Rams rally falls short in home loss
Tough losses can have a way of beating teams twice.
Case in point: Glenwood’s 62-55 loss to Kuemper Catholic Thursday.
Just two nights after nearly rallying from a double-digit deficit at Harlan only to lose on a last second shot, the Rams again put up a valiant comeback effort against the Knights but could not get over the hump in just their second home loss of the season.
“I think that one took a little out of us tonight,” said Glenwood coach Curt Schulte said of his team’s second straight close loss. “We played three really good quarters of basketball at Harlan and came up short. I think that impacted our energy tonight.”
From the opening tip the Rams had trouble scoring. The Knights’ aggressive man-to-man defense, switched every screen and controlled Glenwood’s ability to get in the lane in the first half.
“They were a very solid defensive group and we knew that coming in,” Schulte said. “I was just disappointed with our energy. It didn’t seem like we had our legs tonight. We need to bring more energy early on.”
The Rams’ trailed 28-20 at the half but came out after halftime looking more lively on both ends of the court. They quickly cut the lead to five but the Knights went on an 11-2 run to go up 42-29 with two minutes to go in the third quarter.
The margin would stay at 13 until the Rams’ Tommy Johnson hit a three-pointer to make it 39-49 and key a 13-5 run. Jayme Fritts’ three-pointer with just under three minutes to go trimmed the lead to 54-49.
But Glenwood couldn’t get the stop they needed on the ensuing possession. Carter Putney’s layup ended the Knights’ two minute scoring drought to make it 56-39. The Rams cut the lead to five once again inside two minutes but they would get no closer. Kuemper hit 6-of-8 free throws in the final 1:19 to secure the win.
“We didn’t get those back-to-back stops,” Schulte said of his team’s comeback. “Anytime we’d cut into that lead a little bit they’d come down and hit a big shot against us. We just couldn’t get it any lower than five points.”
After scoring just 20 first half points the Rams out-scored the Knights’ 35-34 after halftime and held a 36-22 rebounding edge for the game. Schulte credits that to his team’s improved second-half effort.
“We were trying to get the going downhill more,” the coach said. “They tried really hard to funnel us left and we wanted to get to the rim and get the ball kicked and get more reversals and ball swings. I thought we were much better at that the second half than the first.”
Caden Johnson scored 16 points to lead three Rams in double figures. Fritts and Zac Kelsey added 10 each.
Michael Kasperbauer led Kuemper with 15 points.
Brad Curren’s putback with 1.6 seconds remaining lifted Harlan to a 54-52 win over Glenwood in boys Hawkeye 10 Conference basketball last Tuesday in Harlan.
The Rams (6-4 overall, 4-3 in the conference) got down 15 points early before battling back and take a seven point lead in the fourth quarter on the Class 3A, No. 1 ranked Cyclones (10-0 overall, 9-0).
But Harlan responded.
Connor Frame kicked off a 7-0 run, getting loose on a fast break for a dunk which pumped some life back into the Cyclones. Frame followed his dunk with a tip in and then hit a three-pointer.
The last two minutes was very a flurry of back-and-forth but the Cyclones found themselves down 52-48 before Teagon Kasperbauer hit a free throw and saw his second rim out only to have Aidan Hall put it back in to cut the lead to 52-51.
Frame was fouled on the next possession and made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game.
Glenwood held for the last shot bur Kasperbauer came up with a steal on the inbounds pass to set up Curren’s final shot. Curren missed his first attempt at a game-winner but got his own rebound and put it back in.
“It was great to have Brad Curren back in the lineup,” Osborn said of his junior point guard that had missed the previous two games with an injury. “This was a game where we found a way to win it as Glenwood outplayed us in the second, third and the first half of the fourth quarter and we made a late push to come up with the very hard fought win.”
Caden Johnson played a big factor in the Rams’ comeback, scoring 18 of his game-high 23 points in the first half. He also added five assists and five rebounds.
Curren led the way for Harlan with 16 points. Frame added 12 points and Jacob Birch 10.