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Rams rout Yellow Jackets in season-opening victory

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

COUNCIL BLUFFS - Glenwood overcame a slow start by holding Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson scoreless in the first quarter and then rattled off 17 straight points to take control in a 54-14 season-opening victory last Tuesday in Council Bluffs.

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“We didn’t expect that kind of defensive pressure and they’re athletic girls,” said Glenwood coach Barry Loeffelbein after the game. “They were in our face defensively and we didn’t make them pay for it like we should. We were a little shell-shocked there and we missed a couple shots and everybody starts to doubt things, that it’s going to be close all the way. It took us a while to get into rhythm.

In a rugged first quarter that saw both teams struggle to find any offensive consistency and combine for 20 fouls in the first eight minutes, Glenwood finally got on track with its first points at the 5:36 mark. Loeffelbein liked how his team weathered its early struggles.

“We ran the floor a little bit, got some easy ones, got a few steals,” he said. “Once we started making a few, our confidence went up.”

Glenwood scored 15 straight points to close out the opening frame. The Yellowjackets didn’t get on the board until Deziree Kearney’s 14 footer with 4:59 to go in the half.

The Rams led 36-4 at the half. Thomas Jefferson didn’t crack double-figures until the fourth quarter after Loeffelbein emptied his bench.

The game featured 51 combined fouls and 51 combined free throw attempts. Loeffelbein blames those numbers on first game jitters and a new emphasis by referees to clean up defensive play.

“They sent out a notice to all the teams, they (the referees) were not going to allow hand checking and you have to keep your hands off,” Loeffelbein said. “I tried to tell them that and let them know in practice and before the game that this was going to happen but it just takes getting out there and experiencing it to learn the lesson. I told them this is a mulligan, but we better learn our lesson or they’ll all be sitting on the bench.”

Reiny Ostrander scored a career-high 15 to lead a balanced Glenwood scoring attack. Halie Darrow chipped in 12 and Sydney Gutschenritter, Bailey Starner and Myranda Starner each added seven points.