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No. 6 Rams fall in barn burner; miss on state

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Nate Mohr

ATLANTIC, Iowa — Late-game magic had been in Glenwood’s corner for the last two postseasons.

So when the Rams were locked in a tense struggle with Perry down the stretch on Monday, coach Curt Schulte felt confident.

“There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to win this ballgame,’’ he said, “and there was no doubt in their minds.’’

With the game tied, Nate Mohr’s floater in the lane rolled in and out for Glenwood, sending the teams to overtime. In the extra session, Ryan Rathje delivered a key block and tiebreaking 3-pointer with just under a minute left, and unrated Perry knocked off the sixth-rated Rams 73-71 in the Iowa Class 3-A, Substate 8 final before a reporter-estimated 1,400 at Atlantic High School.

The Bluejays (15-9) are into the state tournament for the first time since winning it all 28 years ago. They earned the seventh seed and will play second-seeded, top-rated Pella (22-1) at 8:15 p.m. on March 8 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, after surviving a game with 10 ties and 14 lead changes.

“It was a great basketball game,’’ Perry coach Ned Menke said. “Big shots hit at both ends of the court. Everyone on the edge of their seat. It’s just fun to be able to stand in the winner’s circle after a game like that. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.’’

Glenwood closed at 19-5. The Rams shared the Hawkeye Ten Conference title with Carroll Kuemper and Harlan, their first piece of a league crown since 1952, Schulte said.

“They’re competitors,’’ Schulte said. “They’re taking it hard, which competitors do. It’s unfortunate that somebody had to lose that game.’’

Glenwood rallied from eight down with 4:30 left in regulation. Mohr started a 10-0 run with a 3-pointer, and Aaron Bertini finished it with a putback that pushed the Rams ahead 63-61 with 1:10 showing.

Kyle Nevitt’s driving hoop tied it with 32 seconds left. Mohr’s runner with about six seconds left spun out, and when Perry’s desperation heave was well short, the teams played four more minutes.

After a Perry turnover, Glenwood gained possession with the score tied at 69 and just more than a minute left. But the 6-foot-6 Rathje made a timely block and then coolly drained a 3 from the right wing for a 72-69 lead.

Still up 73-70, Perry missed four straight free throws, the final two with 6.2 seconds left. But Alex Long alertly fouled Mohr just past midcourt with 3.4 seconds left, before the sharpshooter could launch.

Mohr finished with a game-high 26 points, hitting 5 of 15 from 3-point range, all of them from well beyond the arc.

“Just with the player he is, there’s no way you want him to take a 3 for the (tie),’’ Long said. “I didn’t get told to foul. I guess that’s just what I’ve always (believed). I mean, under five seconds and you’re up three, you might as well foul.’’

Mohr made the first and left the second short. Perry eventually secured the rebound and then celebrated wildly.

Perry played the final 3:11 of regulation and all of the overtime without leading scorer Shammond Ivory, who finished with 25 points, about three more than his average.

“You don’t know how kids are going to react to that, and they just turned it up to a different level tonight,’’ Menke said.

Sophomore Andrew Blum added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Rams, and senior Connor Weis had 10 points and six boards.

Schulte said he derived great enjoyment from coaching this Glenwood team.

“They did it the right way,’’ he said softly. “They didn’t care about stats. They did it for each other.’’

Glenwood (19-5) 16 17 11 19 8—71

Perry (15-9) 17 14 19 13 10—73

G: Nate Mohr 7-20 7-9 26, Andrew Blum 5-15 3-4 14, Carter Von Essen 3-3 0-0 6, Kobe Rhodes 1-4 0-0 2, Connor Weis 4-8 2-3 10, Aaron Bertini 3-4 0-0 6, Christian Stanislav 2-10 3-5 7, Talon Stromgren 0-0 0-0 0, Drake Harrington 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-64 15-21 71.

P: Rashon Ivory 2-8 2-4 7, Shammond Ivory 9-13 5-6 25, Janier Puente 5-6 2-6 12, Ryan Rathje 4-7 3-6 14, Kyle Nevitt 6-12 0-2 12, Alex Long 0-1 0-0 0, Solomon Pierce 1-4 1-2 3, Connor Nielsen 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 27-53 13-26 73.

3-point goals: G 6-25 (Mohr 5-15, Blum 1-4, Weis 0-1, Rhodes 0-2, Stanislav 0-3), P 6-17 (Rathje 3-5, S. Ivory 2-5, R. Ivory 1-4, Long 0-1, Nevitt 0-1, Nielsen 0-1). Total fouls: G 15, P 17. Fouled out: S. Ivory, Blum. Technical fouls: none. Rebounds: G 36 (Blum 8), P 33 (Puente 9). Assists: G 10 (4 with 2), P 11 (Nevitt 5). Steals: G 1 (Mohr), P 9 (S. Ivory 3). Turnovers: G 14, P 14.

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