By Brendan Stiles
The Prime Time League will conduct its version of the Final Four on Sunday at the North Liberty Community Center with two rubber matches to decide who will play in the PTL Championship Game on July 27.
The first semifinal tips off at 3 p.m., when No. 3 L.L. Pelling Company/Goodfellow Printing takes on No. 2 George Etre, Inc./Culver’s of Coralville for the third time this summer, while the following contest features the third match-up between No. 5 McCurry’s/Mike Gatens Real Estate and top-seeded Vinton Merchants/Hawkeye Title & Settlement.
Pelling/Goodfellow comes into its game with Etre/Culver’s on Sunday coming off an 89-67 win on July 20 over No. 6 Bob’s Your Uncle & Monica’s/Iowa City Ready Mix.
Two Hawkeyes took control in the victory for Pelling/Goodfellow — sophomore Eric May, and incoming freshman Zach McCabe. May came away with 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field, while McCabe added a double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Pelling/Goodfellow will be seeking revenge on Sunday against Etre/Culver’s. After Pelling/Goodfellow won the first game 100-84 back on the league’s opening night this summer, Etre/Culver’s was able to take advantage of Pelling/Goodfellow not having May’s services, and came away with a 94-83 win. The Dubuque native missed the game due to an illness.
Etre/Culver’s finished tied for first place with Vinton/Hawkeye at 5-2, but ended up losing the tiebreaker on a coin flip despite winning head-to-head back on July 6. The squad features incoming Iowa freshman Melsahn Basabe, who has stood out as perhaps the league’s best player in 2010.
Basabe will be looking to rebound from a rather disappointing outing by his standards back on July 18, when Etre/Culver’s came away with a 97-90 win over Jill Armstrong of Lepic-Kroeger Realtors, despite being down 21 points at halftime. In that contest, the Glen Cove, N.Y., native came away with 22 points and eight rebounds after showing up late.
The second contest also features teams that met on the dates of June 15 and July 11 in McCurry’s/Gatens and Vinton/Hawkeye. McCurry’s/Gatens found itself in this position after overcoming a 61-40 halftime deficit on July 20 against No. 4 Jill Armstrong, and coming back to win, 100-99. In the comeback victory, Iowa sophomore Cully Payne put on a stellar performance, finishing with 33 points and 12 rebounds.
Like the two teams in the other semifinal, McCurry’s/Gatens and Vinton/Hawkeye split their two meetings. McCurry’s/Gatens came away with the win the first time around, 104-91. Vinton/Hawkeye got payback in the recent outing, winning 109-85.
Vinton/Hawkeye features Iowa junior Devon Archie, who did not play in the team’s 120-105 win over Bob’s/Ready Mix on July 18. It also features former UNI guard Ali Farokhmanesh and former Hawkeye Darryl Moore.
The PTL Championship Game on July 27 is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside the New Gym at the North Liberty Community Center.