HARLAN, Iowa — Logan Klaassen struggled in Harlan’s final two regular-season games, totaling just 10 points.
Since district play began, Klaassen’s slump has ended. The senior made five 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 26 points Friday night in the Cyclones’ 67-44 win over Creston in the Class 3-A, Substate 8 semifinal. Klaassen also scored 18 points Tuesday against Perry.
“My teammates and coaches have a lot of trust in me, and my teammates found me when I was open,” Klaassen said. “They hit me in rhythm and I let the game come to me tonight.”
Klaassen hit two early 3s, and Deren Schmitz added two buckets in a game-opening 15-3 run for Harlan (15-7). Creston pulled to within 21-16 when the Cyclones’ Shane Chamberlain stole the ball and took it the other way for a two-handed dunk.
Klaassen hit three more 3-pointers and Chamberlain added one of his own as the Cyclones went on a 14-0 run to take a 40-18 halftime lead.
“They have a lot of good shooters and it’s tough to stop them when they get rolling like that,” Creston coach Taylor Phipps said. “We tried to run them off of the line, but credit to them for knocking down shots.”
Harlan’s lead stretched to as many as 27 when Deren Schmitz scored in the final seconds of the third quarter. Kylan Smallwood and Evan Jacobsen, who led the Panthers (11-12) with 13 points each, pulled their team within 17 in the fourth but could not cut into the deficit any further.
Osborn commended Jared Moser and Hunter Manz for their defense on Smallwood, who was held 11 points below his season average.
“We went diamond-and-one like the old days and put our smallest guys on one of their bigger guys and had help all the way around,” Osborn said. “They missed shots but we contested them and we got the rebounds, which got us out in transition.”
The Cyclones will take on Hawkeye Ten Conference foe Glenwood in the substate final. Harlan lost twice to the Rams in the regular season.
“We have been playing them since third grade,” Klaassen said. “We know what to expect and we are going to give it our best shot.”
Creston (11-12) 13 5 10 16—44
Harlan (15-7) 20 20 15 12—67
C: Kylan Smallwood 13, Cael Kralik 6, Evan Jacobson 13, Mark Rounds 3, Brance Baker 3, Tucker Flynn 2, Jaden Driskell 4.
H: Logan Klaassen 26, Brett Sears 5, Jared Moser 1, Shane Chamberlain 21, Deren Schmitz 6, Drase Klindt 3, Jacob Hansen 5.