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DES MOINES — The beginning of the end for Jesup might have come in the final second of the first half.

After holding Gladbrook-Reinbeck star Joe Smoldt in check for 15 minutes, 59 seconds, the J-Hawks gave Smoldt just a smidgen of room. He took advantage of it by drilling a 3-pointer.

It was a trey that awoke a sleeping giant.

Smoldt then scored eight points in the first three minutes of the third quarter and 27 of his game-high 35 in the second half as the defending state champion Rebels pulled away from Jesup for a 67-48 victory Monday in a Class 1A boys’ state basketball quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena.

“Yeah, it was a little bit of a momentum-changer,” Smoldt said of the first-half buzzer beater.

Smoldt’s 3 at the end of the first half not only cut Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s deficit to four, 25-21, but sparked a 15-0 run that saw the Rebels completely dominate the second half, outscoring Jesup 46-23.

“I don’t think we played poorly,” G-R head coach Scott Kiburis said of the first half. “We just didn’t hit some shots and it was a little slow.”

The Rebels (24-2) quickly erased the J-Hawks’ (22-4) lead, and back-to-back transition 3-pointers by Smoldt put the Rebels in firm control.

Admittedly, Jesup didn’t have an answer for Smoldt.

“We’ve never played anybody that good before,” junior Tyler Lienau said. “When he was on fire in the third quarter, we didn’t know what to do.”

Smoldt, who was just 2-for-8 before he hit the buzzer-beater in the first half, scored 15 points in the third quarter, including three 3-pointers. He finished 9 of 19 from the field and sank 12 of 13 free throws.

“That kid is an outstanding player,” Jesup coach Joe Smeins said. “The thing we wanted to do is make him take tough shots and I thought we did that tonight and he just hit them.”

Kiburis said it was a confident lockerroom at halftime because it was a group of kids who had played in big games before, whether it was basketball, football or baseball.

“It didn’t phase them,” Kiburis said of the halftime deficit. “We were pretty calm and composed. We knew we could play better. If we knocked down shots that we were missing in the first half, we’d have a chance.”

G-R lead by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter as it got 11 points off the bench from Tyler Eiffler and 10 points from Josh Cooley.

The Rebels also got a stout defensive performance from Colton Dinsdale, who shut down Jesup’s top scorer, Ethan Wyant in the second half. Wyant had 12 points at the break and finished with 18, but he was held scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the second half as the Rebels took control.

“Ethan is a tremendous player,” Kiburis said. “He can get into the lane and create things ... and, Colton Dinsdale in my opinion is the best defensive perimeter player in 1A and he has proven that.”

From the start it was a back-and-forth game as the first half saw the game tied three times and the lead change hands eight times.

An offensive rebound and putback by Lienau sparked a 9-2 that saw the J-Hawks take a 24-17 lead with 1:16 left in the second quarter. But Drew Schmit missed a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in the half, and then Smoldt saw daylight.

Smoldt’s 35 marked the second straight year he opened the state tournament with a 30-plus game. A year ago, he scored 31 in the Rebels’ 80-57 win over Nodaway Valley in the quarterfinals.

“I don’t think I was as aggressive in the first half,” Smoldt said. “In the second half, my teammates found me and those two 3s in transition really got us going.”

Gladbrook-Reinbeck plays South O’Brien Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in a 1A semifinal.

Glad.-Reinbeck 67, Jesup 48

Jesup Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

Schmit 26 0-6 0-0 2 1 3 0

Wyant 28 8-15 2-3 6 1 4 18

Lienau 29 5-9 3-5 6 0 3 14

DeBerg 29 1-5 0-0 1 0 2 3

Ciesielski 22 5-8 1-1 5 1 5 11

Youngblut 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

McCombs 9 0-4 0-0 1 0 2 0

Boleyn 1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Hoey 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Brown 12 1-2 0-0 2 0 3 2

Riensche 1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0

Richter 1 0-1 0-0 1 0 0 0 0

Team 2

Totals 160 20-51 6-9 27 3 22 48

Glad.-Rein. Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

Dinsdale 29 0-3 0-0 2 0 5 0

Smoldt 31 9-19 12-13 5 2 1 35

Cooley 23 2-8 5-8 3 2 4 10

Roeding 29 4-5 1-3 7 0 3 9

Pierce 16 0-1 2-5 7 0 0 2

Kickbush 6 0-2 0-0 1 1 0 0

Thede 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Eiffler 20 4-5 1-2 3 1 2 11

Schuman 1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0

Skovgard 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Kelley 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Mussig 1 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0

Team 3

Totals 160 19-45 21-31 33 6 15 67

Jesup 11 14 9 14 — 48

Glad.-Rein. 12 9 24 22 — 67

3-point goals — Jesup 2-19 (Schmit 0-5, Wyant 0-2, Lienau 1-3, DeBerg 1-3, McCombs 0-4, Boleyn 0-1, Richter 0-1). GR 8-20 (Dinsdale 0-1, Smoldt 5-7, Cooley 1-6, Kickbush 0-2, Eiffler 2-3, Mussig 0-1). Turnovers — Jesup 11 (Lienau 5). G-R 8 (Roeding 3). Steals — Jesup 3 (Ciesielski 2), G-R 4 (Pierce 2)

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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