REINBECK - Losing track of Jacob Smoldt for a brief stretch in the third threatened the Trojans' lead.
Though it was the Rebels' failure to rein in Duncan Ferch and Christian Vis all night that proved to be fatal.
Combining for 47 points, West Marshall's duo propelled the Trojan boys basketball team to its sixth straight win - a 54-38 decision - over previously undefeated Gladbrook-Reinbeck in a NICL West showdown Friday.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
West Marshall’s Duncan Ferch draws a foul on Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Logan Koester (24) in the first quarter of
Friday’s NICL West Division clash at Reinbeck. Ferch, who finished with a game-high 26 points, made the basket and free throw helping the Trojans jump out to a 17-4 lead en route to a 54-38 victory over the Rebels.
Smoldt's third consecutive trey capped a 9-0 flurry for the Rebels and pulled the home team within 34-30 with 4:15 to go in the third quarter. Following a timeout, the Trojans' defense locked in and their top-scoring tandem got the transition game going again to help the Trojans pull away.
"That was one of the key things that we thought we could do - run on them," said West Marshall coach Paul deNeui, who got his team back on track with a quick timeout.
"We just needed to settle down a bit. We needed to recognize who was hitting the three-pointers and we weren't doing that."
The Trojans got the message as Smoldt, who led the Rebels with 11 points, didn't score the rest of the way and the home team made just one more triple in the final 12 minutes.
A pair of transition buckets from Vis reclaimed control for West Marshall at 38-30 before an off-balance runner from Ferch pushed the lead to 10. Vis punctuated the 9-0 flourish with a trey that bounced high off the rim before dropping in as the Trojans' lead never dipped below eight the rest of the way.
"Christian stepped up tonight. He's been struggling lately with his shot, but tonight he hit it," said deNeui of his senior who finished with 21 points.
Zach Pierce scored inside and Camden Kickbush connected from deep to rally the Rebels within 43-35 left in the third, before Ferch, who finished with a game-high 26 points, took over. Spinning through the lane for two before tacking on two more layups, Ferch scored eight points in the final seven minutes as the Trojans (6-1, 5-0) closed on an 11-3 flourish.
Ferch and Vis set the tone early as the pair scored 25 of the Trojans' first 27 points helping West Marshall open a 27-13 gap late in the second. Gladbrook-Reinbeck found some quality looks, but saw several of them, including a few treys, rim out, though they still narrowed the deficit to 29-19 by intermission.
"That's a very good Gladbrook-Reinbeck team. I don't think you're going to see the same thing next time. They're going to play us tough, they always do," said deNeui, whose squad has a quick turnaround.
Pierce finished with nine points for the Rebels, while Kickbush added eight.
"We don't have much time to rest," said deNeui, whose squad hosts North Polk at 3 p.m. today, before facing AGWSR on the road Tuesday.
"We'll enjoy this for about 20 minutes and then we'll turn our focus on North Polk. We've got a tough stretch here."
The Rebels (4-1, 4-1) face South Tama on the road Tuesday.