Morgan Johnson through to Game Time semis

BY KYLE HUGHES | JULY 21, 2011 7:20 AM

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A week ago, Morgan Johnson led her team to its first victory of the Game Time League season. On Wednesday, she faced the same team — but the stakes were much greater.

The junior center was dominant and led her team to a 68-65 victory in the first round of the Game Time playoffs. She finished with a game-high 21 points and was the centerpiece of a 2-3 zone that shut down the Iowa freshmen duo of Samantha Logic and Virginia Johnson.

The two were held to a combined 18 points on 7-for-27 shooting; in the regular season, the pair averaged more than half the team's points.

Before the game, Morgan Johnson's coach, Joe Johnston, emphasized how pivotal keeping those two out of the paint would be for his team to get the win.

After Virginia Johnson and Logic's team opened the game on a 9-0 run with three-consecutive 3-pointers, it appeared his strategy had backfired.

The shots stopped falling for Coralville Hy-Vee after that, though, and Morgan Johnson led her team on a 22-5 run.

With her arm wrapped in gauze and both knees taped, she looked like a wounded general as she yelled out orders on defense and demanded the ball in the post on offense. She grabbed rebounds, blocked shots, and scored at will over her smaller opponents.

"We took the same concepts we used last game … and really perfected them this time," she said. "I had good passes from my guards to get me the ball inside. They did a great job."

Logic and Virginia Johnson didn't go down without a fight, though. Despite having trouble with her shot, Logic set up teammates by driving hard and making difficult passes that led to open shots.

"We were just focused on coming back [after] we dug ourselves in a hole at the beginning of the game," she said. "We came back and played well, but just didn't put the ball in the hole enough."

With under a minute to go, Logic got the rally going by driving into the lane and dishing to Virginia Johnson. The Iowa City native made the shot while drawing a foul, but she was unable to convert the 3-point play. Her team remained down, 66-63.

Logic said her team's defensive intensity was much better at the end of the game, but it wasn't enough to pull off the win.

The Hy-Vee players had one final chance when they inbounded the ball down by 3 with 3.8 seconds remaining. Iowa junior Megan Considine received the ball in the backcourt and was quickly double-teamed. She was unable to advance the ball, and the game ended without her team getting off a shot.

"We just got ourselves in a hole early and couldn't get ourselves completely out of it," Considine said. "They hit some shots when they needed to, and of course Morgan Johnson is a big body down there. She was hard to guard."

Considine ended up with 9 points for Hy-Vee.

Pelling/Culver's will now face the undefeated Monica's/Bob's Your Uncle team led by former Hawkeye Kachine Alexander.

Morgan Johnson said her team has the attitude that Alexander's team has to go through them.

"We have to go into it saying we're 1-0 and they're 1-0 in postseason play," she said. "We can do whatever we can to stop them."

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