s injury was just the first obstacle Larson faced; he also discovered he would have only six healthy players for the game.

Both teams began the game trying to run, and Alexander’s squad quickly pulled ahead to an 11-4 lead. Larson was forced to call an early time-out to let his team rest and regroup.

“They were down a few players, so we ran them a little hard,” opposing coach Brendan Unkrich said after the game.

The time-out appeared to be effective, and Larson’s squad went on a 10-4 run to pull within one point. The squads traded baskets after that; a fast-break lay-up by Northern Iowa’s Jacqui Kalin put Unkrich’s team up by 3, but a trio of 3-pointers tied the game at 20 apiece.

However, the mix of Alexander, Kalin, and Mackenzie Westcott-Bradley quickly put Two Rivers Bank & Trust/Coach’s Corner team back up by 10 points with 7:36 left to play in the half. The Larson-led Monica’s/Bob’s Your Uncle team never got closer.

The lead gradually increased as Unkrich substituted his full lineup frequently to keep the pace fast and his players fresh. A transition lay-up from Northern Iowa’s Moran Lonning and a pair of free-throws from Alexander increased the lead to 14, and the lack of depth appeared to affect Larson’s team.

Monica’s struggled to keep up with the fresh Two Rivers players, and the half ended after a series of turnovers and sloppy shots with Unkrich’s team up by 26 points, 50-24.

The squad looked better after the break, and Monica’s went on a run to cut the lead to 14 points.
Ultimately, though, the team’s depleted roster and lack of experience — only three players on the team have Division-I experience, and the rest of the lineup is made of high-school and small-college players — proved to be the difference.

Incoming Iowa freshman Kathryn Reynolds admitted as much after the game. The Cincinnati native said she was never fatigued but said she was somewhat flustered by the competition.

“The game’s a lot faster than the high-school game,” the 5-7 guard said. “The defense is better, the offense is better, and the girls are just a lot stronger and faster.”

Alexander’s squad took full advantage. Two Rivers went on a 19-5 run to extend their lead to 28 points with 4:18 left, and the lead proved to be insurmountable.

After the game, Larson said he wasn’t frustrated or disappointed in his team.

“I was so proud of our kids for not giving up,” he said.

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