ADEL – A-D-M hit 7-of-9 free throws down the stretch to pull away from Glenwood for a 69-60 Class 3A, District 15 victory over the Rams last Monday.
The loss ends the Rams' season with a record of 11-11, including a 10-8 record in the Hawkeye 10 Conference.
“It was a great ball game, a great district game between two pretty evenly matched teams,” said Glenwood coach Curt Schulte of his team's season ending loss. “I was proud of the kids. They came to play after a two hour bus ride. And it was really a back and forth game.”
Glenwood led 16-14 after a quarter and 32-30 at halftime. In the third quarter the Tigers grabbed the lead by a many as seven points and closed the quarter up 50-47.
After trading buckets for most of the final frame, Glenwood, down four with the ball with just over a minute to go, failed to convert forcing the Rams to foul. But the Tigers used clutch shooting at the line down the stretch to seal the win.
“They're a good shooting team and they showed it,” said Schulte of the Tigers.
Glenwood out rebounded the Tigers 28-18, had just 11 turnovers and shot 50 percent (26-of-52) from the field but couldn't overcome A-D-M's 14-of-25 shooting at the free throw line. The Rams went to the line just 10 times, making six.
Dylan Blankenship led Glenwood with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Since returning from a stress fracture in his foot and missing four weeks of the season, the senior has averaged better than 10 points, and, more importantly, said Schulte, provided a strong defensive presence.
“Dylan played really well,” said Schulte. “He penetrated, he shot it well and he defended. He's a big part of our lineup.”
Blankenship's return to the starting lineup marks the first time the Rams have been healthy all season, said Schulte.
“We started playing our best ball at the end of the season and having our starting lineup all healthy really played into that,” said Schulte. In addition to losing Blankenship for a month, forward Taylor Kaufman was also hobbled for much of the early part of the season with an ankle injury. “We took a very good team down to the wire on the road.”
Cole Darrow added 17 points for Glenwood and Cory Simms 12. Kaufman pitched in eight points and nine rebounds.
Excluding Monday's post season loss, the Rams 11-10 marks the second winning regular season in the last three seasons. Their fifth place finish is the third straight season Glenwood has finished in the top half of the conference. And there's more good things to come for Ram basketball, said Schulte. Darrow, the Rams' leading scorer this season at 17.5 points per game, and Kaufman, who averaged 8.9 points per game, are both juniors.
“We have a lot of scoring coming back,” he said. “And being healthy for the whole year should help.”
Schulte also commended the work of his seniors and their contributions to the team this season and in their careers.
“Taylor Lauridsen, Josh DeYoung, Dylan Blankenship, Cory Simms – they did a great job for us and we will definitely miss them,” said Schulte.