COUNCIL BLUFFS - This time, it was the second run that got Glenwood.
In it’s two previous meeting with Harlan, the Rams were out-scored 36-11 in the first quarter of a pair of regular season losses.
In Monday’ substate match up, with a state tournament bid on the line, the Cyclones opened the game on a 13-2 run. Glenwood weathered that storm, out-scored Harlan 17-11 in the second quarter and trailed just 24-19 at the half.
Then the third quarter happened.
Harlan rattled off 11 straight points to open the quarter as part of a 15-1 run that all but sealed the Cyclones state tournament bid. Harlan went on to post a 54-29 win over Glenwood before a packed house in the Class 3A, Substate 8 final at the Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln Field House Monday.
“We could have been a little bit tight,” said Glenwood coach Curt Schulte after the game. “We’re in the process of building this program. We keep continuing to get better and raising the bar. We won a district title on Thursday night and played in the substate final tonight. That’s something these kids haven’t done.
“We had a great environment tonight, we had a heck of a crowd. I’m proud of the Glenwood community and I’m proud of these kids. We didn’t lay down to Harlan tonight. We fought tooth and nail for 32 minutes.”
Glenwood struggled offensively during the Cyclones’ initial run, hitting just 1-of-10 shots and turning the ball over five times in the first quarter. But in the second quarter, the Rams heated up, knocking down 6-of-9 shots in the frame and trimmed Harlan’s lead to just five at intermission.
“We felt good with what we did defensively the first half,” Schulte said. “We went through some bad stretches there in the first quarter but we bounced back and were down just five at halftime. We felt good about that and then the third quarter….I thought we got good looks but we couldn’t buy a bucket. And they went on a big run.”
A change-up in offensive scheme in the third quarter paid almost immediate dividends for Harlan. Trey Lansman, a wing, slid into the post and the 6-foo-7 Nebraska-Kearney recruit maneuvered around the Ram defense for a three point play and then added two free throws. A pair of layups by Nate Cave on the ensuing two possessions put Harlan out in front 35-20 with 3:17 to go in the frame.
“He’s their money man,” Schulte said of Lansman’s play. “We were a step off. We wanted to double-team him and use backside help but when you’re off against a good player like that, you can’t be a half second late.”
Harlan’s lead swelled to as many as 22 and Glenwood went ice cold. The Rams were 2-of-10 from the field in the third quarter and just 3-of-24 overall in the second half.
All night Harlan’s deliberate offense helped thwart Glenwood’s intention to play up-tempo.
“Our transition is a big part of what we do and I thought they got back extremely well,” Schulte said. “It didn’t allow us to score in transition – we averaged about 65 points a game during the season – and they took that away from us.”
Glenwood also played without leading-scorer and top guard Gage Shatava, who missed his second straight game with a sprained ankle. Schulte thought his team’s offensive play showed how much they missed their senior leader.
“We didn’t have time to adjust to playing without him,” Schulte said. “He sprained it the day of the district final and it just never got any better. It’s tough when you lose a player of that caliber. It hurts.”
Glenwood was led in scoring by Corey Bertini with eight points.
Cave paced Harlan with 19 points.
Glenwood closes its season with a record of 14-10. The Rams’ 14 wins are the programs most since going 15-7 in the 1959-60 season.
“It’s disappointing to lose but when we look back at what we’ve done, we’re continuously raising the bar for this program,” Schulte said. “We got 14 wins and a district title and I looked at the record books, we’ll probably break six team records. We’ve accomplished so much this season. Nobody wanted to play in Des Moines more than this team.”