Virginia Johnson keys easy Game Time win with big double-double

BY BEN SCHUFF | JUNE 30, 2011 7:20 AM

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Last week, Virginia Johnson showed why she was one of the most prized high-school recruits in the class of 2011 by grabbing 15 rebounds.

Last night, Johnson displayed her talents again in dominating fashion. The Iowa City product scored 28 points and pulled down 12 rebounds while leading her squad to a 77-67 victory in Game Time League action.

The soon-to-be Hawkeye freshman was active all night long, on both ends of the floor. Johnson had 13 points and 5 rebounds at halftime, and she added 15 more points in the second period and snagged another 8 rebounds.

Johnson and her teammates were trailing 12-6 midway through the first half. But the 6-1 center was right in the middle of an ensuing 23-6 run that gave Coralville Hy-Vee (1-1) a lead it held for the remainder of the game.

“I think the intensity on the team really picked up, and you could feel it starting to move throughout the team,” Johnson said. “We just picked each other up, and the defense picked up, and the shots started to fall.”

Five Coralville Hy-Vee players scored during the span that swung the momentum in their favor. Coe College’s Leslie Ware made 3-point shots on consecutive possessions, giving her team its first lead at 14-12.

Another incoming Iowa freshman, Samantha Logic, also played a role. The Racine, Wis., native scored a pair of buckets and finished with 15 points.

“I think we were moving the ball pretty well and making their defense rotate,” Logic said. “More than anything, we hit shots this week. I think we got a lot of the same shots [as last week], probably better shots this week, but we just hit shots, and that’s the key to getting the lead.”

Part of Hy-Vee’s success on the offensive end was due to second-chance opportunities. Johnson, Logic, and 5-8 guard Megan Considine combined for 29 rebounds, several of which led to put-backs or a reset of the offense.

“I think that’s just our posts and Megan just going down there,” said Logic, whose team finished with a plus-20 rebounding margin. “Even just tapping the ball loose out to a guard … gives us an extra shot.”

Vinton Merchants (1-1) struggled offensively outside of Kamille Wahlin and Bethany Doolittle — they were the only two to score more than 6 points. Wahlin knocked down 28 points and Doolittle scored 16 points with nine rebounds.

Iowa forward Kalli Hansen struggled in her second game of the Game Time season for Vinton Merchants. After nearly posting a triple-double last week — she was only two assists shy of the feat — Hansen scored only 3 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. The forward managed only one basket all night, going 1-of-6 from behind the 3-point line.

Wahlin looked strong in the losing effort. The Iowa guard — and No. 1 Game Time draft pick — was able to get into the flow of the game with four lay-ups in the early stages of the first half.

“Getting to the rim is one of my focuses this summer,” she said. “I think if I’m able to put a full game together of being able to shoot outside and being able to get to the rim, [I’ll be better] all-around.”

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