Letkewicz, Game Time's X-factor

BY CHARLIE GREEN | JULY 07, 2015 5:00 AM

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Kay DiLeo’s Beat the Bookstore/Westport squad features a two-headed monster in point guard Tania Davis and forward Megan Gustafson, but the presence of Kate Letkewicz of Dartmouth on the perimeter may propel the squad to the top of the Game Time League.

“Just about every team has one or two good players, but when you have a third or a fourth or a fifth, it really helps a lot,” Gustafson said.

The team is built around the two incoming Iowa freshmen, Gustafson and Davis, both prized recruits.

Gustafson gives the team a physical presence inside who can score efficiently with her left hand and run the floor in transition.

Davis has looked every bit of the five-star status given to her by ESPN. Michigan’s Miss Basketball sees the floor as well as anyone in Game Time, and she possesses offensive skills and athleticism only matched by future Hawkeye teammate Whitney Jennings.

The youngster averages 28.3 points per game to date in Game Time, and she has met the expectations sparked by her high ranking as a recruit.

“She just controls the game; she has an incredible basketball IQ, and she really just sees people,” Letkewicz said. “She’s a great passer, great finisher, she can shoot the 3, and her versatility is amazing — she’s just a playmaker.”

That given, Letkewicz could be the key to the team’s offense. Skilled long-range shooting allows the inside game of Gustafson and driving ability of Davis room to operate, and she is also a target to kick the ball out to.

And that’s not all.

The guard has shown an ability to drive past defenders on the wing and get to the basket, which creates open shots for teammates and also draws attention from Davis and Gustafson.

She’s averaged 13 points through the first three games of the season, shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc.

As a normal shooting guard playing the stretch-4 spot for DiLeo, Letkewicz’s most valuable asset is versatility. Her ability to stretch the floor from numerous spots opens up the lane for Gustafson and Davis.

“I’m actually like a shooting guard, like a 3,” Letkewicz said. “But I’ve been playing the 4. Even though we don’t have that much size, I think we’re making it work.

“We’re able to bring more versatility that way, with more people playing numerous positions.”

The team will face off against Randy Larson’s Marion Iron team on Wednesday night with the top seed for the playoffs on the line. Larson’s team boasts five players who scored more than 17 points last week, led by Whitney Jennings with 42 and Moran Lonning with 26. As a team, they totaled a league-high 144 that night in a win over Cullen/Joensy’s.

Overcoming the depth of Larson and Company will require more than just Gustafson and Davis — and it starts with Letkewicz.

“Kate’s a very nice player,” DiLeo said. “I think once we start gelling, we can penetrate and dish a little bit more, we’ve got quite a few people who can score.”

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