Cyclones rout Creston, earn spot in substate final
HARLAN (Feb. 23) -- Some folks around southwest Iowa may still disagree, but on this night anyway, the Harlan Community boys basketball team looked like a legit top-two seed in Class 3A, Substate 8.
Bolstered by the red-hot outside shooting of Logan Klaassen, excellent team passing and an effective junk defense, the Cyclones put together two big first-half runs to build a 40-18 lead and put away Creston, 67-44, in Friday’s substate semifinal in Harlan.
Klaassen scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, including five 3-pointers, and Shane Chamberlain sparked a key 16-0 spurt with a breakaway dunk en route to scoring 20.
HCHS (15-7) advanced to Monday’s 7 p.m. Substate 8 final vs. fifth-ranked Glenwood (21-2) at Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln.
“This was by far the best basketball game I’ve ever (been) a part of,” said Klaassen, who finished 5-of-9 from beyond the arc and has now made 11-of-18 treys in two postseason games.
Whether facing man-to-man defense early or the Panthers’ 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones that followed, the Cyclones’ ball movement was about as crisp and quick-flowing as it has looked all season. Extra passes were made, resulting in five assists by point guard Jared Moser, five more by Chamberlain and three by Klaassen.
Harlan’s initial surge - a 13-0 run - made it 15-3 in the opening four minutes.
Defensively, the Cyclones played a diamond-and-one defense that focused lock-down attention on Panther junior Kylan Smallwood (23.1 ppg.) while also trying to curtail some of Creston’s other capable scorers on the perimeter. Smallwood and Evan Jacobson, who combined to average 41 points a night, both finished with 13 on Friday - the majority scored after halftime.
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