Logic’s squad storms to Game Time title

BY TOM CLOS | JULY 26, 2012 6:30 AM

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Vinton Merchants/McCurry’s polished off a dominant summer with an 89-65 whipping of Coralville Hy-Vee in the Game Time League championship at the North Liberty Recreation Center on Wednesday.

Northern Iowa junior forward Amber Kirschbaum led the champions with 21 points and 6 rebounds, including a perfect 7-for-7 performance from the free-throw line. Her fellow Panther teammate, freshman forward Jen Keitel, added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Keitel, who was named league free-throw champion prior to the contest, asserted herself early on in the paint, at moments seeming unstoppable. She said that from an individual standpoint, everything went according to plan on Wednesday.

“I posted up as much as I could and crashed the boards hard for that ball,” Keitel said. “It’s the easiest 2 points in basketball."

The championship game may have been clad in purple and gold, but the summer was draped in Hawkeye colors as Iowa sophomore guard Sam Logic was named Game Time League MVP during a halftime ceremony.

The Racine, Wis., native, who finished as the league leader in assists as well as second in points and rebounds per game, said she felt honored but noted that it’s not a goal you set out to achieve in a team sport like basketball.

“It’s a nice accolade, but you really don’t play to get that,” Logic said. “You play to work hard and get better. This is all about working on your game and helping your teammates out there.”

The Hawkeye guard’s 11 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds were modest by her standards, but the guard sat out extended points of the game because of her team’s sizable lead. She said that Wednesday was the culmination of a fantastic run, capped by a group performance.

“Only one team gets to end the season with a win, and I’m glad it was us,” Logic said. “This was maybe our best game as a team all-around, and it showed how well we came together all summer.”

Iowa’s senior guard Trisha Nesbitt, incoming transfer guard Kathryn Thomas, and incoming freshman forward Kali Peschel combined for 40 of their team’s 65 points in the defeat.

Peschel had the strongest night, notching 10 points alongside 8 rebounds and 4 assists, but she said the second-place finishers were overmatched from the start.

“It was great to get to the finals and compete with them, but they had so much experience and size,” Peschel said. “They were tall, and we had no height.”

Peschel, like most of the people in attendance, acknowledged how dominant Logic’s summer was and said that her new teammate is on another wavelength on the hardwood.

“Sam’s just awesome, and she can find anyone at any time out there,” Peschel said. “She has another set of eyes on her.”

The victory sealed a remarkable two-month run for Vinton Merchants/McCurry’s in which the squad suffered only one defeat in eight games. Logic felt the chemistry with her teammates was outstanding and said that credit should go to coach Brendan Unkrich for constructing a machine of a team.

“Our coach did a really good job of putting together such a dynamic team,” Logic said. “Everyone hustled so hard, and it never really mattered who scored out there.”

Keitel said that at times she felt like some of the games were pulled out of a script that ended with a victory.

“We could all rebound, shoot, pass, and we had great leadership,” she said. “All summer, it was just so smooth.”

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