Johnson-Brock is certainly no stranger to lifting championship hardware. The school’s football team raised the trophy only four months ago, so when the No. 4 Eagles found themselves in Saturday’s Class D-2 state basketball final, the pressure was a familiar feeling.
The postseason experience from the fall seemed to fuel the Eagles, who completely controlled the second half against No. 3 Osmond, outscoring the Tigers opponent 32-19 over the final two quarters, to race to their third title in program history with a 67-54 victory.
“(This season) was hard at first, because we got three practices in before our first game,” sophomore Kaden Glynn said of the team’s success in both football and basketball this season.
“Our shooting was really rough at the beginning and we went through a lot of adversity. But we won when it counts. It feels really good to get a ’ship in both football and basketball.”
Glynn was the difference-maker for the Eagles on Saturday; the Tigers' defense never found a way to slow down the sophomore. Whenever Johnson-Brock needed a basket, especially from beyond the arc, Glynn was there to keep the lead intact. He finished with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-8 on three-pointers.
“I think we all saw how hard (Kaden Glynn) is to cover,” Osmond coach Todd Schulze said. “He’s got a wide body and really good ball-handling skills. He can shoot, he can drive on you and he also likes that pull-up jumper. He’s just a really good player. He’s very smart out there."
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The Tigers hung with the Eagles throughout the first half behind Keaton Timmerman’s 13 points but the Johnson-Brock defense held him to just six second-half points. Osmond’s leading scorer, Merrix Denn, was in foul trouble throughout most of the second half and it allowed the Eagles to take an early lead in the third quarter, which they wouldn’t give up for the rest of the contest.
Ty Hahn added 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, and he finished with a team-high seven assists.
“Kaden (Glynn), he’s kind of had a slow start to the state tournament,” Johnson-Brock coach Lucus Dalinghaus said. “I’d like to say we have the three-head monster with Cole, Kaden and Ty. Unfortunately, in all our games this year, all three of them hadn’t been on in the same game. Tonight I thought all three of them kind of came alive at different times.”
The Johnson-Brock win comes after knocking off Falls City Sacred Heart on Friday night, the Eagles' first win in four tries against the Irish this season. The win over the Irish was the perfect inspiration for Saturday’s final, and it showed when the Eagles hit the court against the Tigers.
The earned Johnson-Brock its first state championship since 1998, when the Eagles won their second in a row.