Gladbrook-Reinbeck ended the 2010-11 season with the top scoring average in Iowa girls' high school basketball.
You knew the Rebels had the ability to score points at a fiery clip and had won seven games in a row. Add in a talented group as the opposition that had a 15-3 record and Feb. 7's NICL West finale in Reinbeck between Gladbrook-Reinbeck and West Marshall was destined for something special.
It ended up being much, much more special than you could have imagined. It was The System at its high-scoring finest.
Emily Snider of Gladbrook-Reinbeck dribbles to the basket during this NICL West Division game against West Marshall on Feb. 7 in Reinbeck. The Rebels and Trojans combined for 240 points to set the national record for highest scoring girls’ basketball game.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck defeated West Marshall 122-118 in double overtime on that Monday night in Reinbeck. The 240 total points set the national mark for most combined points in a high school girls' game, and is the Times-Republican 2011 Game of the Year.
"It was the most unusual five-on-five game I've ever heard of," West Marshall head coach Fred Zeller said afterward.
The previous national mark was 222 points set in 2004 in Mississippi.
Five different players reached the 20-point plateau. The Trojans' Hailee Halverson had a game-high 36 points. McKenna Hotopp and Alexa Hotopp finished with 22 points apiece for West Marshall. Lauren Bengen led the Rebels with 23 points and Paige Thompson added 20.
"I'm almost speechless, I can't believe it and I would guess Fred feels the same way," Gladbrook-Reinbeck head coach Bruce Bailey said that night, "that's he's never been in anything like this.
"That was a true System game."
Last winter marked the first year of The System for the Rebels. The style of play is highlighted by mass substitutions (think of hockey line changes), an uptempo pace, a reliance on 3-point shooting and offensive rebounds, as well as full-court pressure defense.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck every game wants to attempt 80 shots, rebound 33 percent of its misses, force 25 turnovers and have 20 more shot attempts than its opponent. The Rebels achieved each goal against the Trojans.
"The first four, five, six games we couldn't get out of the 60s," Bailey said. "Then all of the sudden in the middle of December it just started to work."
Gladbrook-Reinbeck led by as many as 15 points in the first half and led 51-46 at halftime. West Marshall surged ahead 80-77 going into the fourth quarter. The end of regulation saw the teams tied at 98-all and the first overtime ended at 108-108.
The Rebels made 14 3-pointers on the night, while the Trojans connected on 64 percent of their shot attempts.
"I think our school record is in the 80s probably," Zeller said, "of course that was to G-R's advantage. That's the way they play, they've made everybody all year do that."
The highest scoring game in Iowa so far in the 2011-12 season after Tuesday's play had a total of 203 combined points - Edgewood-Colesburg defeated Decorah 103-100 in double overtime on Nov. 18.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck and West Marshall met again later that week in February, on the following Saturday, with G-R taking a 57-53 regional victory in State Center.
The Trojans' first return to Reinbeck since the national record saw the Rebels win 64-62 on Dec. 16.