Rebels shooters snipe Mustangs

G-R’s Tristen Sanford-Anders goes up for a shot against East Marshall on Jan. 22. Sanford-Anders was the second leading scorer for the Rebels with 18 points. Photo by Noah Rohlfing

REINBECK — For the most part, East Marshall boys’ basketball coach Adam Bauder said, the Mustangs played well Friday night against Gladbrook-Reinbeck.

But sometimes playing well isn’t enough.

The Mustangs looked solid offensively for the third game running, but a 3-point shooting blitz from Dylan Riffey propelled G-R (10-2, 5-1 NICL West) to a 75-60 win, completing the season sweep over the Mustangs and putting a stop to their two-game winning streak.

“They want to win, we want to win, we’re all competitors so they’re down,” Bauder said. “But they have nothing to hang their heads about. We’re trending in the right direction, I’d say.”

The game began sloppily for the Mustangs (5-8, 1-6 NICL West) as a few careless passes led to turnovers and Rebel baskets against the G-R press. The turnovers largely settled down after that, but it meant G-R had momentum and an early lead it would not give up for the rest of the game.

William Kiburis (17 points) and Dylan Riffey (game-high 25 points) were the catalysts offensively in the first half, with Kiburis controlling the offense in transition and finding his way to the basket while Riffey was warming up from 3-point range. Tristan Sanford-Anders (18 points) did his bit inside, going to battle with Drew Runner and hitting all eight of his free-throw attempts

In the second quarter, the Mustangs shot their way back into the contest, trimming a 14-point gap to seven at the halftime break (41-34).

G-R coach Scott Kiburis commended East Marshall’s performance, particularly that of senior guard Logan Bowie (team-high 19 points). Bowie missed the first encounter, and it made for a changed game plan defensively from the Rebels to try and limit his productivity.

“We wanted to keep Logan from getting into that lane, because he makes every shot from 12-15 feet, which are hard shots,” Kiburis said. “You don’t see high school players making that shot. Both of us have gotten better since then, so I thought that was a very competitive high school basketball game.”

The third quarter saw East Marshall claw its way within four points of the rebels — the closest the game got after the opening three minutes. But right as the Mustangs had the momentum and were poised to make it a nail-biter, Riffey hit four threes from the top of the key. Each one felt like a dagger for the Mustangs, who struggled to stop Collins-Maxwell from hitting threes the night before.

Bauder said Friday felt different — he thought the coverages were good, but once Riffey got going, he said, it can just be a case of shooters hitting shots.

Those shots gave G-R a 59-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter. East Marshall got within 10 but could not trim the gap further, and the Rebels put the game away.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 75

East Marshall 60

EAST MARSHALL (5-8, 1-6) — Bo Lee 1 0-0 3, Ethan Espenscheid 5 0-0 13, Logan Bowie 8 2-2 19, Junior Brown 3 0-0 8, Drew Runner 6 2-6 14, Toby Ryan 0 0-0 0, Cale Vos 0 0-0 0, Adrian Arifi 1 0-0 3. TOTALS 24 4-8 60.

GLADBROOK-REINBECK (10-2, 5-1) — Luke Riffey 3 1-2 8, Caleb Egesdal 2 0-0 5, William Kiburis 6 4-6 17, Dylan Riffey 7 4-6 25, Tristen Sanford-Anders 5 8-8 18, Isaac Clark 0 0-0 0, Danny Gleissner 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 24 17-22 75.

EM 10 24 12 14 — 60

G-R 23 18 18 16 — 75

3-Point Goals-EM 8 (Espenscheid 3, Brown 2, Lee, Bowie, Arifi), G-R 10 (D. Riffey 7, L. Riffey, Egesdal, Kiburis). Team Fouls-EM 20, G-R 11. Fouled out-Brown.