Sam Logic's team wins Game Time regular season

BY TOM CLOS | JULY 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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Vinton Merchants/McCurry's capped off a first-place finish to the regular season with a 95-58 victory over Coralville Hy-Vee in the Game Time League season finale at the North Liberty Recreation Center on Wednesday.

Northern Iowa incoming freshman guard Erin Dohnalek led all scorers with 22 points, and fellow Panther teammate junior forward Amber Kirschbaum posted a double-double to lead the regular season champions to another win and a 5-1 final record.

Iowa sophomore guard Sam Logic had the most prolific stat line of the night, scoring 10 points on 8 assists and 7 rebounds to help the squad to a strong response just two days after suffering their lone loss of the summer, to Cullen Painting.

"We went back to the basics today and rebounded the ball well," Logic said. "We didn't on Monday, which led to extra possessions and more open shots for them."

The 4-1 squad finished the season with an average margin of victory of 29.5, the largest of which being Wednesday night's 37-point win.

Vinton Merchants will now enter the playoffs as the prohibitive favorite to win the championship, but Logic said that all of the teams are familiar with one another, so nothing will be taken for granted.

"We've played everybody a couple of times, so it not only helps us but them as well," she said. "Each team knows who can do what and how they play together, but as long as we stay focused and do the little things we should be fine."

Hawkeye senior guard Trisha Nesbitt and incoming freshman guard Kali Peschel combined to score 27 points in the losing effort, as their team ended the season in a tie for last place with a 2-4 record.

"They were hitting everything," Nesbitt said. "They have a lot of size, and we couldn't match up with them out there."

Nesbitt had the unenviable task of shadowing Logic in coverage all game long, a job she said was not the easiest thing in the world to do.

"I know she's looking for passes most of the time, so I just tried to keep her out of the middle of the paint," Nesbitt said. "That's probably the best or only way to stop her."

Logic said matching up with her teammate is all in good fun, but sometimes the emotions from the court will get the best of them.

It gets especially intense against your friends out there, and Trisha's a great competitor," Logic said.

"There's usually some bragging rights that go along with it, but I'd definitely rather play with her than against her."

Graduated Bradley forward Mackenzie Westcott has been a valuable role player all summer for Vinton Merchants and has been a big reason for its dominance. Her 12 points on 5 rebounds and 2 assists capped off a solid regular season for the Williamsburg, Iowa, native.

"We got a lot more transition buckets today than on Monday, which was key," Westcott said. "We cleared the boards and our one-on-one defense was better overall as well."

The schedule for June 23 semifinals are set; Vinton Merchants will take on Pelling/Culver's in the first semifinal, and Coralville Hy-Vee will take on Cullen Painting/Bob's Your Uncle in the second.

Westcott said that with first place locked up, her team just has to make sure not to beat themselves in the playoffs, and they should walk away as champions.

"We have got to make sure we play focused and — most importantly — as a team," she said. "We have to keep competing out there, because as Monday showed, when you're not competitive you can lose to anyone."

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