Game Time midseason report

BY JACOB SHEYKO | JULY 05, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Game Time League teams have played through three sets of games to this point in the season. The Daily Iowan takes a look at each team, how it has done so far this season, and where it ranks in comparison with the rest.

1. Vinton Merchants/Culver’s, 3-0

Melissa Dixon and Claire Till’s team stands atop the league. This is a bit odd, considering their tallest player on the floor is often Till, who is 6 foot. Dixon’s team has had success largely on the shoulders of Till. Her ability to guard taller opponents has been key and showcases her versatility.

What’s even more impressive is her ability to rebound against opposing post players: Through the first three weeks, Till has averaged 12.6 rebounds per game. This is particularly impressive considering she has faced off against players such as former Hawkeye Morgan Johnson and current Hawkeyes Bethany Doolittle and Nicole Smith.

But don’t be fooled; the star of the Dixon’s team and the main reason for its 3-0 start has been Dixon.
Dixon is averaging 35 points per game, and most of her damage is coming from behind the arc, where she is shooting 50 percent.

2. HawkeyeReport.com/Comfort Care, 2-0

The only team that competes with Dixon’s for the league’s top spot is Theairra Taylor’s team.

What makes Taylor’s team so tough is its complete roster. The squad is one of the rare Game Time teams that presents problems for opponents inside and out.

Taylor’s team is relies heavily on the play of Taylor on the offensive end. She has averaged 22.5 points, 8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game.

Just before the season started, Taylor’s team went from one likely landing in the middle of the pack to elite when the league announced that UConn sophomore and Linn-Mar product Kiah Stokes would join the frontcourt.

Stokes has been dominant in the paint, averaging 18 points and 17 boards per contest. It hasn’t just been Stokes though — Taylor’s team has outrebounded its opponents 94-56 through the first two games (the squad had a bye the first week).

3. Cullen/Greater Iowa Financial, 1-2

Filling out the middle is Bethany Doolittle and Ally Disterhoft’s team. Those wondering how Disterhoft would fit into Iowa’s system next season should look no further than her summer play. The Iowa City native has shown the ability to be a complete player, posting averages of 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.

Disterhoft has been aggressive while competing against the older Hawkeyes, showing the complete package offensively. She can shoot the 3, score off the dribble, and can even post up a smaller defender, utilizing her 6-foot frame.

Doolittle’s team has lost some close games, resulting in a 1-2 record. On a positive note, Doolittle has maintained strong play on both sides of the ball.

Perhaps her biggest role on the team is as the defensive anchor. Doolittle’s presence in the paint allows her teammates to pressure the ball, causing most drivers to shoot over Doolittle rather than attack her.

4. Joensy’s/Monica’s & Bob’s Your Uncle, 0-2

Sam Logic’s team stands at 0-2, but this is in no way a reflection on Logic’s play. The Hawkeye guard has done it all for her team. After two games, she is averaging 30 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game, doing so in the remarkably efficient manner of shooting 57.5 percent from the floor.

The team’s one fault is its success is entirely dependent on her. Logic’s teammates are only shooting 40 percent from the field, putting more pressure on Logic to do everything on a nightly basis.

5. McCurry’s/Pelling, 0-3

Rounding out the bottom of league play is Morgan Johnson and Kali Peschel’s team. Its main problem has been scoring; in two games, it has averaged a league-low 64 points per game.

Johnson’s team should be a good inside-out team with most defenses collapsing on Johnson in the post, but so far, the squad has hit 27.5 percent from the 3-point line, leading to defenses packing the paint.

The league is likely headed toward a Dixon and Taylor matchup in the championship. However, many story lines still exist, such as Dixon maintaining her current scoring rate, whether Logic can continue to do it all for her team, and the continued impact of Stokes on the league.

These narratives should make the final weeks an entertaining conclusion to an already competitive season.

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