Rebels sunk by shooting woes, South Hardin
REINBECK — The Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys basketball team had revenge on its mind when it hosted South Hardin for an NICL West Division showdown on Monday.
The Tigers beat the Rebels by 23 in their first meeting this season, so G-R wanted to show improvement from its first game of the season, and it did, but South Hardin was still able to escape the Rebels’ clutches with a 44-41 victory.
G-R boys head coach Scott Kiburis said the game came down to the Tigers (10-5, 6-3) making one more shot than his Rebels (9-4, 6-3).
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well, we got some good shots but we didn’t a lot of great shots because they play great defense,” Kiburis said. “I thought we did fairly well in the half court defense, there were a lot of turnovers early. We both didn’t execute very well with what we were trying to do. I don’t want to blame the three-day layoff but definitely shooting the basketball and dribbling was not where we were at prior to that, but we played hard.”
That one shot might have come at the end of the third quarter. After trailing all game, G-R took the lead in the third and got up by four at 29-25, but South Hardin was able to finish the quarter on a 7-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Jacob Vander Wilt with less than 10 seconds left in the third to put his team up, 32-29.
“I don’t think we caught back up, we got close but we never got back in the lead,” Kiburis said. “We didn’t shoot free throws especially well and we usually shoot those well, that’s been a strength. We got to the line and go them to foul, things could have gone better but we will try to get better with the next couple of games.”
As a team the Rebels were 16-24 from the free-throw line, including a 3-for-8 line in the first half.
Though they couldn’t pull off the comeback, junior Cullen Eiffler gave a great effort in the fourth quarter by going for seven points, and that was with front-court teammate Colton Clark on the bench.
“Cullen Eiffler played really well in the second half, he gave us a boost there when Colton got dinged up and had to go out of the game,” Kiburis said.
Eiffler finished with nine points, while Jackson Kiburis was the team leader with 10. Dylan Riffey and Tyler Tscherter each had eight points as well, and coach Kiburis said the team is at its best when it is sharing the ball.
“That’s how we’ve gotten better as the season has gone along, our four perimeter players have actually distributed the ball and we’ve had double figures with three or four guys in a couple of games,” he said. “Today we just couldn’t score enough points so we didn’t have more than one player in double figures, but we shared shot opportunities.”
Vander Wilt led South Hardin with 12 points on four made 3-pointers, while G-R as a team hit just one shot from the outside.
Though they took the loss it was just their second since falling to the Tigers back on December 7, and with a good chunk of the schedule still left before starting postseason play Kiburis said his team has time to figure things out.
“We’ve got eight more games, and a lot of tough games too,” he said. “Hopefully we improve, we made a lot of mistakes out there that we work on in practice. With three days off they kind of forgot a couple of things but we will get better at that.”
Next up the Rebels will travel to Sumner-Fredricksburg tonight for a game at 7:45 p.m., weather permitting.
South Hardin 44, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 41
SOUTH HARDIN (10-5, 6-3) — Jacob Vander Wilt 4 0-1 12, Dante Dolash 0 0-2 0, Tyrell Todd 3 0-0 6, Cade Spieker 2 3-4 7, Christian Penning 1 0-0 2, Kaleb Roling 5 0-0 10, Garrison Tripp 2 3-4 7, Gavin Ridout 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 17 6-11 44.
GLADBROOK-REINBECK (9-4, 6-3) — Tyler Tscherter 2 4-6 8, Eli Thede 2 2-2 6, Jackson Kiburis 2 5-10 10, Colton Clark 0 0-0 0, Cullen Eiffler 3 3-4 9, Ethan Gienger 0 0-0 0, Dylan Riffey 3 2-2 8. TOTALS 12 16-24 41.
S. HARDIN 11 11 10 12 — 44
G-R 10 10 9 12 — 41
3-Point Goals–SH (Vander Wilt 4), G-R 1 (Kiburis). Total Fouls–SH 20, G-R 13. Fouled Out–Riffey.