HCHS senior Lexi Larsen battles a Glenwood player for control of the ball during Friday’s home win. Cyclone junior Anna Ahrenholtz attempts a shot. HCHS freshman Macie Leinen (22) battles for a rebound. (Photos by Mike Oeffner)

Cyclone girls rally past Glenwood, 48-44

 HARLAN (Feb. 2) -- It wasn’t always pretty, but the Harlan Community girls basketball team wrapped up conference play with a 48-44 home win over Glenwood Friday night, improving to 9-9 overall and finishing 6-4 in the Hawkeye Ten for a share of fifth place.
 Overcoming shaky free throw shooting, scoring droughts and a seven-point third-quarter deficit, HCHS utilized improved second-half defense to outscore the Rams 17-5 during a key stretch of the second half and sweep the season series.
 The two teams combined to shoot 35 fourth quarter free throws, including 26 in the last 2:30. The Cyclones made 12-of-25 fouls shots in the final stanza and finished 21-of-42 for the game.
 HCHS was playing its first full contest without starting point guard Brecken Van Baale, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
 Coach Zach Klaassen was just glad to get the W.
 “Sometimes you’ve got to grind ‘em out,” he said, “and it was definitely a grind-out game. Kudos to the kids. We might not have played the best fundamentally, but we found a way to win.”
 Nicole Lange finished the night with a double-double, leading the Cyclones with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Chloe Hansen and Anna Ahrenholtz both scored eight points.

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