When the Perry and Glenwood boys basketball teams step onto the court at Atlantic High School Monday evening they will be looking across the hardwood at an opponent that eerily mirrors their own makeup, both in size and statistically.
Sixth-ranked Glenwood (19-4) advanced with a 63-31 win over No. 9 Atlantic (18-5) Thursday. Trailing 32-12 at the half after making only 4-of-29 shots in the first half, the Rams erupted for 51 second-half points to claim a 63-61 victory. Glenwood ended a 63-year drought by making the state tourney last season.
Perry (14-9) is in the play-in game for the second consecutive season thanks to a 75-57 whipping of Boone (8-15) Thursday, a game in which the Bluejays never trailed.
Glenwood is third in 3A in total points (1650, for an average of 71.7 per game) and Perry fifth (1643, 71.4 ppg), with the Rams shooting 47 percent and the Jays 45 percent from the field. Glenwood has drained 147-of-386 3-pointers (38.1 percent) and Perry 162-of-532 (30.5 percent). The Rams have scored 436 fourth-quarter points, third best in 3A, while the 429 third-quarter points posted by the Jays is second-best.
Perry holds sizable advantages in total assists (376 to 305), steals (230 to 174), blocks (105 to 54) and, perhaps most importantly, in rebounding (812, or 35.3 rpg to 687, or 29.9 rpg).
The one area that definitely favors the Rams is at the foul line, where the team is 301-of-407 (73.9 percent) while Perry has hit only 257-of-454 (56.6 percent). Perry has also committed 43 more turnovers than their foe.
Sophomore guards Nate Mohr (6-1) and Andrew Blum (6-3) lead the way for the Rams with 17.4 and 17.1 points per game, respectively. Mohr is the real deal, having 109 assists and 50 steals while shooting 68-of-168 (40.5) on 3-pointers and 85.8 percent at the stripe while Blum has 71 assists, 190 rebounds, 35 steals and shoots 83.1 at the line.
Christian Stanislav (6-3, Fr.) averages 9.5 points per game and Aaron Bertini (6-2, Sr.) 6.0 ppg, with Connor Weis (6-5, Sr.) scoring 10.9 points each outing. Weis (61.7 percent) is the only player in the top seven rotation shooting less than 75 percent at the foul line.
Perry will counter with one of the most dynamic play makers in 3A in 6-3 senior guard Shammond Ivory. After scoring 505 points last year, the all-time scoring leader for PHS has 468 this season. He sits at 1,665 for his career and is averaging 22.3 points while making 39 3-pointers and 37 steals to go with 78 assists.
Junior forward Kyle Nevitt (6-4) averages 15.7 points, has hit 34 treys and has pulled down 115 rebounds while making 36 steals. Senior forward Ryan Rathje (6-6) leads the team with 49 triples, and is averaging 10.2 points per outing while clearing 112 boards and blocking 38 shots.
Inside post Janier Puente could be the x-factor Monday. The burly 6-4 junior is third in 3A with 89 offensive rebounds and has 194 total caroms. He averages 11 points per game and has also made 37 steals.
Rashon Ivory (5-10, So.) will start at the point, from where he averages 6.5 points per game and has made 66 assists.
Perry head coach Ned Menke can also rely on a trio of players off his bench, a depth which has helped wear down opponents of late.
Senior guard Alex Long (6-0) scores 2.5 points per game but plays a critical role in ball distribution and leads the team with 96 assists. Senior forward Solomon Pierce (6-4, 3.0 ppg) and sophomore forward Connor Nielsen (6-4, 3.1 ppg) gives Menke height in reserve.
Glenwood has an average margin of victory of 18.4 points while Perry’s is only 6.4. The Rams are 2-1 in games decided by six points or less while the Bluejays are 3-6 in such games.
With Glenwood outscoring Perry by 43 combined points in the first half of games, but with the Bluejays besting the Rams by 31 in the second half of contests, it may come down to which team can most often get the opponent out of their comfort zone. And if the statistical averages play out, a classic could be in store.
Tip-time Monday is 7 p.m. in Atlantic.