I know what you’re thinking. Why am I just now getting to this? Sorry, I decided it was best to take a break Sunday and hold off on this. Anyway, thanks for your patience. Here’s what happened Saturday in the Glasgow Tournament.
New Franklin (G) 49, Westran 31:I don’t know why I keep picking girls games in the 50s. Oh well, it’s still early, and I still got the outcome right. I said Aly Hundley and Jasmyne Boggs were going to score a combined 35 points. Well, switch out Jasmyne Boggs for Madi Lyons and I would have looked like a genius, and that never happens. In the past, Kalani Pihana has been the one New Franklin player that has been automatic from one particular spot on the floor: usually, a 16-footer from either wing, when she’s left wide open. After this game, Lyons showed that’s she automatic when shooting a baseline jumper. Lyons finished the game with 18 points and Aly Hundley scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half. This New Franklin team could be dangerous come January and February, and after a game like this and Thursday’s nail-biter against Glasgow, they’re a serious contender for the Central Activities Conference title, which I think will come down to Glasgow, New Franklin and Sturgeon. It should be an exciting race this year.
Glasgow (G) 50, Harrisburg 36:I haven’t had too many opportunities to watch games that I consider to be what I call “program changers,” meaning the program will never be the same after a particularly big game. Saturday was a program changer for Glasgow.
Sure, this team put itself on the map by winning the Marceline Hoops Tournament last year. Sure, winning its first district championship in 10 years is extremely meaningful. But Saturday’s championship game against Harrisburg should establish Glasgow as a powerhouse, and it’s only the beginning of December.
This game was a great back-and-forth battle in the opening six minutes, as Glasgow’s Nikki Fuemmeler and Harrisburg’s Chloe Franklin traded points, up until the score was 8-8. Throughout the game, Franklin appeared to have a slight edge on the All-Stater just because of how well she could handle the ball away from the post. But then, Glasgow put Lindsey Kopp on Franklin, and that was probably the best move head coach Molly Monnig made in this game.
Harrisburg held a slight edge throughout most of the first half, but for a two or three-minute stretch, I swear the teams took turns traveling and turning the ball back over before they could set up the offense. A lot of that probably had to do with jitters, but I’ve never seen that happen in a tournament championship game. Either way, Harrisburg led 21-19 at halftime.
Then, toward the end of the third quarter, everything began to turn against Glasgow. Peyton Davis left the game at the 2:13 mark with a concussion and would not return, with Harrisburg leading 31-26. I talked to Monnig on Sunday and she said Davis was diagnosed with a mild concussion and will be out for a week and a half, so it looks like she may only have to miss a couple of games (at Brunswick and at Madison). Then Trisha McMillan picked up her fourth foul. This was supposed to be Glasgow’s breaking point, and Harrisburg’s turn to pull away for its fifth-straight Glasgow Tournament championship.
But Abby Thompson, who took over for Davis at point guard, saved the day. The past two seasons for my basketball preview, I’ve asked Monnig which player is going to come out and surprise people this year. She’s always reluctant to say it — because it’s her younger sister — but she responded both years by saying Thompson. Not too many teams can be surprised by her after Saturday’s game. Glasgow started the fourth quarter on a 16-0 run, scoring eight points in transition and four more off in-bounds plays to pull away for the win.
I talked to Harrisburg head coach Dan Bachmeier after the game and he said it was eerie how similar this game and the Lady Bulldogs’ season opener at Macon turned out to be. Harrisburg held slight leads in both, then the game was tied around the start of the fourth quarter, and finally the opponent pulled away during the final period. Chloe Franklin finished the game with 17 points and I had her down for 12 rebounds. This team just needs to get more games in. They’re nowhere near needing to hit the panic button. After all, for a majority of this team, Saturday’s game was the players’ fourth varsity appearance, ever. Bachmeier also pointed out that he hasn’t been able to field a consistent group of players on the court, but give it a couple of weeks and the mistakes will surely be cut down.
As for Glasgow, Nikki Fuemmeler had a double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds and Erin Reynolds finished with a quiet 16 points. I get the feeling that when the next state rankings come out, Glasgow will find its way into the Top 10 in Class 1. I would argue Harrisburg should stay in the Top 10 in Class 2. I dare anyone to play their strength of schedule and not lose 10 games. They’ll be ready when districts get here.
Glasgow (B) 46, Harrisburg 30:I was stunned as this game went along. Since I’ve been here, I think this was Harrisburg’s second-lowest point total (the lowest was against some Kansas City in the 2009 Norm Stewart Classic, if I remember correctly). I was standing next to Glasgow superintendent Mike Reynolds and at one point, he told me this is the best defensive Glasgow boys team he has ever seen. Now that’s something to hang your hat on.
Like the girls, Glasgow had a pretty big run, but the boys got their out of the way in the second quarter instead of the fourth. The game was tied 10-10 after the first quarter when Blake Berry put up one heck of a rainmaker to tie the score. But it was Harrisburg’s final field goal of the half. Glasgow had an 11-0 run during the second quarter, led 26-12 at halftime, and never lost a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.
Reid Littrell — who went 12-0 in the Glasgow Tournament — led the way with 14 points and Joel Monnig added 11 points. Ethan Thompson, also a senior, had nine points. Berry was Harrisburg’s leading scorer with six points. He hit another rainmaker in the fourth quarter, but man, he knows how to swish those home.
Well, that wraps up the Glasgow Tournament. I went 18-4 in my picks (undefeated in trophy games) and my misses came in either 2-3 games (Harrisburg vs. Cairo), 4-5 games (Fayette vs. New Franklin and Cairo vs. Westran) or 6-7 games (Fayette vs. Slater). I’ll try to post on here from time to time, but I’m putting the predictions away until the New Franklin Tournament. Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
Here are the postgame interviews with the Glasgow coaches. For some reason, my blog won’t let me directly link to Molly’s interview, so on one of the videos, hit the next button (located to the right of the play button) and that should take you to her interview.