TAMA - South Tama fought fire with fire.
Class 3A's top-ranked Trojans burned Gladbrook-Reinbeck from start to finish in an 82-44 victory in NICL West Division girls' basketball action on Monday night.
Six players scored at least nine points apiece as South Tama compiled its season-high output, moving the Trojans (10-0, 6-0) into second in 3A scoring average.
Not even the Rebels' pre-game average of 80.4 points per game - second in the entire state - would have been enough. A season-low 44 surely wouldn't cut it either, and the Rebels' use of 'The System' sputtered to the third loss in their last four games.
"I really think that you have to almost match their speed, and if you can do that and leak out and get some layups - that's what they want you to do anyway so you might as well do it," said STC head coach Nate Roberts. "Take advantage of what they give you but you've got to put the screws down on defense. You have to get back, you have to match up and you have to keep them in front of you for two dribbles."
South Tama dominated the rebounding battle and broke free with its speedy guards for layups throughout the contest, and last year's top offensive team couldn't keep pace. G-R matched its season-low with just five 3-pointers and was held to 10 or fewer points in three of four quarters.
The Trojans, meanwhile, broke out to a 26-10 lead and added a 30-spot in the third quarter to put this conference triumph on ice.
Dia Keahna had a team-high 17 points and Kendra Bradley tallied a season-best 16 to lead South Tama offensively. Madison Baier, STC's 6-foot-4 senior center, racked up 14 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and six blocked shots, while Kaleigh Sieck added her own double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Jade Rohach contributed 11 points and eight boards, while Megan Wanatee netted a season-high nine points and six steals in South Tama's runaway win.
"The most important thing against 'The System' is conditioning," said Roberts, whose team takes an unbeaten record into the holiday break for the second season in a row. "If you can stay fresh and be able to make fresh moves and make fresh plays, that's the biggest thing because you saw when we started getting tired we were floating passes and going away from the ball. We didn't want it because we were gassed.
"I thought our bench did a great job coming in and picking up pivotal minutes. It's a great game, I loved this game tonight, it was fun."
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (5-3, 4-2) settled on the opposite side of the coin. The Rebels didn't score for the first 3 1/2 minutes of the game and suffered their worst loss since Feb. 6, 2010 (74-34 against Benton).
"We're not quite getting the shots we need," said Rebels head coach Bruce Bailey. "Teams are figuring out how to slow us down a little bit and we're rushing our shots. Our percentages aren't good the last four games, we haven't shot the ball real well at all.
"But that's all between the ears, we can fix that, so we just hope that comes around and if we can get our shots up and keep pace up, when shots fall things work a lot better."
Jenna Roeding led the Rebels with 11 points and six rebounds. Emily Dinsdale and Paige Thompson both had nine points and Emily Snider added seven points and a team-high four assists off the bench.
Both teams return to action after the holiday break on Jan. 3, hosting cross-NICL games. The Rebels entertain Hudson while South Tama takes on 10th-ranked Union, one of only three teams to beat them last season.