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Rebels advance in record-free rematch

February 19, 2011
Mark Pawlak

Five days removed from landing a place in national girls' basketball history, Gladbrook-Reinbeck and West Marshall met again.

There were some similarities Saturday night in the Class 2A Region 4 first round from the game the two teams played Monday night - the one in which a national record 240 combined points were scored with the Rebels winning 122-118.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck extended its season this time with a 57-53 victory over the host Trojans.

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The up-tempo pace of play remained the same and both teams turned the ball over their fair share of times, but the point total was cut in half from the meeting earlier in the week. The big difference was that both teams struggled shooting the ball.

"The score wasn't anywhere near the same, but it was the same kind of battle," said G-R head coach Bruce Bailey. "West Marshall's a good ballclub, they played hard, we played hard."

The Rebels (15-7) won their ninth in a row as their only deficit of the night came at 1-0. Still, this game was there for the taking for West Marshall (15-6).

"We had our chances the whole game. We did exactly what we wanted to do defensively and offensively," said West Marshall head coach Fred Zeller. "We turned the ball over, but we expected that.

"Missed layups and missed free throws, that's about all there's to say," he added.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck returned to State Center Tuesday to face Grundy Center in the quarterfinal round.

Emily Dinsdale finished with a game-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds Saturday for the Rebels. Lauren Bengen added 14 points and four steals, while Paige Thompson had nine points, six assists and four steals. Emily Stoakes added eight points and seven rebounds.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck used a 12-0 spurt in the first quarter to pull ahead for good. West Marshall trimmed what was a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to two points on five different occasions yet couldn't get over the hump.

Empty trips to the free-throw line were costly to the Trojans. They were 3-for-11 in the fourth quarter and 7-for-26 for the game.

"Our kids didn't give up, but it's an uphill battle when you shoot 7-for-26, you can't win games that way," Zeller said.

"We defended them pretty well," he added. "We just couldn't convert anything and I don't know why. We had the same shots we got the other night."

McKenzie Shipley's 11 points led West Marshall. She also had five blocks and four rebounds. Alexa Hotopp finished with 10 points. McKenna Hotopp added eight points, 11 rebounds and seven steals. Molly Underwood had eight points and three steals, while Hailee Halverson had eight points, 12 rebounds and three steals.

Dinsdale had 17 of her points in the first half to help the Rebels cruise into a 29-18 halftime advantage. She had three 3-pointers on the night. G-R had 14 treys on Monday and didn't have the same hot hand Saturday, going 5-for-29.

"(West Marshall's) defense didn't give us time to get our feet set. They did a good job in that 1-3-1 of getting out on the shooters. They probably forced us to take some quick shots and that will take you out of rhythm."

"It boils down to we took the fight to them," Bailey added. "The kids had enough heart to finish the thing out."

West Marshall trailed by eight with under a minute to go, but after baskets by McKenna Hotopp and Taylor Weyer it found new life, down only three. Thompson hit a free throw with 4 seconds left to push the game back to a two-possession contest.

A Rebel team that leads all of Iowa high school girls basketball in made 3-pointers (157 for the season) did not make any in the second half Saturday.

"We got some good offensive boards which helped and were able to get a few steals on the front end of the press," Bailey said.

It was a distracting week, Bailey said, after the all-time classic the two teams played on Monday.

"That was a neat thing that national record, but we told the kids we've got to focus and having that wasn't going to help us (Saturday)," Bailey said.

"We've had radio stations, TV stations at the gym at practices," he added. "You saw it on airways, saw it on the dot.coms, just everywhere, the Wall Street Journal.

"Tuesday and Wednesday I got hardly anything done but fielding calls, things like that. It's good for the kids, it's good for the community, it's good for the school, but we were glad to get back to some normalcy Thursday and Friday."

Grundy Center (14-9) swept the regular season series from Gladbrook-Reinbeck. The Spartans won 74-64 on Dec. 10 in Reinbeck and were the last team to defeat the Rebels with their 69-65 win Jan. 18 in Grundy Center.



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