G-R routs Redhawks to advance
Rebels knock off rival North Tama, 60-57
REINBECK — Game two of the Class 1A District 7 semifinal doubleheader on Tuesday was another chapter in the long rivalry between North Tama and Gladbrook-Reinbeck, with the winner this time keeping their state tournament dreams alive.
Last time the Rebels and Redhawks met this season, G-R narrowly walked away with a 60-57 victory in Traer, and they did so without leading scorer Caden Kickbush in the lineup after suffering a leg injury the night before against West Marshall.
Kickbush was in the lineup on Tuesday, however, and he made his presence known early, scoring 13 points in the first quarter to pace a 20-8 first frame for the Rebels, a lead they would never give up in a 68-36 drubbing of North Tama.
After the game, Kickbush said he wasn’t trying to make up for missing the last game in the first quarter, his shots just kept falling and his teammates kept finding him.
“It sort of just kept falling in and they just kept feeding it to me so that was good,” Kickbush said with a big smile.
Kickbush would finish the night with 20 points to lead Gladbrook-Reinbeck (17-6), but he was far from the only Rebel scorer to get things done. Jackson Kiburis came on strong in the final three quarters to finish with 17 points, while Mason Skovgard did his job down low to the tune of 11 points.
G-R head coach Scott Kiburis said having Kickbush back obviously was great for his team, but he really thought this was a whole-team win.
“He can kind of create his own shots, he can go inside and outside, so we try to take advantage of that,” Kiburis said of Kickbush. “We also had Mason Skovgard on the board and my son Jackson got out in transition a little bit, we had some distribution of scoring which was good. I think the key was our guards, Matt Johannsen, Walker and Eli Thede off the bench, they really created some havoc to get some transition points.”
The Rebels truly did cause all sorts of problems for North Tama (8-15) in transition with their tough press, causing many steals and turning those into fast-break points. Kiburis said last time when they only beat the Redhawks by three, the 3-pointer was falling much better for North Tama, so this time they wanted to challenge on the outside.
“They hit a bunch of 3-point shots last time so we extended a little bit more and I think we forced them to work to bring the ball up against the press and that enabled us to make them a little more tired,” Kiburis said. “They were running kids in and out and didn’t hit as many threes.”
Noah Bond was the only Redhawk player to reach the double digits, finishing with 12 points, while Hale Hulme and Nicholas Sierra each had nine.
North Tama head coach Alex Tagtow said his guys just couldn’t keep up with the effort the Rebels brought.
“I thought we were confident early and they played with really great effort, I think that was the difference,” Tagtow said. “They played so hard and I think that kind of bothered us and we never really were able to come back from that.”
Gladbrook-Reinbeck now finds itself in a familiar place, playing for a chance to go to its fifth-straight substate finals. To get there, however, the Rebels will have to get past a scrappy Meskwaki squad that beat a good Belle Plaine team by 17 points in the district semifinals.
Kiburis said he knows the Warriors will be a tough out, and his guys have to be prepared.
“They’ve only lost to good teams, heck they beat West Marshall and West Marshall beat us,” Kiburis said. “They played East Marshall really tight, they played Don Bosco very tight, they beat Belle Plaine who is a quality team in their last game. They have three really good players and are coached awfully well. We have our work cut out for us.”
Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Meskwaki will meet up in Le Grand on Thursday at 7 p.m. for the 1A District 7 finals, with the winner moving on to the substate finals with a chance to go to the state tournament.
North Tama 36
NORTH TAMA (8-15) — Hale Hulme 3 2-5 9, Noah Bond 4 4-7 12, Lance Zobel1 0-0 3, Nicholas Sierra 3 2-5 9, Cael Even 0 0-0 0, Jack Dostal 0 0-1 0, Zach Greiner 0 1-2 1, Cory Kennedy 1 0-1 2, Niles Thorsen 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 9-21 36.
GLADBROOK-REINBECK (17-6) — Walker Thede 3 0-1 7, Matt Johannsen 2 0-0 4, Caden Kickbush 9 0-0 20, Jackson Kiburis 4 8-10 17, Mason Skovgard 5 1-1 11, Aiden Wyatt 0 0-0 0, Tyler Tscherter 1 0-0 3, Eli Thede 2 0-0 4, Colton Clark 0 0-0 0, Cody Johnson 0 0-0 0, Dylan Riffey 0 2-2 2, Keagan Giesking 0 0-0 0, Cullen Eiffler 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 26 11-14 68.
N. TAMA 8 8 13 7 — 36
G-R 20 14 26 8 — 68
3-Point Goals–NT 3 (Hulme, Zobel, Sierra), G-R 5 (Kickbush 2, Tscherter, Thede, Kiburis). Total Fouls–NT 16, G-R 25. Fouled Out–none.