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Posted On: 03/9/18 8:00 PM
Championship: No. 4 Glenwood 66, No. 3 Oskaloosa 62
History was bound to be made on Friday night, as neither Glenwood or Oskaloosa had ever won a boy’s state championship in basketball. And it was the Glenwood Rams who made history, taking control of a fantastic game late en route to a 66-62 win over Oskaloosa in one of the most entertaining basketball games the state tournament has seen in years.
These two high powered offenses got off to blazing starts, as Oskaloosa jumped out to a 24-17 lead after the first quarter, capitalizing on 6-8 shooting from the 3-point line. Glenwood responded with an 11-2 run of their own to take a 28-26 lead, then the teams essentially traded buckets the rest of the half, going into the locker rooms tied at 38.
In a game featuring 11 ties and 13 lead changes, it was bound to be tight throughout, and we were still tied (at 51) heading into the final eight minutes.
Oskaloosa scored the first three of the quarter, then Andrew Blum answered with a 3 of his own, as part of a 10-1 Rams run that gave them a 61-55 lead. They wouldn’t trail the rest of the way.
With Glenwood leading by two with 31 seconds left, Andrew Blum calmly sank a pair of free throws to push the lead to 64-60. Jarad Kruse got a 3 up for Oskaloosa with 13 seconds left, and Christian Stanislav pulled down the rebound, but was called for a travel. On the ensuing inbounds, Xavier Foster got free for a dunk to cut the lead to two. On the following inbounds, however, he was called for an intentional foul, giving the Rams a pair of free throws and the ball back. Ball game. State title, Glenwood.
Oskaloosa ends the year with a 23-4 record. They’ll bring back a big chunk of their team with Division I prospect big men Cole Henry and Xavier Foster, and figure to be one of the favorites to take the 3A crown next year. The Indians were led by senior Jarad Kruse, who finished a fabulous week with 21 points on 9-14 shooting. Cole Henry added 16 and Xavier Foster had 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
Glenwood (25-2) takes home the school’s first state title. A program that has historically struggled has been rejuvenated over the last decade or so, culminating with this title. The Rams were led by Andrew Blum, who capped off a fantastic career with 20 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double in as many games. Christian Stanislav had 14, Nate Mohr 11 and Ryan Blum 10 in the win. The Rams will return Stanislav, Ryan Blum and Zach Carr, and will be among the favorites in 3A again next season.
MVP: Andrew Blum (Glenwood) — 20 points (7-13 FG, 4-7 3P, 2-3 FT), 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals
Blum capped a fantastic senior season with a state title and was named captain of the all-tournament team. He was outstanding all week, and finished the championship game with his second double-double of the week, 20 points and 10 rebounds, showing his ability to score inside and out in the process. At one point he and brother Ryan Blum scored 14 straight for the Rams to help them gain control of this one and deliver the state championship to southwest Iowa.
Glenwood: Andrew Blum 20, Christian Stanislav 14, Nate Mohr 11, Ryan Blum 10, Nate Kennedy 7, Zach Carr 4
Oskaloosa: Jarad Kruse 21, Cole Henry 16, Xavier Foster 11, Rian Yates 8, Spencer Tucker 6
Glenwood: 23-57 FG (40.4%), 9-28 3P (32.1%), 11-15 FT (73.3%), 36 rebounds, 14 assists, five turnovers
Oskaloosa: 25-46 FG (54.3%), 8-19 3P (42.1%), 4-9 FT (44.4%), 25 rebounds, 17 assists, 10 turnovers
All-Tournament Team (Media): Matt Mims (Cedar Rapids Xavier), Jarad Kruse (Oskaloosa), Xavier Foster (Oskaloosa), Nate Mohr (Glenwood), Andrew Blum (Glenwood, captain)
Semifinal No. 1: No. 4 Glenwood 69, No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier 63
There’s an old saying in basketball, “You live by the 3, you die by the 3”. That wasn’t the case in this one, but maybe we can update that saying to become “You live by your stars, you die by your stars.” Glenwood’s stars rose to the occasion and the two-time defending champion Xavier Saints were dethroned on Thursday afternoon, 69-63.
A game that was played within five points either way until the final nail in the coffin free throw from Nate Mohr, it was Glenwood who scored six of the last eight points to take home the win.
Not a traditionally “big” team, the Rams starting lineup goes 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, 6-5, which by Iowa high school standards is probably above average, but nothing earth shattering. But this team is LONG and athletic, and they made life extremely difficult for Xavier’s “Big Two” in the semifinal win, as Matt Mims and Jackson Joens combined to shoot just 9-35 from the floor (6-19 from 3) in the Saints’ loss. The Rams bothered them all afternoon with their length, contesting their shots at the paint, and using their quick hands to routinely strip Mims as he rose into shots.
Trailing 42-41 entering the final period, Glenwood finally took complete control with 3:09 to play, when Nate Mohr made a pair of free throws to give the Rams a one-point lead, 55-54. The Rams didn’t trail the rest of the way, as Mohr and Ryan Blum combined to go 8-8 from the line in the final 1:05 to ice away the win. The Rams, a 72.9% free throw shooting team on the year, best of the remaining four teams in the 3A field, were 17-18 from the line in the win (94.4%). It turns out that having a 91.8% shooter (Mohr) helps out in close games.
Xavier (19-7) will play in Friday morning’s consolation game, but for a team that was looking for a 3-peat, that’s a bitter end to the year, in particular the stellar careers of Matt Mims and Jackson Joens, who’ve shone on this stage many times before. The Saints were led in scoring by Mims and Joens, who each had 14. Kyle Moeder added 12 and Quinn Schulte had 11. The latter two will both return next season for the Saints.
Glenwood improves to 24-2 with the win, and will play the winner of the Oskaloosa/Waverly-Shell Rock game in Friday night’s championship. The Rams were led by Nate Mohr and Andrew Blum, who each had 21 points. Blum added 13 rebounds. Christian Stanislav added 16 in the win, and the Rams shot 51.1% from the floor.
MVP: Nate Mohr (Glenwood) — 21 points (5-14 FG, 3-12 3P, 8-8 FT), four assists, seven turnovers, three steals, one block
Andrew Blum posted a big double-double, but it was Mohr’s free-throw shooting that sealed the upset win and carried Glenwood into Friday’s championship. He was unflappable down the stretch, and also made a few big 3s over the course of the game.
Glenwood: Nate Mohr 21, Andrew Blum 21, Christian Stanislav 16, Ryan Blum 5, Zach Carr 4, Cody Buresh 2
Cedar Rapids Xavier: Matt Mims 14, Jackson Joens 14, Kyle Moeder 12, Quinn Schulte 11, Aaron Bartels 9, Gabe Lux 3
Glenwood: 23-45 FG (51.1%), 6-20 3P (30%), 17-18 FT (94.4%), 27 rebounds, eight assists, 11 turnovers
Cedar Rapids Xavier: 24-55 FG (43.6%), 7-23 3P (30.4%), 8-12 FT (66.7%), 29 rebounds, 14 assists, 10 turnovers
Semifinal No. 2: No. 3 Oskaloosa 48, No. 7 Waverly-Shell Rock 45
It wasn’t pretty, but it’ll work. Third seed Oskaloosa advanced to Friday night’s championship game with a 48-45 win over seventh-seeded Waverly-Shell Rock on Thursday afternoon, overcoming a brutal 9-25 performance from the free throw line to overcome a game Go-Hawks squad and set up a meeting with Glenwood.
Oskaloosa looked like they were in control early, building a 10-point lead early in the second quarter, and maintaining at minimum a two possession lead throughout the quarter, taking an eight-point lead, 25-17, into the break.
Waverly-Shell Rock opened the second half on a 6-2 run to trim the lead down to two, then Xavier Foster picked up his third foul, sending him to the bench. The Go-Hawks took advantage, going on an 8-2 run to take a 34-31 lead. Spencer Tucker drilled a 3 from the top of the key with 1:05 left in the third quarter to tie it up, then Cole Henry made an acrobatic, spinning layup to allow the Indians to close the quarter on a 5-0 run, taking a 36-34 lead.
The Indians led throughout the fourth quarter, but not without getting scared a bit by the free throw shooting. At just 60.9% as a team, the Indians were the worst free throw shooting team in the 3A field, and that reared it’s ugly head, as they were at one point 3-17 after Foster had missed three after getting fouled on a 3. They rebounded to make six of their last eight from the line to seal the win, but not without the Go-Hawks continuing to make it interesting. Down 46-39, Jack Seward drilled a 3 with 21 seconds left. 46-42. Oskaloosa nearly threw it away on the ensuing inbounds, but the 6-11 Foster corralled it and went to the line, where he missed both. Seward came down and drilled another 3, 46-45 with 10 seconds left. Rian Yates went to the line for Oskaloosa with four seconds left to play, made both, and Waverly-Shell Rock failed to get a shot off down by three, and Oskaloosa survived. Survive and advance. An ugly win is a win.
Waverly-Shell Rock (19-7) will face Cedar Rapids Xavier on Friday morning in the consolation game. The Go-Hawks were led by Luke Velky, who had 13 points and was the only player in double figures. He and big man Mosai Newsom will be the Go-Hawks leaders next season, when they’ll attempt to make yet another state tournament trip.
Oskaloosa improved to 23-3 on the season with the win, and will face Glenwood at 6:30 on Friday night for the Class 3A title. The Indians shot 58.1% from the floor to overcome the free throw woes. They were led by Jarad Kruse, who had a game-high 16 points. Xavier Foster added 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks (but was 0-8 from the line), and Cole Henry added 11 points and three assists in the win.
MVP: Jarad Kruse (Oskaloosa) — 16 points (7-13 FG, 2-7 FT), five rebounds, one block, one steal
The 6-5 forward is the unsung hero of the Indians on a nightly basis. He led the team in scoring on the season, and he did so here. While Cole Henry and Xavier Foster get most of the attention, it’s Kruse who delivered key bucket after key bucket for the Indians en route to his 16 points. He has tremendous footwork and touch around the rim, and just routinely produces at a high level.
Oskaloosa: Jarad Kruse 16, Xavier Foster 11, Cole Henry 11, Spencer Tucker 6, Tanner DeKock 2, Rian Yates 2
Waverly-Shell Rock: Luke Velky 13, Jack Seward 9, Jacob Bahe 8, Mosai Newsom 6, Jordan Downing 5, Braden Holmquist 4
Oskaloosa: 18-31 FG (58.1%), 3-5 3P (60%), 9-25 FT (36%), 26 rebounds, nine assists, 11 turnovers
Waverly-Shell Rock: 19-43 FG (44.2%), 3-14 3P (21.4%), 4-5 FT (80%), 22 rebounds, six assists, eight turnovers
Quarterfinal No. 1: No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier 67, No. 8 Marion 60
Top seed and two-time defending champion Cedar Rapids Xavier got all they wanted and more on Tuesday morning before eventually holding off eighth seeded Marion, 67-60.
The Saints never trailed, but it seemed like they were in danger for two-thirds of the contest, before a late third quarter spurt from senior wing Jackson Joens put them up 11 heading into the fourth quarter.
Star senior guard Matt Mims has had a lot of big moments in his three years playing at the State Tournament, but he saved his best for this one, scoring 32 points and dishing out three assists in the win for the Saints. In a first half in which the rest of the team was struggling, it was Mims’ 18 first half points that carried them to a 28-20 halftime lead. The rest of the Saints’ roster shot just 4-13 in the first half and scored 10 points, including just 1-6 from Joens.
Joens knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in a 23-second span late in the third quarter to push the lead to 11, and the Indians were never able to get any closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Marion ends the year with a 14-11 record, but with their first state tournament appearance since 2011, following an unexpected run through their substate bracket. The Indians were led by Chase Zielke, who had 14 points in his final high school game. Alex Whalen added 13 and Trevor Paulsen had 11 in the loss. The Indians had a 31-24 edge on the glass.
Xavier (19-6) moves into the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year, and their quest for the three-peat remains in tact. The Saints were led by future South Dakota State Jackrabbit Matt Mims, who had a tournament-high 32 points on 10-19 shooting. Jackson Joens overcame a slow start to score 14 points. He also pulled down seven rebounds.
MVP: Matt Mims (Cedar Rapids Xavier) — 32 points (10-19 FG, 5-8 3P, 7-8 FT), four rebounds, three assists, two steals
This was Mims’ seventh game at the State Tournament, and while he’s had some big time moments here before, this was his best game from start-to-finish. He was dominant from the opening tip, routinely in score first mode, which is a bit of a change from how he’s played in previous years. The much improved 3-point stroke was on full display, going 5-8 from behind the arc, and he made big shots and big plays every time Marion got a rally going.
Marion: Chase Zielke 14, Alex Whalen 13, Trevor Paulsen 11, Jevin Manderscheid 8, Jaffer Murphy 5, Grant Meth 4, Connor Whalen 2, JD Grawe 2, Mason Rahe 1
Cedar Rapids Xavier: Matt Mims 32, Jackson Joens 14, Gabe Lux 6, Kyle Moeder 6, Quinn Schulte 5, Aaron Bartels 4
Marion: 24-53 FG (45.3%), 4-14 3P (28.6%), 8-17 FT (47.1%), 32 rebounds (14 offensive, 18 defensive), nine assists, 14 turnovers
Cedar Rapids Xavier: 20-41 FG (48.8%), 8-17 3P (47.1%), 19-22 FT (86.4%), 24 rebounds (five offensive, 19 defensive), 10 assists, 11 turnovers
Quarterfinal No. 2: No. 4 Glenwood 67, No. 5 Norwalk 58
My, how the tides turned in this one. In one of the biggest comebacks in state tournament history, the fourth seeded Glenwood Rams overcame a 20-point first half deficit to knock off fifth seed Norwalk, 67-58, on Tuesday afternoon, advancing to the 3A semifinals.
During an absolutely dominant first half, Norwalk jumped out to a 34-14 lead with 3:46 left in the half, and carried a 40-22 lead into the locker rooms. The Warriors shot 56.7% from the floor in the first half, and held Glenwood to just 24.1% shooting. It looked like the Warriors were going to roll into a meeting with Cedar Rapids Xavier.
Things changed in the second half in a big way. A Glenwood team that has prided itself on their swarming defense took control of the game, and took advantage of a Norwalk offense that went a bit stagnant, closing the third quarter on a 17-3 run to close the gap to just four heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was dominated by Glenwood, outscoring Norwalk 24-11 in the last eight minutes behind that smothering defense and their tremendous length that caused eight second half turnovers and blocked three shots in the second half (six overall). Glenwood grabbed their first lead of the game with 5:41 to play on a 3-ball by freshman Ryan Blum. Norwalk tied it back up at 56 with 2:30 to play on a pair of Luke Vaske free throws, but the Rams answered with a bucket and one by Christian Stanislav. The Rams went 9-9 from the line in the final 2:15 en route to the unbelievable comeback win.
MVP: Ryan Blum, Glenwood (2021) — 17 points (6-10 FG, 3-7 3P, 2-3 FT), six rebounds, two blocks
The 6-3 freshman came off the bench for the Rams and was sensational in the second half, scoring 14 of his 17 points and going 5-7 from the floor in the final 16 minutes en route to the comeback win. He showed the ability to score around the rim and from the arc, and with his strength, he’s solid on the glass as well. He and older brother Andrew combined to block five shots for the Rams.
Norwalk: Luke Vaske 17, Tyler Endres 14, Daniel Geistler 12, Bowen Born 8, Blake Johnson 5, Tyler Johnson 2
Glenwood: Ryan Blum 17, Andrew Blum 13, Nate Mohr 11, Zach Carr 11, Christian Stanislav 8, Nate Kennedy 7
Norwalk: 23-49 FG (46.9%), 4-15 3P (26.7%), 8-11 FT (72.7%), 30 rebounds (eight offensive, 22 defensive), eight assists, 11 turnovers
Glenwood: 21-55 FG (38.2%), 7-26 3P (26.9%), 18-19 FT (94.7%), 32 rebounds (13 offensive, 19 defensive), 12 assists, five turnovers
Quarterfinal No. 3: No. 7 Waverly-Shell Rock 59, No. 2 Mount Pleasant 51
Maybe it shouldn’t surprise us when Waverly-Shell Rock wins games at Wells Fargo Arena anymore, but the Go-Hawks pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament with their 59-51 win over Mount Pleasant on Tuesday afternoon.
Behind the strength of a dominant defense that gave the smaller Mount Pleasant guards fits all game, the Go-Hawks held the Panthers to just 37.5% from the floor in the game, and used a remarkably efficient attack to shoot 60.6% from the field themselves.
The game swung with an injury to Mount Pleasant big man Kieran Kohorst in the second quarter. Kohorst isn’t a major scorer at just 7.2 points a game, but at 6-3, he’s the biggest body a small Mount Pleasant team had, and with him out for the remainder of the game, Waverly-Shell Rock was able to dictate the tempo and play at the slower pace they wanted, using their overwhelming size advantage to play inside-out. Each possession the Go-Hawks had, particularly in the second half, was lengthy, with each player touching the ball on each possession, patiently picking apart a Mount Pleasant defense that has been stout all year, allowing just 43 points a game.
Mount Pleasant ends the season with a 21-4 record. A Panthers group that has started on varsity together since they were freshmen will surely be disappointed with the outcome this week, but they qualified for the state tournament two years in a row and won an awful lot of games together. The Panthers were led by Brady Sartorius, who had 25 points in his final game. Jordan Magnani added 10 in the loss.
Waverly-Shell Rock (19-6) moves into the semifinals for the fifth time in the last six years. The Go-Hawks were led by Jack Seward, who had 17 points, leading three Go-Hawks in double figures. Luke Velky had 14 and Braden Holmquist added 11. The veteran guards headlined a very efficient, patient attack, routinely getting great looks at the rim.
MVP: Jack Seward (Waverly-Shell Rock) — 17 points (6-9 FG, 2-4 3P, 3-7 FT), two rebounds, one assist
The senior guard led the team in scoring, but it was when those points came that mattered the most. He had eight points in the third quarter when the Go-Hawks took control of the game, knocking down a pair of 3s and getting loose for a layup during that stretch. He was also a key part of a Go-Hawks defense that suffocated a potent Panthers offense throughout the evening.
Waverly-Shell Rock: Jack Seward 17, Luke Velky 14, Braden Holmquist 11, Mosai Newsom 9, Jacob Bahe 6, Jordan Downing 2
Mount Pleasant: Brady Sartorius 25, Jordan Magnani 10, Maison Ashton 6, Rhett Zeglen 4, Jonathan Ita 3, Kieran Kohorst 3
Waverly-Shell Rock: 20-33 FG (60.6%), 2-6 3P (33.3%), 17-28 FT (60.7%), 22 rebounds (three offensive, 19 defensive), 14 assists, 11 turnovers
Mount Pleasant: 15-40 FG (37.5%), 6-11 3P (54.5%), 15-20 FT (75%), 23 rebounds (seven offensive, 16 defensive), eight assists, 11 turnovers
Quarterfinal No. 4: No. 3 Oskaloosa 63, No. 6 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 47
It wasn’t quite as dramatic a comeback as Glenwood had earlier on Tuesday afternoon, but it was a comeback nonetheless as third seeded Oskaloosa erased a 10-point first half deficit en route to a dominant 63-47 quarterfinal win over sixth seed Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
Oskaloosa star sophomore Xavier Foster picked up his second foul late in the first quarter, and sat for a large chunk of the first half as a result. Oskaloosa led 11-8 when he picked up that foul, and Sergeant Bluff-Luton responded with a 12-2 run to take a 20-13 lead. That lead extended to as much as 10, 25-15, before Foster came back in late in the half and gave the Indians some life with a pair of 3s.
The second half was an entirely different story, as Foster avoided that crucial third foul and the Indians came out on fire, knocking down five of their first six shots from behind the arc and winning the third quarter 21-6 to take a commanding 44-34 lead into the final eight minutes. Oskaloosa led by as much as 21 (60-39) in the closing minutes.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton ends the year with a 15-10 record. The Warriors were the runners-up here last season, and made another trip to State this year after getting off to a rocky start. With a large chunk of the roster returning, headlined by the trio of Conner Groves, Daniel Wright and Sam DeMoss, don’t be surprised to see SB-L near the top of our “Way Too Early” rankings in August. The Warriors were led tonight by Sam DeMoss, who had 11 points and four steals. Daniel Wright added 10 points in the loss.
Oskaloosa (22-3) moves into Thursday’s semifinals, where they’ll meet Waverly-Shell Rock. The Indians shot 69.6% from the floor in the second half, winning the final 16 minutes 40-19. They were led by Xavier Foster, who had 18 points on 7-10 shooting, including 4-5 from the arc. Spencer Tucker added 13 points (including a trio of huge 3s during that third quarter explosion), and Cole Henry had 11 points in the win.
MVP: Xavier Foster (Oskaloosa) — 18 points (7-10 FG, 4-5 3P), four rebounds, two assists, three blocks
The star sophomore is ranked in most places as a top 25-30 prospect in the 2020 class nationally. He showed why in the Indians quarterfinal win. A 6-11 athletic freak, he showed the ability to step out to the arc and knock down jumpers with a beautiful, effortless stroke. And he’s a fantastic rim protector, blocking three shots and altering the way that the Warriors attacked the Indians defense. Once Oskaloosa flipped the switch early in the third quarter, they were dominant, and Foster was a huge reason why.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton: Sam DeMoss 11, Daniel Wright 10, Conner Groves 9, Jeremiah Khat 9, Ty Boekelman 6, Nick Muller 2
Oskaloosa: Xavier Foster 18, Spencer Tucker 13, Cole Henry 11, Tanner DeKock 9, Jarad Kruse 6, Rian Yates 5, Nick Harrington 1
Sergeant Bluff-Luton: 19-54 FG (35.2%), 7-26 3P (26.9%), 2-2 FT (100%), 28 rebounds (12 offensive, 16 defensive), six assists, nine turnovers
Oskaloosa: 26-45 FG (57.8%), 9-20 3P (45.0%), 2-7 FT (28.6%), 28 rebounds (five offensive, 23 defensive), 17 assits, nine turnovers