STATE CENTER - Gladbrook-Reinbeck played the final three quarters of its NICL West girls' basketball contest with West Marshall basket-for-basket.
It was that first 8 minutes that did the Rebels in.
The Trojans got out to a dominating start and never relinquished command to take an eventual 70-54 victory on Friday night.
A first quarter that saw West Marshall (3-0, 1-0) click offensively and suffocate the Rebels (1-1, 0-1) defensively turned out to be the difference in a game that was devoid of drama for the most part.
West Marshall scored the game's first 16 points by keeping G-R off the scoreboard until Paige Thompson's bucket at the 1:15 mark of the first.
G-R was outscored 18-2, with that 16-point difference proving to be the final margin of victory for West Marshall.
REINBECK (1-1, 0-1) - Paige Thompson 6 0-0 16, Emily Snider 2 0-0 5, Lauren Bengen 3 2-2 8, Addi Kickbush 4 3-4 12, Emily Dinsdale 1 3-5 5, Emily Stoakes 1 0-0 2, Jenna Roeding 3 0-1 6. TOTALS 17 -21 54.
WEST MARSHALL (3-0, 1-0) - McKenna Hotopp 4 3-4 11, Taylor Weyer 2 0-0 5, Alexa Hotopp 8 1-4 17, Molly Underwood 4 4-8 12, Hailee Halverson 4 1-4 10, Katelynn Sjoblom 3 1-4 7, Keann Kelber 2 0-0 4, McKenzie Shipley 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 29 6-16 70.
A press break that, while not always smooth, was effective got the Trojans rolling early with a number of uncontested layups.
"If you can break their press, you can get some easy baskets, and we did that," said Trojans head coach Fred Zeller. "We converted almost every chance we had. We broke the press, saw the open pass and got some really nice shots.
"I though the kids did a really good job of handling the pressure and finding the open girl and pushed it up and made (G-R) pay for the press."
All eight Trojans who saw action in the first half went into the locker room at intermission with their name in the scorebook.
West Marshall had four players notch double figures, led by Alexa Hotopp's 17, 12 of which came after halftime. Molly Underwood registered 12, McKenna Hotopp tallied 11 and Hailee Halverson had 10.
"Everybody contributed," said Zeller. "We had a lot of big plays."
The Rebels didn't struggle to find their stroke in quarters two-through-four, scoring 15 or better in each, but couldn't break through in game's opening minutes, going nearly 7 minutes without a basket.
"I'd say (a scoreless start) has more effect on the other team than it does on your team," noted Zeller. "I think G-R came out (enthusiastic), and after you look at the scoreboard and you haven't scored in five minutes, (it's deflating)."
After that debilitating first quarter, the Rebels played the Trojans to a 52-52 draw.
Thompson was the offensive highlight for the Rebels, hitting three 3-pointers and finishing with 16-points. Addi Kickbush contributed 12 and Lauren Bengen eight.
G-R's best chance at making a run at the West Marshall lead came right out of halftime when a Kickbush 3 cut the Rebel deficit to 13, but the Trojans responded with a 10-2 run over the next 3 minutes.
An 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter by the Trojans slammed the door shut.
"It was fun basketball to watch," said Zeller. "Most of the time neither team (combines to) score 70 points."