(Des Moines) Class 4A State Tournament Semi-Final basketball comes your way Thursday night on KSOM. Harlan and Carlisle square off for a trip to the finals.
A year ago at this time, Harlan was on their way to the Class 4A Girls State Basketball Tournament Championship game and Carlisle was looking to move on from a 1-22 season.
Fast foward to today and Harlan is one game away from returning to the state title game, a game they lost last year despite leading in the final ten seconds. Standing in their way of redemption is a Carlisle team with a new coach, a new freshman guard who leads the team in four different stat categories, and a compelling turnaround story.
#6 Carlisle is 17-6 this season and winners of 11 straight games. They dug out of a deep early hole to beat #4 Dallas Center-Grimes 53-48 in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Harlan stayed undefeated with a win over #10 North Scott Tuesday, but it didn't come easy for the top ranked Cyclones who need a game winning shot from Sophomore Jordan Moser as time was running down.
It was just the 2nd game this season that Harlan failed win by less than 14. The last time it happened, Harlan won the next four games after that Harlan won by totals of 30, 18, 44, 22 points. Coach Zack Klaassen wouldn't mind if similar results follow Tuesday's close call against North Scott.
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With nearly all of the main contributors back from last year's runner up finish, it's been no secret that Harlan would be a state title contender this year.
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Pregame coverage is slated for 6:30 Thursday night on KSOM. Harlan and Carlisle tip-off at 6:45 with the winner to meet either #7 Ballard or #8 Western Dubuque in Saturday's championship game. Ballard upset #3 Davenport Assumption while Wesern Dubuque took down #2 Bishop Heelan Catholic in the first round