Kiburis nets 30 in Rebels’ romp of Redhawks, 73-39

Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s William Kiburis goes up for the shot against North Tama during Tuesday’s non-conference basketball game in Reinbeck. Kiburis scored a game-high 30 points in the Rebels’ 73-39 triumph over the Redhawks.

A slow first quarter did nothing to halt Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s progress Tuesday night, as the Rebels rode a 30-point night from point guard William Kiburis to a 73-39 victory over North Tama in the final game before the winter break.

G-R (8-0) scored just 12 points in the first quarter, thanks in part to some strong defense from the Redhawks. But on the other end of the court, G-R’s changing defenses and pressure put North Tama (3-5) into a tailspin offensively.

Head coach Alex Tagtow said the Redhawks were forced to think too much about their passes when on offense, which led to turnovers and missed opportunities to score.

“We just really struggled to get it going,” Tagtow said. “Our pace wasn’t good enough and we were a little confused, they were changing defenses between zone and man, they just kinda confused us and we were stagnant. That was really our issue.”

The Redhawks scored three points in the first quarter and 13 points in the first half, with G-R opening up a 34-13 lead and putting North Tama in a position where it had to push to mount a comeback.

This meant more opportunities for G-R on the offensive end of the floor, and with William Kiburis having gotten the Rebels going in the second quarter with back-to-back threes, they continued to find their spots and make shots. Tristen Sanford-Anders scored 15 points and showed his improved passing ability, at times combining well with William on the interior.

Head coach Scott Kiburis said William’s increased height has allowed him to play more in the paint and form a good understanding with Sanford-Anders while dictating the offense in an unorthodox way.

“[William] is still our point guard, but he plays a lot of interior offense,” Scott said. “They have passed the ball really well to each other interiorly to get us shots inside.

Kind of an unnatural point guard, William, in the sense that he’s orchestrating scoring opportunities from the inside out instead of from the outside in like you see a lot of times.”

Luke Riffey got in on the action with 13 points and three 3-pointers.

North Tama’s offense got back on track in the second half thanks to baskets from Gabe Kopriva (15 points) and Devin McKinley (12 points) — each of them hitting two 3-pointers — as well as 10 points from Thomas Hulme inside. But too often the Redhawks would score on one end only for G-R to find a basket in the next possession.

It’s now five straight losses for the Redhawks heading into the winter break, which Tagtow sees as a needed chance for the team to get back to full strength.

“It’s been kind of a rotating door,” Tagtow said. “We need the break to get health.”

Gladbrook-Reinbeck is unbeaten — but according to Scott, not without things to work on after a game in which he said the Rebels weren’t at their best.

“The calendar works real well with a good five days and a scrimmage involved to add a couple things and work on what we’re not doing well,” Scott said. “We definitely know that we’ve done some things well, but there’s a lot of stuff we have to work on and get better at.”