Rebels start the season 5-0

G-R junior guard William Kiburis weaves through Lynnville-Sully defenders on his way to the hoop during the Rebels’ win Saturday over the Hawks on Dec. 11. Kiburis has made a living in the lane and at the free throw line this season and is tied for first in the state with 32 made free throws. Photo by Darvin Graham

The Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels are off and sprinting in the early going of the boys 1A regular season.

In the first two weeks of action, the team has gone undefeated with wins over Wapsie Valley, South Hardin, AGWSR and Lynnville-Sully.

The Rebels are now one of only two unbeaten teams remaining in the NICL Conference, along with Aplington-Parkersburg (4-0).

Tiger takedown

Last week the Rebels suited up to face a team that had proven to be their kryptonite last season in South Hardin.

Tristen Sanford-Anders puts a shot up and over a crowd of Lynnville-Sully Hawks last Saturday evening. The Rebels were helped to a 65-48 win over L-S in part by double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds) scored by the team’s senior leader. Photo by Darvin Graham

Gladbrook-Reinbeck came away with an 81-68 victory, snapping a three-game losing streak against South Hardin.

The Tigers were one of only three teams to defeat Gladbrook-Reinbeck during the 2020-21 season, doing so twice by no more than one or two points.

Although South Hardin returned their leading scorer from last season along with a few other starters, the team the G-R boys found in Eldora on Dec. 7 was not the same as they encountered a year ago.

South Hardin hung around for one quarter, trailing by eight points going into the second.

But by halftime the Rebels had found another gear and put South Hardin in a 48-28 deficit.

Luke Riffey brings the ball up the court on Dec. 11 as the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels defeated Lynnville-Sully 65-48 to make their record a perfect 4-0. Riffey has been dangerous from long distance this season, shooting 34 percent from the three-point line. The junior guard has also been a sneaky-good rebounder for his team with 20 boards this season. Photo by Darvin Graham

Guard William Kiburis out-dueled Tigers ace Ryan Walters scoring a double-double with 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead all scorers.

Kiburis was effective getting into the lane against the South Hardin defense, drawing several fouls and converting 14 of his 17 free throw opportunities.

Junior Luke Riffey got his outside game working, shooting 4-for-9 from three point range for a total of 18 points on the night.

Senior big man Tristen Sanford-Anders also contributed 18 points to go along with five rebounds. Sanford-Anders was also a perfect 5-for-5 at the free throw line.

The Rebels found reliable production from freshman post Drew Eilers who came in off the bench and contributed nine points and eight rebounds in the team’s winning effort.

Sophomore guard Isaac Clark is in his first season as starter with Gladbrook-Reinbeck as the team works to replace Dylan Riffey from last year’s starting five. Clark’s best stat lines thus have come against Wapsie Valley and AGWSR where he’s scored five points, while also providing another outside threat to go along with Riffey, Kiburis and Caleb Egesdal. Photo by Darvin Graham

Rebels level AGWSR

In their home opener on Dec. 10 the Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys opened up early against AGWSR and never looked back.

After blowing open a 25-point lead in the first half, the Rebels would go on to defeat the Cougars 62-41.

G-R held the upper hand in nearly every aspect against AGWSR, outshooting them by four percentage points from the field, out-rebounding them by 18 boards, out-passing them by eight more assists and getting the free throw line significantly more with 17 free throw attempts compared to AGWSR only shooting two.

With several G-R reserves checking in earlier into the game, the scoring stats were more spread out than the two previous games.

Each of G-R’s starting five made a three-pointer with the team shooting a combined 45 percent from long range.

William Kiburis was again the leading scorer, with 18 points and five assists.

The only other Rebel to hit double digits was Luke Riffey who scored 12 points, all coming from behind the three-point line.

On the defensive end Tristen Sanford-Anders led the team with 11 rebounds.

Hawks grounded in Reinbeck

The Rebels stayed busy over the weekend hosting the Lynnville-Sully Hawks of the South Iowa Cedar League.

One of the biggest achievements Lynnville-Sully carried into the matchup with G-R was one of their losses.

In the first week of the season the Hawks came within three points of upsetting Montezuma, the 1A defending state champions.

They gave G-R a decent run in the first half, keeping the score to within two points heading into the halftime locker room.

But in the third quarter the Rebels adjusted and put the game away with a 24-4 quarter.

A slight rally in the fourth wasn’t enough and the Rebels cruised to a 65-48 victory.

Tristen Sanford-Anders was dominant underneath for G-R scoring 20 points while crashing the boards for 11 rebounds.

William Kiburis was the scoring leader for the third straight game with 21 points and Luke Riffey chipped in 15 to put together the bulk of the scoring for the Rebels.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck faced Jesup on Tuesday evening and will travel to Conrad to face a one-win BCLUW squad on Friday.

The Rebels biggest matchup before the holiday break may come against an undefeated North Mahaska squad led by 6-6 junior Nash Smith. Both teams are so far unranked in early season 1A polls but have received some votes indicating a break into the rankings might not be far off.