DES MOINES — In 2006, Curt Schulte called his father, Harold.
“I said, ‘I think I’m going to take this Glenwood job.’ He paused for a while.
“And he goes, ‘Are you sure, son?’’’
Even though the Rams had been 1-20 the previous year and had endured a jaw-dropping 44 losing seasons in the previous 46 years, Schulte was sure. Thus set the wheels in motion for what transpired on Friday night.
Fifth-rated Glenwood outrebounded the tallest front line in the state by a healthy margin and claimed its first boys state basketball title with a spine-tingling 66-62 victory over No. 3 Oskaloosa in the Class 3-A championship game at Wells Fargo Arena.
“Our kids are going to enjoy this,’’ Schulte said. “They’re going to savor this for the rest of their life. This is something that they’ll never forget. And these kids have earned it.’’
To reach its finest hour, Glenwood didn’t tense up in front of the huge crowd in attendance. And the seniors who helped the school break a 63-year state drought as freshmen led the way. Andrew Blum had 20 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 4-of-7 from 3-point range. His sidekick, Nate Mohr, played an outstanding floor game, finishing with 11 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, three steals and only one turnover.
Glenwood finished 25-2, rallying from 20 down in its state opener, then toppling a pair of Xaviers: two-time defending champion Cedar Rapids Xavier in the semifinals and 6-11 blue-chip sophomore Xavier Foster of Oskaloosa in the finals.
“I feel completed, to end the senior season like that, to top it off,’’ Blum said. “This is what you work for when you’re young, all the way up to high school, to your senior season. It felt great to do it with this team. I love these guys, and especially to do it in front of this crowd.’’
It was one of the most entertaining finals in recent memory, featuring 11 ties and 13 lead changes.
The Blum brothers – Andrew and freshman brother Ryan – carried the Rams in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of the team’s 15 points.
Trailing 54-51, Andrew Blum sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around his brother’s trey, and then Mohr made a free throw to complete a 10-1 run and give the Rams a 61-55 lead with 2:24 remaining.
Osky charged back, and Jarad Kruse’s bucket pulled it within 62-60 with 45 seconds remaining.
Andrew Blum hit two clutch free throws with 31.7 seconds left to push it back to four. The Indians missed a 3 and Christian Stanislav rebounded but traveled, giving Osky the ball with only 9.1 seconds left.
Foster dunked to cut it to two, but he wrapped up Nate Kennedy and was called for an intentional foul. Kennedy sank two free throws with 4.7 seconds left, and soon the Rams and their huge throng of fans were going wild.
“This is amazing,’’ Mohr said. “Determination was our word, coming into this game. Determination on defense. Determination to run the game plan, to run the court, get that pace going.’’
Glenwood outrebounded Osky 36-25, including 16-5 on the offensive glass. On one possession, the Rams had seven offensive rebounds, and it resulted in Stanislav’s basket.
That was a microcosm of Glenwood’s season, Schulte said.
“They always believed,’’ he said. “They’re just fighters. They competitors. There was no doubt in their mind leaving that locker room tonight that we were going to come out of here state champs.’’
Stanislav added 14 points and five rebounds, while Ryan Blum had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Schulte, a Westphalia native, said he made the right move, returning to southwest Iowa after an 11-year stint at Millard North.
His father and mother, Pearl, who are 86 and 85, respectively, were in attendance.
“I’m so full of emotions right now, and I’m not really an emotional guy,’’ he said. “My parents, they’re basketball nuts. My dad, we talk every night after every game. I’m sure he’s soaking it in right now. He’s loving it. I can’t wait to get up there and give him a big hug.’’
Oskaloosa (23-4)……..24 14 13 11 – 62
Glenwood (25-2)……..17 21 13 15 – 66
O: Spencer Tucker 2-6 0-0 6, Tanner DeKock 0-1 0-0 0, Xavier Foster 4-7 2-5 11, Cole Henry 7-11 1-2 16, Jarad Kruse 9-14 1-2 21, Jackson Blythe 0-0 0-0 0, Rian Yates 3-6 0-0 8, Tucker Nunnikhoven 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-46 4-9 62.
G: Nate Kennedy 2-6 2-2 7, Nate Mohr 3-11 5-8 11, Cody Buresh 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Blum 7-13 2-3 20, Christian Stanislav 5-12 2-2 14, Zach Carr 2-5 0-0 4, Jake Murtfeld 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Blum 4-10 0-0 10. Totals: 23-57 11-15 66.
3-point goals: O 8-19 (Tucker 2-4, Yates 2-4, Kruse 2-6, Henry 1-1, Foster 1-4), G 9-28 (A. Blum 4-7, Stanislav 2-6, R. Blum 2-7, Kennedy 1-3, Carr 0-2, Mohr 0-3). Total fouls: O 15, G 13. Fouled out: Mohr. Technical fouls: none. Rebounds: O 25 (Foster 9), G 36 (A. Blum 10). Assists: O 17 (Tucker 4, Henry 4), G 14 (Mohr 8). Steals: O 1 (Nunnikhoven), G 8 (Mohr 3). Blocks: O 5 (Foster 5), G 1 (R. Blum). Turnovers: O 10, G 5.
Glenwood, Treynor duos named all-tourney
Andrew Blum of Glenwood was named captain of the Class 3-A all-tournament team on Friday night, and was joined by teammate Nate Mohr on the team. The rest of the team included Oskaloosa’s Jarad Kruse and Xavier Foster, and Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Matthew Mims.
Treynor’s Luke Clausen and Dillon Faubel made the 2-A all-tourney team, along with Aplington-Parkersburg’s Carter Cuvelier and Cascade’s Gannon O’Brien and Haris Hoffman. Hoffman was named captain.