LOGAN, Iowa — Postseason play awaits IKM-Manning on Saturday, and the Wolves should feel well prepared for what's to come in the Class 2-A field.
They finished the regular season with two difficult road games against the Western Iowa Conference's top teams: 2-A No. 10 Treynor and Logan-Magnolia.
The Wolves dropped a 70-58 decision at Treynor last week, but they rebounded Thursday, downing Logan-Magnolia 57-48.
Sophomore Kia Rasmussen led the Wolves (15-5, 12-5 WIC) with 18 points, including 13 in the second half.
IKM-Manning will host Woodward-Granger in the opening round of regional play.
"I'm sure glad our schedule worked out that way," IKM-Manning coach Gene Rasmussen said. "To give us some good tests before we go into it, that's big. I'm happy about that.
"(Logan-Magnolia) was playing very good basketball coming into this, and I thought our kids did a very good job of stepping up to the challenge, playing as hard as they could. I'm proud of them."
The Panthers (16-4, 13-4) entered as winners of eight straight, but they struggled most of the night to build any kind of significant scoring run.
A Kylan Straight free throw 16 seconds into the second quarter gave the Panthers their only lead of the game at 14-13. IKM-Manning countered with a 12-1 run to take the lead for good with 4:34 left in the first half.
"I think our defense is pretty good, and we just move the ball and work well as a team," Kia Rasmussen said.
Logan-Magnolia made 19 of 47 field goals, but its inability to come up with big baskets hurt.
"It's a grind this time of year," Logan-Magnolia coach Derek Sonderland said. "You've got to be able to keep legs fresh and knock shots down.
"Plus, we're not real deep, and that kind of played a role a little bit tonight. I thought we had good looks, we just didn't shoot the ball as well as we were hoping."
The Panthers were still in contention in the fourth quarter, with Kenzie Cunard's basket bringing them within 46-42 with 5:24 left in the game.
But the Wolves outscored Logan-Magnolia 11-6 the rest of the way for their second win of the season over the Panthers.
Shauna Reitan and Aly Stadtlander each finished with nine points for the Wolves, and Madison Lingle and Kira Barry had eight.
"We've come a long ways since the beginning of the year and we've had some struggles, but I think we've been able to build from those struggles at times," Gene Rasmussen said. "Hopefully, we can continue to grow and take this as far as we can go."
Cunard finished with a game high 23 points for Logan-Magnolia, which will also open 2-A postseason play Saturday when it hosts AHSTW. Straight was the only other Panther in double figures with 12.
"We've got to make what we learned tonight better immediately," Sonderland said. "We've got to learn from this. It was good competition, and that's what we want to see right now to get us ready for tournament play."
IKM-MANNING BOYS 55, LOGAN-MAGNOLIA 47
Ben Wegner led IKM-Manning with 22 points.
Kyle Wagner added 20 points for the Wolves (18-2).
Kolby Morrison paced Logan-Magnolia with 12 points, and Nic Hiller and Jarek Richardson each finished with 11.
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