Game Time League regular season concludes

BY JACOB SHEYKO | JULY 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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The points were plentiful Wednesday night in the Game Time League’s regular-season finale, but only for one team. Melissa Dixon’s and Claire Till’s team defeated Theairra Taylor’s team, 108-64.

The game was essentially over before halftime, but the score wasn’t telling of how Taylor’s team played — perhaps, rather, how it didn’t play. Taylor, the leading scorer for her team, sat due to a sore hamstring, and the usual post presence of Kiah Stokes was absent as well.

Taylor’s team had only six members last night and was simply outmanned by Dixon’s team. These absences were amplified by the up and down nature of Dixon’s squad.

“You know when all six of their players are going to play most of the game, they’re going to get tired,” Dixon said. “We just continued to push the ball.”

Taylor’s team could have used her on defense as well. She likely would have guarded her Hawkeye counterpart in Dixon, who torched Taylor’s team all night — especially from 3-point range. The Iowa guard sank 6 treys.

Dixon finished the game with 37 points but saw limited playing time in the second half due to the lead her team had accumulated by then. She also added 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

There’s no telling how many points she would have put up had Dixon played the entire game. Before Randy Larson, her summer-league coach, decided to limit her time in the second frame, she had 30 points — and that was with 17 minutes remaining in the second half.

“There’s nothing about her that I would change,” Larson said. “It’s possible to me that next year the best player on the women’s [team] could be Melissa Dixon.”

But a team doesn’t score 108 points in a game with just one player. Dixon’s team had numerous members chip in on the offensive end and on the boards, with six players with double-digit points by the end of the contest.

Dixon’s team showed up on defense as well. Especially Till, who, again, faced a larger opponent in Kayla Timmerman. Till showed no give, and she held the 6-3 Timmerman to only 12 points on 5-of-22 shooting.

Till has become used to guarding bigger players but noted that it comes with consequences.

“It definitely takes a toll on me,” she said. “Especially since Timmerman is such a physical player.”

Dixon’s team made sure the opposition would not get back into the game with second-chance points. Throughout the game, Larson’s voice was echoing off the walls, encouraging his team to crash the boards.

Larson emphasized that his two leading rebounders — Tessa Leytem and Allie Wirth — are guards.  

“I always think that I, as a coach, am not doing my job if we take a shot and only two people are rebounding,” Larson said. “Everybody thinks the big people rebound, but the best rebound opportunities are the guys that have a running jump at it.”

Dixon’s team finished the regular season with a 4-0 record and earned the top seed in next week’s playoffs, which will begin on July 22. Taylor’s team will take on Sam Logic’s team in the 2-3 contest.

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