Ryan Luehrsmann played in two NCAA basketball tournaments during his career with the Iowa Hawkeyes, but he never reached the Iowa high school tournament during his stellar prep career at Cedar Rapids Washington.
Now he's going to Des Moines with the Xavier Saints.
The Saints poured in 56 points in the second half Monday night and whipped Mount Vernon, 80-64, in the Class 3A substate finals at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Xavier is seeded No. 6 at state and will meet No. 3 seed Pella on Tuesday, March 10 at 8:15 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The Saints (16-8) have been on a surge the past month with eight straight wins, but they struggled in the first half against Mount Vernon and trailed 30-24 after the first 16 minutes of action. Xavier fans had sweaty palms at halftime, but the Saints regrouped and came out with fire in their eyes in the third period.
"In the locker room we just calmed down and said, 'This game is ours,'" senior Calvin Winker remarked. "We needed to focus more on defense and pounding it inside, because we knew we had an advantage with that. And that's what we did.