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Gustafson, Davis lead DiLeo to 2-0 start

BY RAPHAEL GELFAND | JUNE 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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Two different styles of play faced off for this week’s Game Time League matchup of Kay DiLeo’s team and Bethany Doolittle’s.

DiLeo’s group had fast-paced movement off the ball, coasting through the box and around the arc to create serious scoring opportunities all night.

Doolittle’s team took things a little slower on offense, focusing on perimeter passing. Dealing with a loose-person defense, the style of draw-in and dish-out offense proved equally successful for most of the first three quarters.

DiLeo’s team ultimately defeated Doolittle’s, 83-65.

It did so by wearing down Doolittle and Company, making space and drawing the defense in only to push out the ball to their perimeter scorers Tania Davis and Kate Letkewicz.

Unluckily for their opponent, they also were able to pull the defense out and dish it in to Hawkeye Megan Gustafson under the rim, who showed superior athleticism over her opponents, at times even that of French Pro and ex-Hawk Doolittle.

“It’s a lot of work playing against someone who’s that strong,” Doolittle said. “She’s a great player who really is physically demanding [when she posts up].”

DiLeo’s team was tremendously successful in its use of the pick-and-roll in part because of Doolittle’s team playing tight-person defense, leaving open holes in and around the lane.

In the fourth quarter, DiLeo’s team pulled ahead with a run that culminated in Davis draining three 3-pointers in a row. She finished 6-of-9 from beyond the arc and scored 34 points.

In other league action, Brian Joens’ team defeated Joe Johnston’s squad, 78-70, despite strong performances from Hawkeyes Chase Coley and Carly Mohns.

Fellow Hawkeye Nicole Smith left the game in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury, leaving Joens’ with a void down low. Without Smith, the team resorted to doubling Coley in the post. With plenty of open shots created by the double teams, Johnston’s group failed to capitalize — shooting just 3-of-34 from deep.

In the final game Wednesday night, Randy Larson’s team had another decisive victory, winning, 92-73, against Brendan Unkrich’s squad.

Whitney Jennings dominated on offense along with teammates Claire Till and Moran Lonning.

Jennings’ incredible ball handling punished her opponents whenever they relaxed on defense, and when she decided to drive into the paint, her behind-the-back crossover almost always create space for an open jump shot. She finishing with 29 points.

Whenever Unkrich rested incoming four-star recruit Hannah Stewart, Till dominated under the rim for Larson’s team.

“I was able to better post up against their smaller post players” Till said. “When she came back in, I would just go out on to the perimeter.”

Till was 4-of-5 on 3 pointers and finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds.

“We weren’t hitting quite as well as we did last week,” Till said. “So we did a five-out, we spread the floor and our quick guards were able to penetrate and get the foul or shoot it, or dish it out to the 3-point shooter.”

It’s not that Unkrich’s defense played poorly, but Larson’s offensive firepower has been too much to handle through two weeks of Game Time. The team stands at 2-0 so far.


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