Gladbrook-Reinbeck grinds out win over BGM, 46-44
REINBECK — Entering the fourth quarter on Saturday night, the Gladbrook-Reinbeck girls basketball team trailed BGM 38-29 and it needed a spark early on to traverse the comeback trail in the final eight minutes.
To make matters worse, senior Maddie Frischmeyer — who had was the leading scorer through the first three quarters — had to leave the game due to discomfort in her left leg, so the Rebels were shorthanded and down nine.
Despite all the adversity, G-R managed to outscore the Bears 17-6 in the final quarter, with junior Taylor Gienger nailing a shot with less than two seconds to go to put the Rebels up for the first time in the game.
After the win, Gienger said she didn’t necessarily know if the ball was going down, but she had a good feeling about pulling off the win.
“I was just really calm, I wasn’t for sure if it was going to go in or not but luckily it fell for me,” she said.
Gienger scored four points in the final quarter and seven of her team-leading 11 points in the second half, and head coach Bruce Bailey said Gienger having a good night goes a long way toward his team earning a win.
“Taylor is kind of the mechanism that makes us go. She pushes the ball hard, she sees the assist and she’s a good shooter,” Bailey said. “She’s aggressive with the basketball, by far the most aggressive of anybody on our team, so she is a catalyst for us there’s no doubt about it.”
Through the first three games of the season, Gienger is averaging roughly 16 points per game to lead the Rebels (2-1), giving credence to Bailey’s theory.
It wasn’t all on the junior point guard on Saturday night, however, as senior Madison Swanson had an outstanding fourth quarter to push G-R over the edge.
Swanson had eight of her 10 points in the final frame, including two back-to-back scores to tie the game up at 44 with 21 seconds left.
Bailey said Swanson, who is usually a reliable 3-point shooter, wasn’t quite on target from behind the arc on Saturday, but she found other ways to remain relevant in the game.
“Megan did a nice job, she hadn’t been shooting the ball well and usually she’s a really good 3-point shooter,” he said. “To see her push through that and get some of that stuff around the basket was great, when you can’t make those shots you have to find someplace else to help out and she did that and had a great quarter.”
As a whole, the 3-point shot wasn’t falling for the Rebels, as they managed only four total makes in the game. Luckily, the other part of the team’s identity worked like a charm, as the full-court press the Rebels employ the whole game thoroughly frustrated BGM (2-2) all night.
Bailey said when the shot just isn’t falling for his girls, it’s a good thing they have the press to fall back on.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well at all tonight, but we played hard,” he said. “We press all the time, which I think got them out of their rhythm and we did a much better job the second half in the press of getting them stopped or stopping them on the back end of the press.”
Because of that ability to constantly press, the Rebels never truly feel out of a game either. Even when down 10 with less than seven minutes to go, the Gladbrook-Reinbeck bench never seemed unsure of the team’s ability to come back.
“Maybe there for a little bit, but then we got a couple free throws and got back into it,” Gienger said of whether she was nervous of not coming back. “Then there was a three in there, that really got us going and back into the game.”
That three was hit by Haleigh Berendes, who really made her presence felt on defense and in the rebounding category on the night.
“Berendes did a terrific job back there making them take not quite the shot they wanted and then rebounding this miss,” Bailey said of his post player. “We did what we wanted to do, our shots didn’t fall and we fouled too much but I told the kids if we work on through it good things happen.”
While their win wasn’t exactly the prettiest this season, as the Rebels trailed the entire game before tying things up at 21 seconds left in the fourth, Bailey said this was indicative of how his girls are going to beat people. And it’s clearly a winning formula, because G-R already has as many wins this season (2) as they did all of last year.
“We aren’t good enough to blow people away, especially when we shoot like that,” Bailey said. “In practice it looks like we are world beaters but in a game we haven’t been shooting very well. We are going to have to grind out wins and right now we’ve got two, which is all we had last season so we’ve progressed quite a bit. We will just keep working and see what happens.”
The Rebels try to exceed last season’s win total on Tuesday when they hit the road for the first time this year to take on AGWSR in Ackley, starting at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck 46, BGM 44
BGM (2-2) — Rachel Hawkins 0 3-4 3, Molly Baldwin 3 2-3 8, Rylie VanErsvelde 3 0-2 7, Lyla Kriegel 3 2-5 8, Rylie Gritsch 3 1-2 7, Maddie Jansen 0 0-0 0, Marian Coover 0 0-0 0, Kaylee Lint 0 0-0 0, Rachel Weiss 1 0-1 2, Kelsey Lint 4 1-4 9. TOTALS 16 9-21 44.
GLADBROOK-REINBECK (2-1) — Saari Kuehl 2 0-0 5, Maddie Frischmeyer 3 0-0 7, Megan Swanson 5 0-3 10, Taylor Gienger 4 3-5 11, Haleigh Berendes 2 0-1 5, Lily Ehlers 0 0-0 0, Madison Denny-Weber 1 3-3 6, Brianna Strohbehn 0 0-0 0, Rachel Cooley 0 0-1 0, Belen Ellenberger 1 0-1 2, McKenna Kupka 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18 6-14 46.
BGM 12 10 16 6 — 44
G-R 7 14 8 17 — 46
3-Point Goals–BGM 1 (VanErsvelde), G-R 4 (Kuehl, Frischmeyer, Denny-Weber, Berendes). Total Fouls–BGM 17, G-R 23. Fouled Out–Coover, Denny-Weber.