Rams overcome slow start, Titans on road
COUNCIL BLUFFS - After a lackluster start that saw Glenwood go the first four minutes of the game without a field goal and struggle to adjust to Council Bluffs Lewis Central’s zone defense, the Rams tightened the screws defensively in the second half to win going away 55-34 on the road in Council Bluffs last Tuesday.
The Class 4A, No. 1 ranked Rams (7-1 overall, 5-0 in the conference) had trouble early penetrating the Titans’ 2-3 zone – a defensive culprit Rams head coach Brian Rasmussen said his team has seen a lot of lately. The game was tied at 14-14 after a quarter and 21-21 at the half.
“We’ve put in some new offenses, some new looks and we’re still getting acclimated to those,” the coach said of his team’s work against the zone. “And you can tell a little bit but we’ll get better over the break and as we continue into the second half of the season we’ll get better at zone.
“We anticipate seeing a bit of it. Yeah, it was a slow start. It’s kind of tough to put things in new and sample them out on the competitive floor but that’s kind of how it was tonight.”
With their offense sputtering, the Rams picked it up on the defensive end. Mixing zone and man-to-man with their typical full-court pressure, Glenwood turned their defense into offense early in the third quarter on a 12-3 run to go up 32-24. The lead was 36-27 at the end of three. In the quarter, the Rams held the Titans to 2-of-12 shooting and forced six turnovers.
A layup by Kennedy Jones and three-pointer and a three-point play by Jenna Hopp lay right out of the game gave Glenwood it’s biggest lead of the game to that point at 44-27. The Titans wouldn’t get within 15 the rest of the way.
“We kind of picked up pressure a little bit,” Rasmussen said. “If we can score we like to get after people and defend a little bit and that helps to speed the game up which is certainly what we’re trying to do. We were able to do that for a little bit in the third quarter.”
Hopp led the way for Glenwood with 21 points. Madison Camden added 15 and Jones eight.
As the Rams head into the holiday break, Rasmussen said he seen some things he likes and some things he doesn’t in his team’s first eight games.
“I don’t think it was the start we wanted but we get better every time we go out,” he said. “Baby steps, one step forward and we’re going in the right direction and that’s a good thing. We’re just trying to build so we are playing our best game, best basketball at the end of the season and I think this is just one step closer to that. We’ve got some work to do and we’ll get that ironed out but we’re going in the right direction.
Glenwood returns to the court Jan. 7 at Shenandoah.