(Des Moines) Only two teams remain alive in Class 3A boys basketball and the Harlan Cyclones are one of them.
The unranked Cyclones entered the postseason with a 15-6 record, but now stand at 20-6 heading into the state championship game Saturday night. In the last three games Harlan has defeated 2nd ranked Atlantic, #1 ranked Vinton-Shellsburg, and 4th seeded MOC-Floyd Valley.
The most recent win, 45-42 over MOC-Floyd Valley in last night's semi-final matchup, came thanks in large part to senior Nate Kloewer. Kloewer has been an unsung hero throughout the tournament trail holding the opposing teams top scorers well below their average over the last three games. Last night it was MOC-Floyd Valley's 6'6" Justin Van Kalsbeek that Kloewer held in check. Offensively the senior provided his team with a boost as well scoring seven points including the go ahead layup with around :15 seconds left.
Click here for comments from Harlan's Nate Kloewer
Neither team ever led by more than seven points in the game and the lead changed hands eight times in the fourth quarter. Junior Trey Lansman paced Harlan with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Nathan Cave buries three of Harlan's six three-pointers and finished with 11 points. Adam Juhl poured in two from long range including a deep three that gave Harlan a 38-36 lead late in the fourth.
Click here for postgame audio from Harlan coach Mitch Osborn
For the sixth time in school history the Harlan Cyclones will play for a boys state basketball tournament championship. Head coach Mitch Osborn improves his all-time state tournament record to 30-16. Harlan will play Waverly-Shell Rock in a game that will air on KSOM Saturday night at 6:05 p.m.