DENISON - More than three decades. 1976. 36 years.
However you define it, it had been that long since the Glenwood girls basketball team had won a conference title.
This is, until Friday.
“It’s a pretty awesome feeling,” said Glenwood coach Barry Loeffelbein after his Class 3A No. 5 ranked Rams out-scored Denison 33-16 in the first half en route to a 58-39 victory to finish as the co-champions of the Hawkeye 10 Conference. The Rams have identical conferencence records at 12-1 with Council Bluffs Lewis Central, who handed Glenwood its only loss of the season in December.
The conference title is the Rams (19-1) first since the 1975-76 team took home the Hawkeye-8 crown.
“We have a pretty special team and we’re playing well. We feel like whenever we step on the court we’re capable of winning,” the coach said.
Point in fact: Friday’s win over Denison.
The Rams struggled early as the Monarchs attempted to take leading-scorer Morgan Lucy out of the offense. They hit just three of their first 14 shots and led 12-7 after a quarter.
But that’s when the Rams turned it on. They out-scored Denison 21-9 in the second quarter and took a comfortable 33-16 lead into the half.
Fisher scored a game-high 20 points and added five rebounds and three steals. Lexi Moreno chipped in 13 points off the bench. Lucy added 12 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots.
“We didn’t shoot that great from the outside but we attacked the basket well, got some put backs and found ways to score,” Loeffelbein said. “They tried to take Morgan out of the game. She scored 25 last time we played them. And they wanted to make someone else beat them and our girls spread it around and did that. We got a lot of open shots.”
Glenwood shot just 37.9 percent from the field (22-of-58) but they hit 10-of-12 free throws and held a dominating 48 to 32 rebounding edge.
Rachel Koch came off the bench to score 11 points to lead Denison.
The Rams open regional play tonight at home against Atlantic. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Glenwood coach Barry Loeffelbein really knows how to use a timeout.
With his team looking a little sluggish in the second quarter, up 20-12 on Shenandoah, Loeffelbein called a time out to settle his team.
And his team responded.
The Rams immediately went on a 13-0 run, outscored the Fillies 23-4 in the quarter and only allowed 14 points over the final two quarters in a 86-26 victory on senior night in Glenwood.
So what did Loeffelbein tell his team in his one and only timeout he used in the game?
“We had given up two run out layups,” said the coach after the game. “And were attacking the basket but but we weren’t playing defense. That can’t happen. We do that against Denison they’ll take us to the woodshed. I just wanted to make sure we were being aggressive on the offensive end but smart on the defensive end. We did a lot better job after that.”
The Rams (18-1 overall, 11-1 in the Hawkeye 10 Conference) led 20-8 after a quarter before Shenandoah (8-13 overall, 3-10 in the conference) opened the second frame with a pair of breakaway layups to trim the lead to 20-12. Following the timeout, the Rams rattled off 13 straight points, capped by Grace Newman’s layup with 3:08 to go in the half.
Morgan Lucy’s lay up two minutes later put Glenwood out in front 43-12 at halftime.
Glenwood’s 86 points was a season-best.
Morgan Lucy led four Rams in double-figures with 18 points. Lexi Fisher added 17, Newman 14 and Lexi Moreno 12. In all 12 different Rams scored at least two points.
“That’s awesome to see. They all work hard in practice so it’s great to see them come out and contribute,” said Loeffelbein.
The Ram defense held the Fillies to 10-of-51 shooting from the field (19 percent) and a season-low 26 points.
Glenwood celebrated senior night Tuesday with seven seniors saying their goodbyes to the home faithful. The Rams will open district play at home on Feb. 15 against Atlantic but Shenandoah marked the final regular season home game.
“It’s going to be tough to replace them when they’re gone,” said Loeffelbein of his senior contingent. “They’ve really taken us to a place where we’re confident we can beat anybody and not just play with them.”