The Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys' basketball team is headed back to state for the third year in a row. Not coincidentally, senior guard Joe Smoldt is the North Iowa Cedar League West Division's Outstanding Player for the third-straight season as well.
Smoldt averaged 30.5 points per game during 12 NICL West contests en route to his third unanimous all-conference first-team selection and the top honor yet again, helping the Rebels get back to Wells Fargo Arena in Class 1A.
Smoldt, who currently leads the state of Iowa in scoring, shared unanimous first-team honors with AGWSR senior Nathan Karsjens for the third year in a row. Smoldt was also a second-team pick as a freshman.
Smoldt, bound for Upper Iowa University in the fall, led the NICL West in scoring, 3-pointers made, free throws and steals while finishing second in assists. He also ranked 14th in rebounding.
Karsjens, who has a future in football at Western Illinois, averaged 17.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and totaled 14 blocks to finish third in each category. He helped lead the Cougars to a share of second place in the final NICL West standings.
The top three conference finishers - Gladbrook-Reinbeck, AGWSR and East Marshall - each placed two players on the all-NICL West first team. West Marshall senior forward David Disney and East Marshall junior forward Zane Johnson are the only returners aside from Smoldt and Karsjens.
First-time honorees are AGWSR senior guard Jay Janssen, Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior forward Tyler Pierce, and East Marshall junior point guard Tyler DeBondt.
Johnson and DeBondt helped to lead East Marshall's turnaround to a share of second place. Johnson averaged 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while DeBondt was first in assists (94) and second in steals (30) in league play.
Disney tied for seventh in scoring average (13.2) while finishing third in steals (22), seventh in blocked shots (8) and eighth in rebounding (6.3).
Janssen boosted AGWSR's offense by finishing second in 3-pointers made in conference games, averaging 12.6 points per game.
Pierce presented a low-post option for Gladbrook-Reinbeck, averaging 11.7 points per game at a 69.2 percent clip. He also ranked sixth in rebounding (6.4 per game) for the Rebels.
East Marshall newcomer Zaine Leedom finished second in the conference scoring (19.1) and rebounding (8.4) categories while also leading in blocked shots (17) in just eight of 12 conference games.