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Rebels rejected by Hawks

January 22, 2017
Stephen Koenigsfeld - South Hamilton gets its revenge against No. 3 Gladbrook-Reinbeck , Reinbeck Courier

REINBECK - For the second-straight year, the home team lost in another highly-anticipated matchup between a Class 1A power school and a Class 2A on-the-rise squad. When the final buzzer sounded, the 2A No. 10 South Hamilton boys' basketball team upended Class 1A No. 3 Gladbrook-Reinbeck, in front of a packed gymnasium, 67-61.

The rematch featured two of the same all-stars as last year's 77-71 game, which ended with a Rebel win in Jewell. For Gladbrook-Reinbeck (8-2), senior Joe Smoldt - a Division II recruit heading to Upper Iowa University in the fall - posted 24 points on seven made baskets and a 7-for-9 line from the charity stripe.

On the other side, South Hamilton (10-1) touted senior Collin Hill - a Division II recruit, too, heading to Truman State at the end of the year - who had 19 points on nine field goals and a 1-for-3 mark from the free-throw line. Behind the two team leaders, the rest of their respective teammates would be forced to fall in and scrape up what was just short of a gladiator match on the hardwood.

Article Photos

Caden Kickbush (12) drives to the basket during the first half of Tuesday night’s game against South Hamilton in Reinbeck. Kickbush had 15 points in the 67-61 loss.
Photo by Steven Koenigsfeld

G-R head coach Scott Kiburis said the biggest frustration for the Rebels was the inability to get into a set offense where they could actually find production.

"We couldn't run any traditional offense," Kiburis said. "We talked about whoever had to bring the ball up the court, Joe [Smoldt] is just going to fill their spot, while we try to run our offense and get the ball into Ty Pierce. But, they wouldn't allow that, because they were doubling the other guy who was bringing the ball across [half court]. So we just had to spread the court, give it up and attack the basket."

Big men like Pierce (five points, three rebounds), Matt Roeding (nine points, seven rebounds) and Caden Kickbush (15 points, three rebounds) found success inside.

Smoldt, who finished with seven rebounds as well, dished out four assists. Kickbush found success driving the basket, as well as from behind the arc.

In fact, early on, Kickbush was the most efficient point-scorer for the Rebels. Before going down with an injury at the end of the first quarter, Kickbush had 10 points on a pair of made 3-pointers and contested layups.

But in the second half, the Hawks began doubling up on Kickbush, while still finding ways to disrupt Smoldt.

"He was open a lot, but they were in scramble situations," Kiburis said. "He scored more in the first half, but then they started staying with him and took him away, while still doubling Joe. But I thought a lot of kids really stepped up today. Caden Kickbush in the first half, Matt Roeding and Tyler Pierce took the ball hard to the basket."

Turnovers plagued the Rebels early and often. At the end of the first half, the final three G-R possessions were turnovers, leading to a four-point swing and a 30-28 deficit to the Hawks. The Rebels finished Tuesday night with 10 turnovers, and much of that had to do with Conner Hill's defense on Smoldt.

Despite picking up three fouls early on, Conner stuck with Smoldt, forcing him to dribble through two, three and sometimes even four defenders just to get into a position to find another open player. Conner hung with Smoldt in last year's game, where the G-R stand-out went for 31 points in the six-point win.

With the minutes ticking away, the Rebels had their shots to climb back into the game. But down the stretch, the Hawks made their free throws.

South Hamilton was 10-for-12 in the last 2 minutes and 19 seconds, and as the Rebels answered with Smoldt 3s or Roeding layups, the Hawks continued to keep the lead until the final buzzer.

It's the first time since the Class 1A state tournament the Rebels have lost back-to-back games. But Kiburis isn't worried about his team's morale as it dives back into NICL action this week.

"We want games like that," Kiburis said. "We want both of [the teams] to play well, so we get something out of it. But we also want to see where you can improve on things and how other teams play us. It helps a lot. We have a pretty good schedule. You look in there and think, 'There's not too many games where I think we're going to win that basketball game [indefinitely],' but it's hard for them."

The Rebels will stay at home on Friday night and host West Marshall at 7:45 p.m.

South Hamilton 67, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 61

SOUTH HAMITLON (10-1) - Marco Balderas 4 0-2 8, Logan Klemp 3 1-3 9, Logan Peters 2 0-0 4, Collin Hill 9 1-3 19, Conner Hill 3 4-4 13, Cole Berg 4 4-8 12, Colton Coy 0 0-0 0, Quinton Grove 0 0-0 0, Cade Balvanz 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 26 12-21 67.

GLADBROOK-REINBECK (8-2) - Walker Thede 1 0-0 2, Caden Kickbush 6 0-0 15, Joe Smoldt 7 7-9 24, Matt Roeding 4 1-6 9, Tyler Pierce 1 3-4 5, Matt Johanssen 0 0-0 0, Thomas Mussig 1 0-0 2, Jackson Kiburis 1 0-0 2, Mason Skovgard 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 22 11-19 61.

S. HAMILTON 13 17 17 20 - 67

G-R 16 12 13 20 - 61

3-Point GoalsSH 9 (Berg 4, Conner Hill 4, Collin Hill), G-R 6 (Kickbush 3, Smoldt 3). Total FoulsSH 19, G-R 18. Fouled OutNone.

 
 

 

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