Rebels roll in playoff openers

Dylan Riffey (12) pulls up for a jumper over West Central’s Brandon Cushion (13) during the Rebel’s 77-19 rout of the Blue Devils on Feb. 15. Riffey led with four three-pointers that was part of an 18-point performance. Photo by Julie Frischmeyer

The Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys’ basketball team opened its postseason with a 77-19 triumph over West Central on Monday night.

The Rebels (15-3) opened District 5 play by leading the visiting Blue Devils (4-18) by a 25-2 margin in the first quarter. G-R was in front 42-11 by halftime.

William Kiburis led Gladbrook-Reinbeck with a game-high 20 points, and Dylan Riffey made four 3-pointers on his way to 18 points. Tristen Sanford-Anders added 13 points to the mix, and Danny Gleissner contributed 12 points off the bench for the Rebels.

Aidan Nelson paced West Central with nine points.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck advances to host Tripoli (13-8) in Thursday’s district semifinals, entertaining the Panthers in a 7 p.m. game. Dunkerton (17-5) hosts Maquoketa Valley (11-11) in the other district semifinal.

G-R girls top Royals

Three minutes into the second quarter of Thursday night’s Class 1A girls’ basketball Region 6 first-round game between Colo-NESCO and Gladbrook-Reinbeck, the Rebels went up a gear.

A 9-0 run took the score from 10-5 to 19-5, and by the time the halftime buzzer rang out the score was 27-7. The game was in essence over, as long as the Rebels continued to play their game.

They did — and earned a rematch against AGWSR in the process.

The 55-28 victory for the 9-10 Rebels was one they earned without starters Belen Ellenberger and Mahayla Olson, relying on Emma McClintock, Lauren Boyer and Adriel Summers for minutes at the guard positions.

Another wrinkle G-R has implemented in the past few games has been utilizing senior wing Saari Kuehl as a point forward of sorts, initiating offensive sets and bringing the ball up on fast breaks.

But the lack of starters put more pressure on the G-R bigs, who had a size advantage against the Royals.

Coach Roger Oberhauser said the Rebels focused on getting the post play going early on, which led to more opportunities on the perimeter as the game went on.

“I felt that we went after our strength, knowing that we have size,” Oberhauser said. “That was the plan. I thought we forced it a few times but then made some adjustments and then we were able to hit outside shots.”

Forward Katie Clark scored a game-high 17 points, while fellow post Megan Cooper scored 15 points — all of them inside the paint or at the free-throw line. Saari Kuehl hit the team’s only two 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.

The second half started with another G-R run to take the lead to 30 points at 41-11. From there, the Rebels were practically assured a spot in the next round. Colo-NESCO scored 21 points in the second half to keep G-R from extending the lead further, but it didn’t matter to the end result. The Royals end the season with an 11-9 record. Jenna Banks led the team with 11 points and McKenzie Niemeyer scored 10.

Up next for Gladbrook-Reinbeck is a road trip to Ackley to play AGWSR Tuesday. The Rebels ended the regular season earlier in the week with a 53-32 loss to AGWSR, so Oberhauser and his team have recent tape to go over and figure out how to fare better this time around.

“They’re big, they’re tall, they’re physical,” Oberhauser said. “They’ve got some great players and they’re well-coached. We’re just gonna have to hit the film and see what worked and what doesn’t.”