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Run it back, Rebels
March 12, 2017

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DES MOINES - The Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys' basketball team is still making games a little too close for comfort for a lot of peoples' hearts.

A little more than a week after sealing an overtime win against Wapsie Valley to get to the state tournament, the fourth-ranked Rebels (25-2) edged out No. 5 Lynnville-Sully 53-50 in the first round of the Class 1A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena on Monday.

Joe Smoldt went for a game-high 29 points while junior Caden Kickbush followed with 12 more, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3 minutes, 33 seconds to play in the game.

"It's different from the last couple years where we'd beat teams by a wider margin," Smoldt said about winning close games in the postseason. "But that says a lot about this team and how relentless we are. We were up by [nine] and they went on a run, and then Caden hit that shot. It shows we're comfortable in these situations and big games, because of our success we've had the last couple years."

The Rebels led the way for nearly three and a half quarters before Lynnville-Sully (24-2) went on a 7-2 run resulting in the Hawks' first lead of the game at 39-38 on a Tanner Foster 3-pointer. Foster ended up with two 3-pointers, one to bring the halftime deficit to 24-22 and the brief go-ahead in the fourth quarter.

Monday's contest ended in a reflective way the entire game went for the Hawks. Three Hawk attackers snagged three offensive rebounds before getting a fourth shot to go at the buzzer, tacking on three more offensive boards to an already marginal advantage against the Rebels.

L-S dominated the glass 44-22, with 19-5 offensive rebounds. Junior Jesse Van Wyk had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the double-double affair, while Foster finished with nine points and 11 rebounds. Brevin Hansen led the way for the Hawks with 15 points and three assists.

"They missed a lot of shots from the perimeter, so there were a lot of opportunities for rebounds in the first half," said G-R head coach Scott Kiburis. "They capitalized on some of those, and that's where a majority of our fouls occurred. But their who scheme was to get position on us and get rebounds."

Kiburis said in the second half the Rebels cleaned up on rebounding at times, but with somewhat of a physical height advantage on the glass, there were times where the Rebels weren't in position to get the defensive boards. The Hawks were able to get an 18-4 advantage on second-chance points.

A pivotal reason the Rebels remained competitive despite such a drastic rebounding disparity was the victory on the turnover margin battle. The Rebels forced 18 turnovers to their seven while snagging 17 points off the giveaways.

Lynnville-Sully head coach Nick Harthoorn said the Rebels' 2-3 zone caused a lot of problems for the Hawks, especially in the passing lanes when trying to feed the ball on the blocks, a place the Hawks were more successful Monday, earning a 32-18 advantage in the paint.

"They're a long team and play with a lot of size," Harthoorn said. "Their wingspans in that 2-3 zone gave us a little trouble. They got their hands on a lot of balls. We've been trying to simulate that in practice the last few days, but it's hard to do that when they're 6-4, 6-5. So we had a few too many turnovers today, but you learn from it and hopefully make those adjustments down the road."

It was a highly-contested first-round game, without leaving much to be desired from two teams familiar with each other in a rivalry sense.

The Rebels topped Lynnville-Sully in last year's 1A substate final, eliminating the Hawks from a state berth. This time, with both teams making the trip to state, the Rebels were on the winning side once again.

G-R will get to see No. 1 North Linn on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the first semifinal game of the day. The Rebels fell to eventual state champion South O'Brien last year in the semifinal, but are seeking their first state championship game since 2015.

Iowa High School Boys' State Basketball Tournament

At Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines

CLASS 1A

Quarterfinals

Monday, March 6

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 53, Lynnville-Sully 50

North Linn 54, Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto 49

Remsen-St. Mary's 59, New London 52

Grand View Christian 59, West Hancock 36

Semifinals

Thursday, March 9

North Linn (26-0) vs. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (25-2), 10:30 a.m.

Grand View Christian (25-1) vs. Remsen-St. Mary's (25-0), 12:15 p.m.

Friday, March 10

Third Place

Semifinal losers, 10 a.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 6:05 p.m.

CLASS 2A

Quarterfinals

Monday, March 6

Western Christian 53, South Hamilton 47

Camanche 58, Cascade 48

Tuesday, March 7

Pella Christian (20-4) vs. Van Meter (23-1), 10:30 a.m.

Kuemper Catholic (22-2) vs. Garner-Hayfield/Ventura (24-1), 12:15 p.m.

Semifinals

Thursday, March 9

Western Christian (22-2) vs. Camanche (23-2), 2 p.m.

Pella Christian or Van Meter vs. Kuemper Catholic or Garner-Hayfield, 3:45 p.m.

Friday, March 10

Third Place

Semifinal losers, 11:45 a.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 8:05 p.m.

CLASS 3A

Quarterfinals

Tuesday, March 7

Waverly-Shell Rock (22-1) vs. Atlantic (19-5), 2 p.m.

Cedar Rapids Xavier (13-11) vs. Mount Pleasant (22-2), 3:45 p.m.

West Delaware (24-0) vs. Dallas Center-Grimes (15-9), 6:35 p.m.

Pella (22-2) vs. Sergeant Bluff-Luton (15-9), 8:15 p.m.

Semifinals

Thursday, March 9

6:35 p.m., 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, March 11

Third Place

Semifinal losers, 12:05 p.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 6:05 p.m.

CLASS 4A

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, March 8

Iowa City West (20-3) vs. Newton (19-5), 1:05 p.m.

Dubuque Hempstead (18-5) vs. Cedar Rapids Kennedy (18-5), 2:45 p.m.

Bettendorf (18-5) vs. Sioux City East (21-2), 6:35 p.m.

Valley (19-4) vs. Des Moines North (18-5), 8:15 p.m.

Semifinals

Friday, March 10

1:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m.

Saturday, March 11

Third Place

Semifinal losers, 1:45 p.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 8:05 p.m.

No. 4 Gladbrook-Reinbeck 53, No. 5 Lynnville-Sully 50

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