The goal of all basketball teams is to be playing your best when postseason time comes around.
Keith Wagner’s IKM-Manning club has taken that to heart, as the Wolves claimed their sixth consecutive victory on Thursday night with a 61-34 whitewash of West Harrison in a Class 1A district quarterfinal game at Manning.
The win moved IKM-Manning to 13-9 overall and into a District 15 semifinal contest tonight (Tuesday) against Council Bluffs St. Albert (8-14) at Council Bluffs.
St. Albert, a member of the Hawkeye 10 Conference, advanced to play the Wolves with a 70-54 victory over Oakland Riverside on Thursday night at Council Bluffs.
IKM-Manning got out strong against West Harrison, outscoring the Hawkeyes 20-9 in the first quarter en route to a 37-18 lead at halftime.
The Wolves upped their 19-point halftime lead to 30 after three quarters after the hosts outscored West Harrison 17-6 in the third frame.
Kyler Rasmussen paced the Wolves with 14 points, adding four assists, three rebounds and one shot block.
Colten Brandt chipped in with 12 points, three boards and two assists.
Parker Behrens added 10 points, four boards and two assists. Colby Keller tallied seven points with six boards, five assists and two steals.
Amos Rasmussen also had six points for the Wolves, which played in front of their home crowd for the last time this season.
"You know, I thought West Harrison might press us, but they never did and the guys just really played well tonight," commented IKM-Manning’s Wagner.
"Everyone played well, but Kyler (Rasmussen) got us off to a good start with his outside shooting," he added.
"We didn’t know much about West Harrison, but I was able to see a couple of games on film. In the postseason, though, everyone is 0-0 and it’s the first one to six that wins, so I just told the guys to enjoy it and at the same time play as hard as they can."
"We talked about giving them a blast in the first three minutes of the game. We did that. Then we talked at halftime about coming out and taking control right away in the third and we did that, so I felt like we played really well in those two instances," Wagner said.
"We know we’re going to have our hands full with St. Albert. Going to their place won’t be an easy task. But, we have nothing to lose. All of the pressure will be on them, because they’re expected to win."
"Hey, we’re playing pretty good basketball at the right time, so we’ll lace them up and try and come up with a plan we can have some success with and see what happens," Wagner stated.