LE GRAND - Zach Pierce, Camden Kickbush and Joe Smoldt average a combined 39 points per game this year for the Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys' basketball team.
But the Class 1A No. 10 Rebels showed they are not just Pierce on the inside and Kickbush and Smoldt on the wings.
Chase Clark continued his upward swing with a career-high 19 points and Colton Dinsdale proved he is more than just a defensive stopper with 14 points and Gladbrook-Reinbeck clinched its first outright NICL West Division title since 2007-08 with an 89-38 rout of East Marshall on Friday night.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck sophomore Tyler Eiffler, top, scores a bucket in the lane in the fourth quarter against East Marshall during the Rebels’ 89-38 win in Le Grand on Friday night. Gladbrook-Reinbeck clinched the outright North Iowa Cedar League West Division title with the victory, its first since 2008.
Photo by Troy Hyde
The Rebels (17-2, 13-1) have now won nine straight and 13 of their last 14. And eight of the nine victories during the streak have been won by double-figures.
"It is step No. 1, and it is what you shoot for in the regular season," said Pierce, who finished with eight points in the win. "We need to keep building off this though. We are shooting for districts and hopefully state."
The Rebels hit nine 3-pointers in the game and dominated the Mustangs (1-18, 1-13) on the glass, finishing with double-figure second-chance points and double-figure offensive rebounds.
"You can't just stand and wait for guys to come to you. You have find people and initiate the contact outside the lane and we didn't do that at all tonight," said East Marshall coach Cole Anderson. "We are not tall, but that's not an excuse for turning the ball and not putting a body on somebody. It was frustrating all around."
The Mustangs did an admirable job of trying to slow the game down in the first quarter and trailed only by seven points after one. But turnovers got the Rebels going in the second and second-chance points helped the visitors pile it on.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck outscored the Mustangs 21-11 in the second frame and held a 50-17 advantage in the second half.
"It's really nice to be outright champion, but we considered ourselves champions last year with a good West Marshall team," Kiburis said. "I think we are playing pretty well this year. Our kids have gelled the last month. We are moving the ball really well and we have a different guy every night that produces well for us."
Most nights, it's usually Pierce, Kickbush or Smoldt. Friday, it was Clark and Dinsdale that sparked the offense.
Clark scored eight of his career-high on putbacks alone. He put in six straight for the Rebels in the third to push G-R's lead to 49-26. Dinsdale hit one of his two triples in the opening period and then began the second frame with seven of the Rebels' first nine points and his final bucket capped a 10-0 surge for the visitors.
"It's a great feeling. It's kind of redemption from last year. We really wanted it last year, but it feels great to be on top," said Kickbush, who missed most of the first half after aggravating a hip injury. "Chase has improved the last couple of weeks and has helped us score tremendously. If Colton is knocking down shots, that is big for us."
The Rebels scored 18 of the first 25 points of the third quarter and led 69-30 heading into the fourth. That allowed Kiburis to go deep into his bench. Ten Rebels scored at least two points in the win and everyone on the roster hit the floor.
The Mustangs were led by Ben Terrones' 10 points, while Nate DeBondt and Zack Johnson each scored eight in the loss.
Smoldt, who is just a freshman, was held in check in the first half but broke free for 13 points in the game. Josh Cooley, Pete Meyers and Cameron Clark all scored seven points off the G-R bench.
"We had our moments in this game, but we didn't play our best by any means," Pierce said. "Our style right now is playing defense and if we get a lot of steals in the backcourt then we get easy layups. We have enough weapons where we don't need to go off every night."
It was the sixth straight loss for East Marshall. And the win for Gladbrook-Reinbeck completes the season sweep over the Mustangs. The Rebels beat East Marshall, 74-44, earlier this year in Reinbeck, winning the second half 30-10.
"They have a lot of weapons. We don't have an answer for Pierce and Kickbush is lights out," Anderson said. "They are an all-around good team and I am pretty sure they'll make a deep run in the tournament."
Kickbush said his hip bothered him Friday night but doesn't expect the injury to keep him out of any games. "I'll hang in there," he said. Kickbush, Dinsdale and Smoldt each hit two 3-pointers in the game. G-R won back-to-back outright NICL West titles in 2006-07 and 2007-08. West Marshall joined the league in 2008-09 and had won at least a share of the conference crown in each of the first five seasons it had been in the league. The Rebels finish out the regular season with two non-conference games. They head to Aplington-Parkersburg on Tuesday before hosting Wapsie Valley on Thursday. East Marshall hosts GMG on Monday and Hudson on Thursday.