Saturday's substate final capsules
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (23-2) vs. Wapsie Valley (18-7)
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Cedar Falls High School
At stake: The winner advances to the Class 1A state tournament, beginning Monday, Mar. 6 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The road so far: G-R – defeated Grundy Center 78-55; Belle Plaine 89-75 and Colo-Nesco 64-56. Wapsie Valley – defeated Tripoli 66-54; AGWSR 71-58 and Dunkerton 56-35.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck key players
Joe Smoldt, sr. (30.4 ppg., 96 3ptrs, 4.4 rpg., 5.0 apg., 2.8 spg.)
Caden Kickbush, jr. (12.0 ppg., 44 3ptrs, 3.8 rpg., 35 steals, 11 blocks)
Tyler Pierce, sr. (10.2 ppg., 6.4 rpg.)
Wapsie Valley key players
Paul Rundquist, so. (20.8 ppg., 62 3ptrs, 4.9 rpg., 2.4 apg., 3.0 spg.)
Jaden Kuethe, sr. (11.6 ppg., 42 3ptrs, 5.0 rpg., 2.6 apg., 28 steals)
Jake Lien, sr. (7.2 rpg., 3.2 apg., 27 steals, 14 blocks)
Notes: Don’t let Wapsie Valley’s record fool you – as a member of the competitive NICL East comprised mostly of 2A and 3A opponents, the Warriors have run through the gauntlet. The Rebels will need to be locked in to beat whatever defense the Warriors decide to throw at the offensive effort led by Smoldt, while at the same time trying to figure out how to slow down Wapsie Valley’s threats, led by Rundquist. … Wapsie Valley will be trying for their seventh appearance in the state tournament under longtime coach Marty McKowen. ... G-R is a perfect 23-0 against Class 1A competition.
G-R coach Scott Kiburis on Saturday’s game: “They’re a really good team, haven’t played them in a couple of years but the kids play hard and they run multiple defenses in one game so hopefully, we’ve seen every defense possible so that we can adjust to what they throw at us.”
Dike-New Hartford (21-3) vs. Cascade (21-2)
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Independence High School
At stake: The winner qualifies for the Class 2A state tournament, beginning Monday, Mar. 6 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The road so far: D-NH – defeated Waterloo Columbus 83-47 and Jesup 58-54. Cascade – defeated Monticello 57-46 and Dyersville Beckman 56-50, 3 OT.
Dike-New Hartford key players
Ben Latusek, sr. (12.2 ppg., 7.0 rpg., 2.7 apg., 23 blocks, 21 steals)
Connor Blough, sr. (11.8 ppg., 3.0 rpg., 2.2 apg., 39 steals, 11 blocks)
Broden Coulter, sr. (10.6 ppg., 34 3ptrs, 4.5 rpg., 2.5 apg., 31 steals)
Cascade key players
Haris Hoffman, so. (11.3 ppg., 6.5 rpg., 2.4 apg., 25 steals)
Gannon O’Brien, jr. (11.3 ppg., 48 3ptrs, 5.9 rpg., 3.3 apg., 40 steals)
Johnny Supple, jr. (12.1 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 22 blocks, 30 steals)
Notes: The matchup will feature two top-10 scoring defenses – Cascade is allowing a 2A-low 40.4 points per game to opponents while the Wolverines are 7th in 2A with 45.1 points allowed per game. … The rims were a bit bouncier for the Wolverines vs. Jesup on Tuesday, as the team shot 3-of-15 (20 percent) from the arc on Tuesday, well below D-NH’s season average of 34.9 percent entering the game. ... The Wolverines carry a 13-game winning streak into Saturday's game, while Cascade has actually only won eight of their last 10 games with regular-season losses to Beckman and Northeast Goose Lake.
D-NH coach Greg Moore on Saturday’s game: “Cascade plays that 2-3 zone and they’re very good at it. It really slows the pace of the game down, so we’ve talked a lot about having efficient possessions, taking care of the ball and getting good shots. They don’t score a lot, but they shoot the ball well as a team and are very balanced so we have to keep them in front of us and make them shoot contested shots. … Our defensive effort was good for three quarters against Jesup, and that’s something we need to carry over for the whole game Saturday. Hopefully we can get to the free-throw line and knock them down and shoot the ball a little better from the perimeter.”