Not done yet; SW earns bid to state

By Becky Walz,

They survived again.

It took an extraordinary effort by the South Winn boys’ basketball team, but for the first time since 1987 the squad is headed to state.

The Warriors punched their ticket to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines by defeating Gladbrook-Reinbeck 63-57 Saturday night in Manchester.

First up in the Warriors’ way of the state title is North Linn (25-0). Game time is Monday, March 8, at 10 a.m. (see Thursday’s Public Opinion for the complete bracket and team comparisons).

Our guys have made school history and I am so proud of them. It has been a long time since we made it back to the state tournament in boys’ basketball, and I am so excited for our team to have the opportunity to compete in it. I am very happy and proud of our guys for punching their ticket to the state tournament,” said Coach Blake Moen.

Surviving the whirlwind

South Winn had their hands full throughout the game as Gladbrook-Reinbeck employed a pres sure that at times had the Warriors scrambling and turning the ball over. The Warriors managed to get on the board first. After a Rebel trey attempt and foul, G-R took their only lead of the first period, 3-2. From there, the Red and Gray went on a 6-0 run. The teams traded a buckets in the final minutes with South Winn leading 20-11 at the break.

Going up by as many as 13 points early in the second period, the Warriors soon watched as G-R began to cut into the lead. In the final 3:57, the Rebels outscored SW 13-2, before Jacob Herold pulled the Red and Gray out front 31-29 at the break with 21 second remaining.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s momentum carried into the third quarter, with the Rebels canning a trey to make it 34-33 to take their first lead of the second half. Following another G-R bucket, Warrior sophomore Carson Wenthold saved a loose ball under the SW basket into the waiting hands of Trey Kriener for a shot and foul. Following the traditional three-point play, the Warriors were back even 36-36. With 2:36 left in the third, Herold put the lead back in SW’s favor, 41-40 before G-R rattled off nine unanswered points to take a 49-41 lead into the final period.

Trey Kriener was on the pine with four fouls as SW opened the final period down eight. By the 5:10 mark, Herold had erased that deficit with a trey, bucket and a defensive rebound he drove down the floor in traffic for a lay-up and foul. Herold’s efforts, combined with a pair of charity tosses by Cael Kuboushek flipped the lead back in favor of the Warriors, 51-49. The Rebels would connect on a trey with 4:48 remaining before suffering a four-minute scoring drought, finishing the game with two more baskets.

A quick look

Herold led the team with 29 points, with 14 of them coming in the final period. The senior also provided seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Trey Kriener added 12 points, seven boards and two blocks, while Collin Wiltgen dropped in 11 points to go with seven rebounds and two assists. Coming off the bench, Keagen Streeter added seven points and led the team under the basket with 11 boards, along with having three steals and two blocks. Cael Kuboushek and Carson Wenthold both had two points.

Proud coach

“We started out very well, but Gladbrook-Reinbeck battled back to take the lead going into the fourth quarter. Like our previous playoff games, we gave great effort at the end to come back and win the game. This just shows the perseverance and grit that this group of guys have shown all season long,” said Coach Moen. “They always believe in each other and that we can win any game if we put the effort in. 

“I have to give a lot of credit to our seniors as they have stepped up in a huge way for us this season and playoff stretch. The leadership and passion that they show is a huge reason why we are heading to the ‘Well’ next week. A huge thank you to everyone who tuned in online and came to the game. We appreciate the support and energy our fans bring to our games. It really makes this experience that much more special for the guys, school and community.”


Submit A Comment

Fill out the form to submit a comment. All comments require approval by our staff before it is displayed on the website.

Notify of
0 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments