Cartwright and Company win third-straight Prime Time contest

BY KYLE HUGHES | JULY 13, 2011 7:20 AM

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Bryce Cartwright may end up leading his team to a Prime Time League championship.

The Iowa guard recorded 14 points and 8 assists in a 99-84 victory in North Liberty on Tuesday, sending his team into next week’s playoffs riding a three-game winning streak.

Cartwright fueled the run that put Ready Mix/Vinton Merchants (4-3) ahead for good by shooting 4-for-7 in the second half and finding his teammates for open shots.

Coach Ray Swetalla said his leadership has been a big reason his team has been playing well lately.

“That comes with the territory of being a point guard — that’s my job,” Cartwright said. “I’m supposed to lead, and I did.”

Swetalla said his team’s organization and shot selection allowed his players to get back on defense to stop fast breaks and 3-pointers.

Those components, and stout defense, have allowed Swetalla’s team to outscore its opponents by an average of 17.3 points during the winning streak.

“That’s why we’re winning — because defensively, we’re pretty good,” Swetalla said. “This league’s [teams] usually score 120 [points], and we’re keeping teams in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.”

Eric May and his teammates are the latest victims of that defense. May nearly recorded a triple-double, with 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists, but he struggled to put the ball in the hole. He shot just 3-for-13 in the second half.

Iowa forward Andrew Brommer was a bright spot for McCurry’s/Gatens (2-5). Brommer is only allowed to play three minutes at a time as he returns to playing shape after knee surgery, but he managed to score 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting despite the limitation.

“Basketball is for kids who want to play, and [Brommer] is one of them,” coach Randy Larson said. “He’s really just [playing] because he wants to contribute. He’d probably be just as well off to take the summer off and come back strong in the fall.”

Brommer battled in the post with Hawkeye teammate Gabe Olaseni, who played his best game of the summer. The incoming freshman scored a season-high 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting, including a pair of monster dunks and a few fading jumpers from the lane.

Olaseni also showed some of the defensive ability that his coaches and teammates have been raving about all summer. During one play in the first half, it looked as though freshman Iowa guard Josh

Oglesby had an easy lay-up. He drove baseline and put the shot high in the air, but Olaseni rushed in from the top of the lane and swatted the ball off the backboard.

Cartwright and Olaseni didn’t get the victory all by themselves. European pro Dain Swetalla and Northern Iowa’s Marc Sonnen and Jevan Lyle all scored in double-digits.

“Instead of trying to get 30 [points] a game, which [Dain Swetalla] probably could do, he does a good job of just trying to win games,” Ray Swetalla said. “Without him on the floor, we probably don’t win.”

The experienced play of Cartwright and Dain Swetalla led to the victory on Tuesday and could lead to more in the playoffs, which will start July 17.

“We kept with the same thing, wore them down, and got a W,” Cartwright said. “We’re probably one of the hottest teams heading into the playoffs.”

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