Junior Danielle Hardcastle comes up big in win for Glenwood against Harlan

HARLAN, Iowa — Glenwood junior Danielle Hardcastle is listed at 5 feet, 2 inches, but she insists she’s 5-3.

Hardcastle turned in a gigantic fourth-quarter effort on Wednesday night to keep her team’s season alive.

Hardcastle’s back-to-back scoring drives pulled the Rams even at 48 with 3:27 remaining, and then she buried a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 18.2 seconds left, standing for the winning points in Glenwood’s 59-56 Class 4-A regional-opening victory over Harlan.

Hardcastle, who entered with a 4.0 scoring average, scored seven of her game-high 15 points in the fourth as Glenwood avenged a pair of close regular-season losses to their Hawkeye Ten Conference counterpart.

“She’s the smallest girl on the court, and she’s got the biggest heart of anyone on that floor,’’ Glenwood coach Katy Bowen said. “I’m super proud of her effort tonight.’’

The Rams (8-14) advance to semifinal play on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Sioux City Heelan (13-8). Harlan closed at 9-12 after its first opening-round loss in coach Zach Klaassen’s six years.

Harlan rallied from a 15-point second-quarter deficit with a 16-0 run, capped by Lexi Larsen’s 3, to lead 36-32 in the third.

After Hardcastle’s two drives tied it in the fourth, Joslyn Lewis buried two 3s in a 27-second span to put her team up 54-49 with 1:58 left. Nicole Lange answered with a 3, and fellow senior Larsen followed with a 3 to give the Cyclones a 55-54 lead with 1:05 remaining.

Elle Scarborough’s two free throws put the Rams up one with 51.1 seconds left, and Lexie Holloway split a pair at the line to tie the game with 29.6 seconds showing.

Bowen said she wanted Glenwood to play for the last shot, but Scarborough penetrated and kicked it out to an open Hardcastle, who didn’t hesitate and swished it.

“Elle made a great drive to the basket,’’ Hardcastle said. “I might as well reward her with an assist.’’

On Harlan’s final possession, Holloway missed on a drive and Chloe Hansen rebounded and kicked it to Larsen, who missed a 3-pointer. The ball bounced to Holloway in the corner, and her desperation 3 at the buzzer was off.

The teams combined to make 17 of 42 3s (40.5 percent), with 11 players hitting at least one.

Lange led Harlan with 14 points and seven rebounds, and Holloway added 10 points and five assists.

“They played hard and they made shots,’’ Klaassen said of the Rams. “We’ve never been in this situation where you pack things up after that first round. Hopefully that’s the first and last time.’’

Scarborough added 12 points for the Rams and Lewis finished with 11.

Glenwood was coming off its best win of the season, 43-32 over 4-A No. 11 Denison-Schleswig.

“Denison, I think, got us over that hump, and now they’ve got the confidence that we can do it,’’ Bowen said.

Glenwood (8-14)………..20 12 12 15—59

Harlan (9-12)……………..9 14 18 15—56

G: Brielle Smith 2-4 0-0 4, Nikki Schuppan 2-7 2-3 8, Elle Scarborough 3-12 5-5 12, Brooklyn Taylor 3-5 0-0 6, Joslyn Lewis 4-5 0-0 11, Sidney Lucy 1-3 0-0 3, Danielle Hardcastle 6-9 1-3 15. Totals 21-45 8-11 59.

H: Nicole Lange 6-8 1-2 14, Lexi Larsen 2-8 3-4 8, Lexie Holloway 3-10 1-4 10, Chloe Hansen 3-8 0-0 7, Anna Ahrenholtz 3-7 0-0 6, Jocelyn Cheek 1-2 0-0 3, Macie Leinen 1-3 3-6 5, Ashley Hall 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 20-50 8-16 56.

3-point goals: G 9-21 (Lewis 3-4, Hardcastle 2-3, Schuppan 2-7, Lucy 1-2, Scarborough 1-5), H 8-21 (Holloway 3-7, Lange 1-1, Cheek 1-2, Hansen 1-2, Hall 1-3, Larsen 1-5, Ahrenholtz 0-1). Total fouls: G 13, H 13. Fouled out: Smith. Technical fouls: none. Rebounds: G 32 (Smith 8), H 28 (Lange 7). Assists: G 13 (Schuppan 5), H 13 (Holloway 5). Steals: G 8 (Scarborough 3), H 11 (Leinen 4). Turnovers: G 22, H 18.

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