Rams punch third straight ticket to state with 76-43 win
With his team leading 48-21 at halftime in the Class 4A regional finals, Glenwood head coach Brian Rasmussen told his team he felt like that was the best half of basketball they’d played all season.
His team disagreed.
“They told me, ‘That was probably the best half of basketball we played EVER, coach,’” Rasmussen said.
It’s hard to argue with Rasmussen or his team’s assessment.
They were that good.
The Rams hit 10-of-14 threes in the first two quarters, closed the half on a 26-4 run and cruised to a dominating 76-43 victory over Winterset to punch their third straight ticket to the state basketball tournament.
Glenwood opens the state tournament Tuesday against Bondurant-Farrar (16-7). Tipoff is set for 3:15 p.m.
Glenwood seemed in control from the opening tip against the Huskies (16-7).
“They recognized it too,” Rasmussen said of his team’s sterling first half. “It was a pretty good start. It’s obviously going to look good from an offensive standpoint and the number of kids that put the ball in the basket but I was more impressed with our defense in the first half.”
The game was knotted at 7-7 early when the Rams began to settle in. They rattled off eight straight points and lead 19-11 heading into the second quarter.
But that was just the beginning. Leading 22-17, back-to-back Huskie turnovers led to back-to-back Abby Hughes three-pointers. That kicked off a 16-1 run that blew the game open. The Rams closed the half on a 26-4 run that had the Rams in control 48-21 at the half.
The Rams’ offense was good all night – they hit a season-best 15-of-27 three-pointers – and Madison Camden and Jenna Hopp combined for 52 points. But it was the team defense, Rasmussen said, that was the difference.
Winterset leading scorer Jenna Young, who entered averaging nearly 19 points per game, was held scoreless the first quarter and to just six points through three quarters.
“We did something a little bit different on her,” Rasmussen said of his defensive game plan against Young. “We switched everything. You probably saw just about everybody guard her. We wanted to be the aggressor and not let her get to the basket. It seemed to be pretty effective.”
Camden scored a game-high 29 and Hopp added 23. Brynlee Arnold scored nine points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
“The basket was pretty big for Jenna and Madison tonight and they both had good nights, but we had seven different girls capitalize and hits three’s,” Rasmussen said. “That was big for everybody but I was super impressed with what we did on the defensive end.”
Glenwood heads to state with a 19-5 record andriding a five-game winning streak. It’s the third straight trip to state for the Rams’ after reaching the semifinals in 2020 and falling in a tight state final last season.
“We’re not taking it for granted,” Rasmussen said. “It’s a special thing even though we’ve been there the last two years. We’re going to be excited and ready to play. We’re heading to Des Moines with large ambitions. The girls are pretty excited.”