Summer league comes to an end

BY JACOB SHEYKO | JULY 26, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Game Time League concluded Wednesday night in North Liberty with Ally Disterhoft and Bethany Doolittle’s team being crowned champions of the summer league.

The Hawkeye fans that attended were given a glimpse of what to expect for the upcoming Iowa women’s basketball season. Among them were a few new faces and plenty of Hawkeyes that Black and Gold fans have grown to love.

Co-MVPs Melissa Dixon and Sam Logic shone brightly during the summer months. Dixon simply couldn’t be stopped from scoring. Fans became accustomed to seeing last year’s Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year sink 3s from all over the court.

But Dixon’s summer coach, Randy Larson, noticed that her game has become more complete and not solely reliant on the long ball.

“She didn’t have that drag step lay-up last year — at least, I didn’t see it,” said Larson. “She just wants to keep getting better. She’s pretty special.”

Dixon would have been selected as the unanimous league MVP if it hadn’t been for her Hawkeye teammate Logic.

While Dixon impressed observers with her scoring, Logic did so with her complete game. She threatened to put up triple-doubles every single week — and a few weeks, she did. She finished the season with about as impressive of a stat line as one can have, averaging 31.6 points, 9.5 assists, and 11.6 rebounds per game.

The play of these two, combined with Theairra Taylor, should put to rest any worries about replacing Jaime Printy this upcoming season.

Many of the fans came out to North Liberty to watch the two incoming freshmen, Disterhoft and Alexa Kastanek.

Both of them showcased abilities that might exceed the lofty expectations placed on them. Where most freshmen could easily take a back seat and let a more experienced player take control, Disterhoft and Kastanek played key roles for their team on both ends of the court.

“I think we have big things coming from both of our freshmen,” Dixon said. “They both work really hard, and they’ve fit in really well so far.”

Possibly the biggest concern for the Hawkeyes coming into the season is in the frontcourt. But during the summer players proved they could fill it, including one unexpected player.

Claire Till stands at just 6-foot, but throughout league play, she proved she could play in the paint. Till gained valuable minutes playing center for her team and showed that she can play a guard-forward hybrid, if need be.

Joining Till, Doolittle seems ready to fill the duty of a post presence for the Hawkeyes. On top of her size, Doolittle has a consistent jumper that should be able to stretch opposing defenses out.

Still, she seeks to add certain aspects of her game to hang with the other centers of the Big Ten.

“I can definitely improve my strength,” she said. “Kind of get that Big Ten strength and shape.”

Doolittle narrowed what she wanted to improve to the specifics, but plenty of other Hawkeyes said they wanted to become more complete players in general.

“You can always improve on something,” Disterhoft said. “You’ve never made it to the top. And I think that’s a great thing about basketball is that there’s always something you can improve on, and all of us are always looking to get better.”

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