No. 3 G-R boys remain unbeaten
Rebels improve to 11-0 with win over Sailors Jan. 10
In a game with plenty of ebbs and flows last Friday night, there was one constant for Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys’ basketball — energy. Fighting through solid defense from East Marshall and missed 3-pointers on offense the Rebels kept pushing, kept their energy and hustle up and pulled away for a 76-49 win on Jan. 6. The Rebels are now the No. 3 team in Class 1A.
Caleb Egesdal scored nine of the Rebels’ first 11 points and helped G-R to an early lead, but East Marshall hung around thanks to a drive-and-kick offense that found open looks from 3-point range.
Much of the early offense in the game did not come from William Kiburis or Junior Brown, as both teams focused their defensive strategies on stopping the opponent’s leading scorer.
Both players finished in double figures — Kiburis scored a game-high 22 and Brown scored 11 — but secondary scorers took on a bigger offensive responsibility. Landen Neuroth led East Marshall with 12 points.
G-R head coach Scott Kiburis was pleased with Egesdal (18 points) and Luke Riffey (13) in particular for their showings.
“We’re trying a lot of different things to see what’s best for us, some are successful, some are not,” Scott said. “We’re getting great contributions from different people every night apart from William. I thought Caleb had a good night and Luke, those were our third and fourth scorers from last year who have had some big games for us.
“We need perimeter shooting from other guys too, so they just can’t trap the middle of the floor on us.”
After one quarter it was 22-14, and just past midway through the second quarter the Mustangs were still within 10 points at 29-19. G-R kept up the offensive intensity and ran newer sets to keep the ball moving around, and eventually the Rebels were able to find holes in the East Marshall defense.
Despite the scoreline and the amount of points conceded by the Mustangs, head coach Adam Bauder was positive about the Mustangs’ progress on the defensive side of the ball — while pointing out that rebounding problems are still weighing them down.
“I don’t think we played that bad to be honest with you,” Bauder said. “Defensively, I thought we actually frustrated them a little bit at times. William, eventually he’s going to get his but I thought we made him work. I thought we were active. Our problem is, if we could get a rebound and finish a possession, our defensive averages would look way better than they do.”
After taking a 50-26 lead midway through the third quarter in an effort to put the game to bed, G-R was pulled back into a contest with three-consecutive 3-pointers by East Marshall sophomore Leland Hamilton-Youngbird. Another strong close to the quarter pushed the gap to 20 points and the Rebels then were able to ease home with the victory, keeping an unbeaten start to the season alive.
This past Monday, G-R took down Sumner-Fredericksburg on the road, 68-44. The Rebels followed that up with a win over Columbus Catholic on Tuesday night — another road game they won handily, 92-55 — improving their undefeated record this season to 11-0.
The Rebels are set to play Grundy Center on Friday, Jan. 13 at home. Tip-off with the Spartans is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.