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Rebels outlast Dunkerton air raid

February 28, 2016
STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD - Central Iowa Press , Reinbeck Courier

REINBECK - After making 10 3-pointers, the Dunkerton boys' basketball team still could only get within 24 points of No. 6 Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Tuesday night.

A 68-44 final was the outcome of the two teams' meeting, and it only managed to stay close for about a quarter.

Despite quick transition offense by the Rebels (21-2) the Raiders (13-11) came out making 4-4 from behind the arch - some around 20-plus-feet - and kept the scored tied 15-15 after one quarter of play.

Article Photos

Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Joe Smoldt takes a shot Tuesday night against Dunkerton. Smoldt had 27 points and the Rebels went on to win 68-44.
Photo by Stephen Koenigsfeld

Gladbrook-Reinbeck's Joe Smoldt takes a shot Tuesday night against Dunkerton. Smoldt had 27 points and the Rebels went on to win 68-44.

A raucous home crowd from Dunkerton matched by the ever-intense Gladbrook-Reinbeck student section made for do-or-die tournament-style matchup. But a 19-2 run to close out the second quarter quickly gave the Rebels all the momentum they needed.

"We thought they were going to try screen and rolls; we thought they were going to try and attack the basket," said Gladbrook-Reinbeck head coach Scott Kiburis. "I don't think they got it down into [the paint] too many times, so I was surprised that they shot the ball so early.

"I know they were trying to keep in the game, so they held the ball a lot in that second quarter. It was a competitive game."

Despite what some coaches will say about an opponents' ability to shoot the ball from various parts of the floor, Kiburis was not shy in noting he was taken off by just how well the Raiders were able to make things fall from 19-feet out.

"Yeah, they knocked down a bunch," Kiburis said. "The last couple years in the playoffs we haven't had teams shoot the ball that well against us. I saw them shoot really well Thursday night here, but no, I didn't think they'd shoot that well. But, then again, they weren't getting anything inside."

The start of the second half was almost dj vu to the beginning of the game. The Raiders came out and hit four-straight 3-pointers to make the led just 12 for the Rebels. But again, inside attacks by Gladbrook-Reinbeck finally wore down the Raider defense and ultimately prevented Dunkerton from knocking down any 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Last year's 28-0, Class 1A state champion team has come and gone from Gladbrook-Reinbeck, that much is known. But even at 21-2, there are pieces remaining, giving glimpses of what could be in the coming weeks as the Rebels head back down the same stretch of road they've recently travelled.

"They're a very confident group," Kiburis said. "They're comfortable and they play off environments. We have Joe [Smoldt] and Colton [Dinsdale] back, and a lot of kids playing right now came off the bench on that [2015] team. Now it's their opportunity. And they're doing a very good job. We had a very good team last year, and that's a lot to live up to. But they just want to make a name for themselves and they just want to keep playing."

Next up for the Rebels is conference foe Grundy Center. The Rebels have already seen the Spartans twice this year, both times coming away with 26-point and 31-point wins. This time around shouldn't be different, but Kiburis wants to keep his team's focus on the next game ahead, not stuck in the past.

"They're playing so much better than the last time we saw them, and I knew they were," Kiburis said. "They're really working together and it's really tough to play a team three times, so we look forward to the game and we look forward to playing in a district final. And regardless of what team it is, I think it's pretty special for us and Grundy to play against each other."

Smoldt finished with a team-high 27 points. Matt Roeding was the second highest scorer with 12 points.



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