Rebels stun Keota again in search of state return

Michael Boyd

VAN HORNE — Second verse, same as the first.

The Gladbrook-Reinbeck boys’ basketball team beat Keota in the district finals for the second year in a row, handing the Eagles their first loss of the season with Tuesday’s 67-62 triumph in the Class 1A District 11 championship at Benton Community High School.

The Rebels (20-5) advance to the substate finals for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons, where they will face No. 10 Kee Community (22-2) in Saturday’s 7 p.m. game at Waterloo East.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s prominent post presence of Michael Boyd and Drew Eilers scored a combined 42 points to help propel the Rebels get past the previously unbeaten Keota Eagles (23-1) and to within a game of the state tournament.

Boyd racked up a double-double of 25 points and 14 rebounds, and Eilers finished with 17 points to keep the Rebels in control even when the top-seeded Eagles seemed on course to capture the lead.

G-R led by as many as seven points throughout the contest, but Keota made a game of it down the stretch. The Eagles finally got back to even, 57-all, with a five-point surge that Eilers and Boyd interrupted with back-to-back baskets in the lane.

Hudson Clark’s only bucket of the night put the Rebels in front 63-59 with 1:45 remaining, and Gladbrook-Reinbeck got just enough free throws to finish off the victory.

Boyd and Eilers combined to make 18 field goals and 6-of-11 free throws, and Isaac Clark cashed in three 3-pointers on his way to 12 points. Austen Mathern made a pair of treys and scored eight points, and Austin Vaverka pitched in with a 3-pointer off the bench.

Keota had six players score at least nine points, led by Sawyer Stout’s 14. Chase Haifley, Evan Vittetoe and Billie Kindred added 10 points apiece, while Cole Kindred and Tanner Waterhouse had nine each. The Eagles were 10-for-10 at the charity stripe, but finished 16.5 points behind their season scoring average.

The Rebels go to Saturday’s substate final in search of consecutive trips to state for the first time since making it three straight from 2015-2017.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 67, Keota 62

GLADBROOK-REINBECK (20-5) — Isaac Clark 4 1-2 12, Austen Mathern 3 0-0 8, Hudson Clark 1 0-0 2, Drew Eilers 7 3-6 17, Michael Boyd 11 3-5 25, Brandon Mathern 0 0-0 0, Austin Vaverka 1 0-0 3. TOTALS 27 7-13 67.

KEOTA (23-1) — Tanner Waterhouse 3 0-0 9, Cole Kindred 3 3-3 9, Sawyer Stout 3 7-7 14, Evan Vittetoe 5 0-0 10, Billie Kindred 4 0-0 10, Chase Sieren 0 0-0 0, Chase Haifley 4 0-0 10, Aiden McGuire 0 0-0 0, Conner Strand 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 22 10-10 62.

G-R 20 11 21 15 — 67

KEOTA 13 16 18 15 — 62

3-Point Goals–G-R 6 (I. Clark 3, A. Mathern 2, Vaverka), Keota 8 (Waterhouse 3, Haifley 2, B. Kindred 2, Stout). Team Fouls–G-R 12, Keota 15. Fouled Out–Haifley.


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