Cyclones survive Monarch challenge in district semi
HARLAN -- In the win-or-go-home world of postseason basketball, sometimes rivalry trumps record.
So while Monday night’s Class 3-A boys district semifinal looked like a mismatch on paper, Denison-Schleswig gave Harlan Community all it could handle on the court.
The fifth-ranked Cyclones survived in the end, getting 33 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks from Kyle Juhl to hold off the Monarchs, 67-61, in Harlan. HCHS overcame a 2-for-17 three-point shooting night and 27 points (14-of-16 free throws) by Denison sophomore Evan Wiebers to beat D-S for the third time this season.
The Cyclones won the first two meetings by 21 and 31 points, respectively, although the second matchup was just an eight-point game late in the third quarter. Monday’s all-important third showdown was tied 30-all at halftime before HCHS outscored the Monarchs 13-6 in the third quarter and was able to make it hold up.
The Cyclones (19-3) advanced to face Carroll (8-14) in Thursday’s District 1 final at Denison (7:30 p.m. start time). The winner will play fourth-ranked MOC-Floyd Valley (19-3) or Bishop Heelan (14-8) in Monday night’s 7 p.m. Substate 1 final at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City.
Denison, featuring just one senior starter in Nhial Biliew (11 points, 7 rebounds), finished the season with a deceiving 3-18 record.