Coming off the best season in school history, the Iowa Central Community College women's basketball team is looking for a few good shooters to load up for another record-breaking run.
The Tritons went to Gladbrook-Reinbeck to find one.
Rebel senior guard Lauren Bengen signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to join the Iowa Central program next season.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior Lauren Bengen, seated center, signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to play basketball next season at Iowa Central Community College. Lauren is joined in the Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School gymnasium by her parents Marci and Mike, seated, along with Rebel assistant coach Evan Schulte, head coach Bruce Bailey, Iowa Central head coach Craig Carlson and assistant coach Alicia Onnen, standing from left.
Photo by Mark Pawlak
"She really can shoot the 3-point shot," said Iowa Central head coach Craig Carlson, the district coach of the year. "Two years ago we made 272 threes as a team and last year we were at 168 I think."
"We were looking for players that could shoot the three, that was the biggest thing and Lauren does that. She runs the floor well and does a pretty good job of getting to the basket."
Bengen was the leading scorer for a Gladbrook-Reinbeck squad that led all of Iowa girls basketball in scoring at 76.3 points per game.
Bengen finished her senior season averaging 18.1 points per game to lead the NICL West and rank eighth in Class 2A. In her third straight year of leading the Rebels in scoring, Bengen was first in the NICL West in free throws made (104), second in 3-pointers made (41) and third in free-throw shooting percentage (.732).
"The system that we ran this year really showed her talents getting up and down the floor, being able to shoot the 3 and attacking the basket," said G-R head coach Bruce Bailey. "She was one that could get it to the basket when we needed to. She had a really good senior year and really came into her own I thought."
Iowa Central set program records for points scored and wins in a season on its way to its best-ever national tournament finish (fourth place).
"I just like how they run, how they play offense, defense, everything," Bengen said.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck's 'get-it-and-go' system of play isn't all that removed from how Iowa Central plays.
"They shoot the ball here (at Gladbrook-Reinbeck) and we play pretty much that same style," Carlson said. "We like to score in transition. You try to recruit kids that play that style, and people like to see offense."
The Rebels finished 15-8 in 2010-11, a 12-win increase from the previous winter. Gladbrook-Reinbeck teamed with West Marshall to set the national record for combined points in a game when the Rebels won 122-118 on Feb. 7.
"I was happy with our year, it went pretty good," Bengen said. "I wish we could have beat Grundy Center (in regionals) and made it to state. Having the national record and to be in there with that is pretty cool."