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Unrelenting Rebels

January 13, 2017
Northern-Sun Print
Stephen Koenigsfeld REINBECK - Of course it was Joe Smoldt. The Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior buried a running 3-point-shot with 2.4 seconds remaining in overtime to put the top-ranked Rebels ahead 45-42 against AGWSR.# The Cougars turned the ball over on the inbound pass, Caden Kickbush nailed two free throws, and the Rebels picked up their 39th consecutive NICL West Division win, 47-42. Smoldt carried his team with 27 points, including five and the go-ahead basket. Nathan Karsjens had 19 points in the Cougars’ third-straight loss. G-R head coach Scott Kiburis said the Rebels (6-0, 4-0 NICL West) talked over what the final play was going to be, extensively, during a timeout with 16 seconds remaining. “We thought they were going to be in a 3-2 defense, regardless,” Kiburis said. “And it was the same thing, they ran a second player at , and a third player at him. They had the right kids on him, he just made the shot. We first asked him what side he wanted the screen on, and he said, ‘I don’t want a screen.’ But he was going to take the shot regardless.” Smoldt got the ball inbounded to him, dribble, drove to the right side of the court and took the shot with two defenders in his face. Swish. AGWSR quickly called a timeout, giving the ball to Caleb Bartling to inbound with 2.4 seconds on the clock. Going for the full-court, baseball pass, the ball hit the ceiling and gave the ball back to the Rebels, which sent Kickbush to the line to make it a two-possession game. The Cougars had their shot to win the game in regulation, however. With 20 seconds left on the clock, the Rebels were attempting to hold the ball for the final shot. But a travel call on Matt Roeding gave the Cougars (5-3, 3-1 NICL West) the final shot. Alex Hames took a 3-pointer that would’ve upset the Rebels, but it rattled out. Karsjens missed on the putback, and the game went to extra time. “I thought we competed very well. We competed very hard,” said AGWSR head coach Russ Banzhaf. “We got good looks and the guys who we wanted shooting the ball, shooting the ball. Tonight, we rose to the occasion. A shot here, a shot there. A stop here, a stop there and we win.” The first half was packed with dismal shooting from both squads. With just a 5-4 lead after the first quarter in favor of the Cougars, and a 15-13 lead for the Rebels at the break, defenses looked to be the end-all, be-all for Tuesday night’s affair. But hot streaks from both teams, including 16 lead changes, paved the way for a brilliant second half. Kickbush, who normally is a threat on the perimeter, drove the ball in frequently, using his size to upend inside defenders. Karsjens, too, used his mass to maneuver his way through the paint. Anything either team could do, the other could do better. Kiburis gave a testament to the NICL West for the difficulty in its schedule. From here on out, Kiburis said there will hardly be any ‘gimme’ games for any of the top teams in the NICL West. “Our league is really good. Us, AGWSR, East Marshall, and West Marshall played well against us,” Kiburis said. “And Grundy is getting better every game. We’re going to have that the rest of the way. We’re going to have good league competition. It makes all of us better. And we’ve done that in the postseason tournaments.” The loss for AGWSR is not only the third-straight, but the third its lost by less than four points. The Cougars fell on a buzzer-beater at Wapsie Valley before winter break, and again by two points on Monday night. The Smoldt stunner won’t leave the Cougars with frail hearts though. “I thought , we let one get away from us,” Banzhaf said. “Against Wapsie Valley, we competed very hard. That’s a tough place to play over there. I’m very happy with how our kids bounced back, battled back and played hard. We’re going to see them for sure one more time, maybe two. We’re not afraid to play with them and we feel like we belong on the court with them.” Gladbrook-Reinebck is schedule to head to Ackley to take on the Cougars in the fourth-to-last game of the season on Jan. 31.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 47, AGWSR 42, OT AGWSR (5-3, 3-1) - Tate Hofmeister 1 2-2 4, Jay Janssen 2 0-0 6, Mason Eilderts 2 2-2 6, Caleb Bartling 1 0-0 2, Nate Karsjens 6 7-8 19, Alex Hames 1 0-0 3, Aaron Roelfs 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 13-14 42. GLADBROOK-REINBECK (6-0, 4-0) - Walker Thede 0 0-0 0, Caden Kickbush 3 4-4 10, Joe Smoldt 9 2-5 27, Matt Roeding 3 0-0 6, Jackson Kiburis 0 0-0 0, Mason Skovgard 0 0-0 0, Tyler Pierce 1 2-4 4. TOTALS 16 8-14 47. AGWSR 5 8 13 10 6 - 42 G-R 4 11 9 12 11 - 47 3-Point Goals-AGWSR 3 (Janssen 2, Hames), GR 7 (Smoldt 7). Total Fouls-AGWSR 12, GR 9. Fouled Out-None.



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