Fourth-ranked Glenwood hands HCHS girls fourth straight loss, 62-51

 GLENWOOD (Dec. 21) -- For the second straight night, the Harlan Community girls basketball team gave a top-five, state-ranked opponent all it wanted in defeat.
 And while Saturday’s 62-51 loss at fourth-ranked (4A) Glenwood sends HCHS into Christmas break on a four-game slide, the competitive nature and vibe of Coach Zach Klaassen’s squad is still far ahead of last year at this time.
 When the Cyclones broke for the holidays in 2018, they were 0-7. All seven games were decided by nine points or more; in some cases a lot more. This year’s Cyclones will take a 4-4 record into January (2-3 in the Hawkeye Ten Conference) and Saturday marked their first loss by more than three points.
 “We could be 6-2 or 7-1 even possibly, but the reality is we’re 4-4,” Klaassen said. “All these girls were in that locker room a year ago when we went into Christmas break 0-7... so it is good to remind ourselves where we were a year ago and where we are now.”
 The Cyclones didn’t win against third-ranked (3A) Red Oak Friday or the Rams on Saturday, but they did raise their game a notch or two when facing improved competition.
 Klaassen continues to point toward postive attitudes and maximum effort as the biggest difference makers so far in 2019-2020. “When those girls get on the court, they leave it on the court,” he said. “They give us everything they’ve got. They’re cheering each other on from the bench, on the court... and I think that’s probably the biggest change from a year ago, outside of everybody’s a year older."
 The Cyclones opened the Glenwood game with a banked-in 3-pointer by Claire Schmitz and got two more treys from Jocelyn Cheek to go ahead 9-5. They still led 18-16 early in the second quarter when the Rams put together an 11-0 run that included all seven of Coryl Matheny’s points for the night. The Rams led 33-25 at the half, opened the third period with five quick points and never let the Cyclones pull closer than 47-42 on Ashley Hall’s successful drive to end the third.
 Madison Camden, a talented sophomore, paced the Rams (9-0, 4-0 H-10) with 19 points while Jenna Hopp, just a freshman, scored 16 to go with nine rebounds and three steals. HCHS held Elle Scarborough to three points but the junior guard contributed in other ways with seven assists, five steals and a pair of blocks.
 HCHS hit 7-of-16 threes, including 4-of-7 by Cheek, who led the team with 12 points and two steals. Hall scored 10 points, followed by Macie Leinen with nine and Claire Schmitz and Raegen Wicks with seven apiece.

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