REINBECK - With faces beating red, hands on their hips and chests heaving, the Trojans could rarely catch their breath.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck succeeded in establishing its helter-skelter tempo, but it was Sydney Beals and the West Marshall girls' basketball team got the last laugh - and the victory.
Tying the school's single game record for points (40) and field goals made (18), Beals led the Trojans to a 93-61 rout over the Rebels in NICL West Division play Friday.
In a game of runs, the Trojans could never relax though they always had an answer when the Rebels closed the deficit.
"It was the kind of game we expected. There weren't any surprises there," said West Marshall coach Fred Zeller, of the Rebels' run-and-gun style that mimics many elements of Grinnell College's attack, including five-player substitutions, quick shots and full-court pressure defense.
"I told them that no lead was safe and that proved to be true."
At least through the first three quarters.
Back-to-back triples from Erin Wentzien and Emily Snider, along with a layup from Nicole Adair capped Gladbrook-Reinbeck's first flurry - and last major threat - in the second half. The 10-2 surge made it 42-39 less than two minutes into the third, before the Trojans retaliated with a 12-5 blitz.
Adair buried another trey to bring the Rebels within 57-48 near the final minute of the quarter, but West Marshall (7-2, 4-1) answered with three quick transition baskets and never let the home team within single digits the rest of the way.
"I think our kids kind of got their legs in the second half and took advantage of their press. We got a lot of easy baskets, which is part of their game," said Zeller. "I thought we rebounded a little bit better in the second half.
The see-saw battle in the first half saw the visitors race out to a 14-4 lead, before the Rebels rebounded with an 8-0 blitz. West Marshall countered with its own eight-point surge, before Snider sank a shot just inside half court to bring Gladbrook-Reinbeck within 22-15 after one.
"Overall we played okay, but the last quarter and half we let them get out of our traps on the front end of our press too quickly," said Gladbrook-Reinbeck coach Bruce Bailey. "That gave them a lot of breakaways and we weren't getting in the intercepting spots."
Beals was in prime position on a few misses as she scored three straight buckets on putbacks to highlight a 12-3 run for the Trojans - giving them a 34-18 cushion midway though the second frame.
"Sydney Beals seemed to be in the right place at the right time," said Zeller.
"She had pretty good hands on some tough passes. Sometimes in this kind of game it's harder to finish because you're in such a hurry to get the ball up there."
Wentzien knocked down a 3 and Hayley Weber made a layup as the Rebels (2-6, 1-4) scored nine of the next 12 points to reel back within single digits before West Marshall hit a pair of buckets to lead 40-29 at the break.
Jennifer Davis and Rachel Freland added 14 and 13 points respectively for the Trojans, while Gabby Ryerson had eight. Snider led the Rebels with 16 points and Wentzien had 14. Taylor Flamme and Britney Keller scored seven apiece for Gladbrook-Reinbeck.
"Our shooting has improved a little bit from earlier in the season," said Bailey.
"We're getting there, we just need to keep working and clean some things up."
The Rebels face South Tama on the road Tuesday, while the Trojans host Class 3A No. 12-ranked North Polk Saturday before going to AGWSR Tuesday.
Beals' 40 points equaled Paige Hotopp's output against Woodward-Granger during the 2006-07 season. Beals' 18 field goals matched Hailee Halverson's total against Gladbrook-Reinbeck in 2010-11, which ended up being the highest scoring high school girls basketball game ever.