Taylor, Stokes dominate in Game Time's second week

BY RYAN YOUNG | JUNE 27, 2013 5:00 AM

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Theairra Taylor, along with Kiah Stokes and the rest of her team, dominated Morgan Johnson’s team, 81-53, in the second week of Game Time League action.

Taylor, who dropped 23 points and dished out 9 assists on Wednesday night, led the team in both scoring and assists.

“This is really just a time for us to have fun,” she said. “We put in so much when we play on our other teams, and this just gives us a chance to have fun and get better.”

Taylor’s defense was also crucial. She caused several turnovers and made her voice echo throughout the gym. Taylor said she wants to make these aspects of her game a standard for the whole team with so many young players joining the Hawkeyes this year.

“We have a lot of young’uns coming in this year, and a lot of girls who didn’t get many minutes, so if we can make defense and being vocal a standard early, we will be better off in the long run,” she said.

Taylor’s team grabbed the lead early and never looked back. The squad held Johnson’s team to single digits through the first 10 minutes in the first half. It had a 16-point lead going into the second half.

Johnson, the one true center on her squad, was matched up with UConn basketball player — and former Linn-Mar standout — Stokes, who held the former Hawkeye to just 3 rebounds on the night.

Johnson said she welcomes the challenge of guarding Stokes, noting that it can only make her better.

“It was very motivating. She has a great personality, and I love her to death,” Johnson said. “But it’s a great challenge to play against a great player, and I’m just trying to get better.”

Stokes had 17 points and 15 rebounds in last night’s contest. She was added to Taylor’s and Kayla Timmerman’s squad — coached by Joe Johnston — after the first week when she was finally sure that she would be able to play in the summer league.

“Working out on your own is one thing, but playing good 5-on-5 is way different,” Stokes said. “I’m trying to get my confidence back, and ultimately get more minutes up at UConn, and you got to start somewhere.”

No matter what Johnson and her teammates did, they couldn’t slow down Taylor’s squad in the second half. At one point in the final period, they fell behind by more than 20.

“It’s always disappointing when your team doesn’t play well, and that’s always the goal: to play well,” Johnson said. “But this is more just fun for me. I’m just trying to win games. We have another game in a few weeks, and we’ll get that one.”

Taylor’s team is now 1-0 in the summer league after a Week One bye, and Johnson’s team falls to 0-2 heading into its bye week.

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