Coley, Mohns not enough

BY CHARLIE GREEN | JUNE 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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For the second-straight week, Coach Joe Johnston and Company struggled to get the offense going Wednesday night.

And sometimes, stingy defense isn’t enough to pull through.

“We really focused on Chase,” opposing coach Brian Joens said. “We knew that we needed to find somebody who could double down and help out on Chase, because she’s a very productive player.”

Johnston’s team fell to Joens’ team, 78-70, after an abysmal night of shooting from beyond the arc.
After two weeks of play in the Game Time League, it’s clear that Johnston’s offense runs through Coley and Mohns — without much else to it.

Its strategy is to throw the ball down in the paint to either of the Hawkeyes, whose size, skill and athleticism set them apart.

Joens came prepared on Wednesday, however, as Coley frequently saw double teams. When Coley and Mohns stretched the floor, Joens’ team packed the paint with numerous defenders in anticipation of a drive from either of them.

He was daring Johnston’s guards to beat him with the 3 — and it worked.

Johnston’s team went 3-of-34 beyond the arc and had more than its share of open looks.

“It’s never going to be easy if we’re not hitting our shots,” guard Sydney Greiner said. “Our game plan is always going to be to dump it down to Chase, and when they double down on her, to kick it out.”

Coley’s ability to physical impose her will on one-on-one defense makes this a logical strategy.

However, Greiner went just 1-of-9 from the 3 zone, although she did grab 11 boards. Teammate Taylor Hickey also hit just 1-of-9 of her looks from beyond the arc.

Coley and Mohns each put in monstrous performances. Both shot 11-of-19 on 2-point field goals and finished with 26 points apiece.

Coley also grabbed 12 boards, and Mohns had 15.

The strong connection between the two was visible all game. At one point in the fourth quarter, Coley received the ball at the top of the key and lobbed it into Mohns — who had position on her defender and sank a contested lay-up.

Later in the quarter, Mohns tipped up an opposing inbound pass, grabbed it, and tossed it out to Coley at the free-throw line for an easy jumper.

They combined for all but 18 of their team’s points; Hickey’s 9 led the rest of the group.

It’s clear that they cannot do it all. The team won last week after scoring just 57 but showed Wednesday that they can’t survive a whole season with that amount of offensive production.

Johnston’s team stands at 1-1 through the first two games of the season, and it will need to find more consistent contributors on offense if it wants to contend for a championship.

Despite the loss, the team remains committed to the Coley- and Mohns-centered attack.

“We need more of an inside-out look,” Hickey said. “We need to feed them the ball and let them get their looks.”

“When the defense plays in on that, then we need to get the outside shots to fall.”

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