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Posted On: 02/16/18 8:30 AM
The favorite: The top seed in the substate is Glenwood, who has spent a majority of the season ranked in our top five in 3A. The Rams are extremely potent offensively, averaging 73.1 points a game, which is second in the class. They’re also a sound defensive unit, allowing 47.9 a night, which ranks fourth. They have a trio of big-time scoring threats in Christian Stanislav (15.1), Andrew Blum (13.7) and Nate Mohr (13.5), each of whom is capable of carrying the team on any given night. Stanislav is a highly athletic wing who can slash or shoot it. Mohr is the lead guard who shoots it well and protects the ball at a high level (103 assists to 22 turnovers), and Blum is more of an interior scorer, but he can also stretch out and shoot it (41.3 3P% on 46 attempts). They have a number of quality role players who do nice things for them as well in guys like Zach Carr, Nate Kennedy, Cody Buresh and Ryan Blum. They can go eight or nine deep fairly comfortably, and with their relentless attacking, they wear down teams. They’ve only lost once to an Iowa team this season, a road setback to Atlantic in early January. They shot just 15-50 from the field and 3-26 from the arc in that game – don’t expect that to happen again. They’re the favorite here.
The biggest threat: The Tigers of Carroll might be even hotter entering the postseason than Glenwood. They’ve won nine straight games, and also feature an explosive offense that is putting up 71.4 points a night. They’re led by Cooper Ross, who averages 19.2, but he’s far from alone, with four other players putting in between 8.0 and 11.7 a game. They’re a good free throw shooting team at 71.3% and a solid 3-point shooting team at 37.6%. They’re not a great defensive team, but if they can get through the bottom of the bracket (which would include a road game against Harlan), they have the firepower to run with Glenwood.
Others who could make some noise: There are two potential spoiler teams in this substate – Atlantic and Harlan.
Atlantic is trending in the right direction as we approach postseason play, having won five of their last six games. The Trojans are headlined by 6-6 big man Scott Leonard (17.1, 68.9 FG%), a remarkably efficient post player who controls the glass on both ends. Austin Alexander (16.0) gives them tremendous size at the lead guard spot at 6-7, and Chase Mullenix (11.7) gives them another perimeter scoring option. This is the only Iowa team to beat Glenwood this year, so they won’t be intimidated by the Rams in the semifinal meeting.
The Harlan Cyclones were one of the pleasant surprises earlier this season, starting the year 11-2. But they’ve stumbled down the stretch, losing four of their last six. Led by Shane Chamblerlain (19.5, 42.2 3P%), they’re a really good perimeter shooting team that is at 39.3% from the arc as a team, and they can put points up in a hurry. If they’re able to re-harness the play that got them off to that tremendous start, they could make a run here. If not, they’ll probably fall in the semifinals to Carroll.
Players to watch
2019 Christian Stanislav, Glenwood
2018 Andrew Blum, Glenwood
2018 Nate Mohr, Glenwood
2018 Cooper Ross, Carroll
2020 Colby Vincent, Carroll
2019 Buomkuoth Lol, Carroll
2018 Scott Leonard, Atlantic
2018 Austin Alexander, Atlantic
2018 Shane Chamberlain, Harlan
2018 Logan Klaassen, Harlan
2019 Kylan Smallwood, Creston
2018 Evan Jacobson, Creston
2018 Rashon Ivory, Perry
SUBSTATE FINAL PREDICTION
Glenwood vs. Carroll (game played at Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln)
Glenwood has been dominant in the state of Iowa throughout the course of the season, and that should continue throughout early postseason play. The Rams went to State back when Blum and Mohr were freshmen, and that standout duo will bookend their high school careers with state tournament appearances. The Rams prevail in what should be a high-scoring, entertaining game, pulling away in the fourth quarter.