Disterhoft's height playing large factor in Game Time

BY JACOB SHEYKO | JULY 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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Iowa women’s basketball freshman Ally Disterhoft stands taller most guards she plays against. At 6-feet, the Iowa City native has used her size to her advantage during summer-league play, leading her squad to within one victory of the Game Time league title.

Tonight, Disterhoft’s team and Sam Logic’s squad will face off in the Game Time championship in North Liberty.

Disterhoft’s team is fresh off an upset over Melissa Dixon’s top-seeded squad Monday night. In a 76-73 win over Dixon and Company’s previously undefeated team, Disterhoft’s size played a key factor on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

“It’s nice being a little taller,” Disterhoft said. “If you have smaller guards on you, you can post up. If you have bigger guards on you then you can shoot from outside.”

Disterhoft was guarded for most of the night by the smaller Dixon. Taking advantage of her Hawkeye teammate’s 5-8 frame, the freshman posted the smaller guard up on just about every possession. When she wasn’t posting Dixon up, she could be found in the high post, feeding the ball to teammate Bethany Doolittle.

“She posted me up really well,” said Dixon after the game. “I was trying to figure out ways to play better post defense on her, but it just didn’t work at times.”

Disterhoft finished the night with 28 points, most of which came in the paint. But the effect of her height wasn’t just felt on the offensive end, it carried over to defensive side of the floor as her team tried to slow the run-and-gun offense of Dixon’s team.

As Disterhoft’s squad went with a box-and-one zone against Dixon, Disterhoft’s length around the perimeter made it difficult for her opponent to have a clear passing lane, leading to a few tipped passes and steals.

Disterhoft will likely be guarded by fellow freshman Alexa Kastanek during tonight’ s championship showdown, assuming the latter plays. Kastanek sat out Monday night’s contest because of some strained ligaments and tendons in her foot.

If the Lincoln, Neb. native does suit up, fans will treated to a matchup between the two highly anticipated recruits. Kastanek, who has been praised by her teammates for her defense and hustle during the summer months, should make it difficult for Disterhoft to score.

“I’m a pretty energetic person; I talk a lot,” Kastanek said. “Defense is one of my best suits.”

Disterhoft seems to have a knack for finding ways to score with her back to the basket. However, she said, her post game is something that she really hasn’t worked on, but rather something that has comes with being a taller guard.

With Hawkeye guards Dixon, Logic, Theairra Taylor, Kali Peschal, and Kastanek fighting for playing time this upcoming season, Disterhoft’s size could help her stand out and ultimately give her more minutes come November.

But for now, Disterhoft’s focus remains on the team and winning.

“I’m going to go in, work hard, and play wherever the coaches want me to,” Disterhoft said. “Whether it’s at the 2 position, 3, or 4. Whatever it may be, I’m just going to work my hardest and see where it goes.”

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