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Kronberg’s Korner: Savor this amazing ride Spartan Nation, Creston

DANVILLE, Ill. — FOX broadcaster Joe Buck said it after game six of the 2011 World Series.

David Freese hit a walkoff home run for the Cardinals to lead off the 11th inning to force a game seven of the World Series against the Rangers. The Cardinals won their 11th championship in franchise history the next night at Busch Stadium.

In the aftermath of the miraculous Cardinals come-from-behind win, he said, “They have pushed this 2011 postseason to the final day.

“And it has been some kind of ride.”

For the Southwestern Community College supporters, the city of Creston, Joe Buck’s words echo true.

Southwestern Community College’s men’s basketball team has pushed the season to its final day.

Now the Spartans stand on the verge of history.

A place where no team in any sport has gone before.

Spartan fever has never been higher on campus, in the city of Creston.

“It means a lot,” said coach Todd Lorensen. “It means a lot to our players, to our institution, the community in southwest Iowa. The excitement is overwhelming. You walk around our campus the past few weeks, I’ve never felt that kind of energy in three years.”

What this basketball team has meant cannot be understated.

“It shows how important athletics are to the overall culture of an institution,” Lorensen said. “Ours is at a really high level.”

This group of Spartans are ready for the task at hand.

“We’ve worked so hard from beginning of the season,” said Brodric Thomas. “We’re just ready to play (today) for the championship, bring it home to Creston.”

What started informally when school started, formally once practice began a few weeks later has led to the Spartans being 40 minutes away from a national championship.

“Everybody’s bought into the goal since day one,” Jordan Johnson said. “Now we’ve got execute.”

No matter what happens in Saturday’s championship game, this team has put Southwestern Community College and its men’s basketball team on the map.

“A lot of people didn’t know where Creston was, where Southwestern was,” Johnson said. 

Southwestern keeps coming, and coming, and coming.

Despite giving up a 28-6 run in the quarterfinals against Pima, the Spartans found a way to win.

Despite its worst shooting percentage of the season from three-point range against Richard Bland, Southwestern found a way to win.

“This team is full of dogs. We come out and compete,” Johnson said. 

They’ve come from across Iowa — four on the roster — and around the country.

They bought into the vision Lorensen had.

“Give it to my guys — they did their thing. We came together and got it done,” Johnson said.

Now Southwestern is 40 minutes away from history.

“It’s whoever plays hard for 40 minutes, executes the best, has less turnovers is going to win the game,” Johnson said. 

“I strongly believe that’s us.”

“It has been some kind of ride,” Joe Buck said that late October night in downtown St. Louis.

For this team, Southwestern Community College and Creston — yes it has. 

Yes it has.

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