The Glenwood girls basketball team has moved within a win of its first state tournament appearance in over three decades.
The Rams (21-1) used a 21-4 second quarter run to pull away from Creston in the Class 3A, Region 8 semifinals. The 60-34 win put the Rams in the regional finals that were scheduled to be played last night in Atlantic. The Rams were to take on Winterset (19-4) for a spot at state. Glenwood last made the state tournament after the 1975-1976 season.
“We got hot and got on a roll, hit some baskets and we pulled it out,” said Glenwood coach Barry Loeffelbein after the Rams’ semifinal win.
Early in the game, the Panthers gave the Rams all they could handle, double-teaming leading scorer Morgan Lucy inside and daring Glenwood to beat them from the outside. After a quarter, the Rams were up just 14-9. But Glenwood would heat up in the second frame. Three pointers by Grace Newman, Lexi Moreno and Rachel DeYoung keyed a 21-4 run to put Glenwood up comfortably 35-15 at halftime.
“That seems to be our M.O. lately,” Loeffelbein said of his team’s slow starts and second quarter runs. “I’d like to start out games a little quicker but they were doing a good job defensively and taking Morgan out of the game and matching up on everybody else pretty good. We just had to figure it out.”
The Panthers’ defense held Lucy to a season-low seven points but Moreno, DeYoung and forward Lexi Fisher picked up the slack. Moreno led all-scorers with 16 points. Fisher chipped in 15 and DeYoung 13.
DeYoung’s contribution was especially pleasing to the coach. The Rams’ sixth-man has combined to scored 25 points in the first to regional games.
“That’s huge for us,” Loeffelbein said. “She could be a starter for a lot of teams. She’s a good shooter, we get her the ball in situations she can shoot it and she’s tough. We need to keep finding her.”
Glenwood used an aggressive, full court defense to stun an over-match Atlantic squad while its offense heated up from the inside and the outside in a 75-33 rout in the Class 3A, Region 8 opening round last Wednesday.
The Rams led 19-8 after a quarter and saw its lead swell to as many as 24 in the second quarter thanks to a 25-4 run. Lexi Moreno’s jumper at the halftime buzzer sent Glenwood into intermission ahead 35-15.
Glenwood opened the third quarter on another run, this time a 15-3 spurt to put the Trojans away for the third time this season.
“We played pretty good defense. They hit some shots to stay in it early but I thought our defense was pretty sound,” said Loeffelbein. “We had a lot of girls step up for us when they tried to take away our inside game. That’s what we need the girls to do.”
Grace Newman led four Rams in double-figures with 19 points. Lexi Fisher added 17 and Morgan Lucy 16. Rachel DeYoung came off the bench to score 12 points.
Glenwood shot 33 free throws to the Trojans’ six but they hit just 19.
“That is something we definitely need to work on,” said the coach.