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Basketball girls hungry for more wins
December 02, 2016 Frank Marquez   

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Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Members of the 2016-2017 Gering girls’ basketball team include, from left in the front row: Mercy McAndrew, Olivia Schaub, Paige Lopez, Kelly Snelling, Jade Garcia, Kaylee Bohnsack, Mariah Conn, Courtney Conn and Evelyn Anderson-Saenz. Second row: Avery Dishman, Taylor Philbrick, Jayda Ahrens, Lauren Rairigh, Emma Sterkel, Carlee Brester, Kelsey Bohnsack, Avery Mitchell and Anaie Ayala. Back row: Emily Harrison, Victoria Schwartz, Jasmine Johnson, Arianna Mitchell, Jocyeln Nuss, Desi Hoff, Alyssa Cruz, Kenzie Dunkel, Jenna Balthazor, McKenna Culek, Faith Kennedy, Zoee Smith, Maria Avila Sidon and Morgan Van Anne.

With six starters and 10 letter winners returning, the Gering girls’ basketball team plans to make it further into the postseason for the 2016 – 2017 season.

Posting a 7-16 season last year, Class B-6 Gering lost in the first round of the district tournament.

Adam Freeburg, now in his seventh year of coaching the Gering girls, said the team is returning players with great attitudes and lots of varsity experience. He knows basketball is important to them and they’re excited for the season to start.

“These girls put in the work last summer in the weight room and on the court,” he said. “We’re looking to be more consistent with our performance this season. We’ve improved our depth and that will result in more competitive practices, which will make us a better team come game time.”

Returning starters for Gering this season include seniors Kaylee Bohnsack and twin sisters Mariah and Courtney Conn. Junior Victoria Schwartz and sophomores Kenzie Dunkel and Paige Lopez also return as starters.

Returning letter winners expected to contribute are senior Jocyeln Nuss, juniors Brittney Spreier and Carlee Brester, and sophomore Arianna Mitchell. Also in the mix is senior Emma Sterkel. She grew up in Gering and moved to Colorado after the 8th grade. She returns to Gering for her senior year. Earlier this year, Sterkel signed to play college basketball at Regis University in Denver

Other teams in the Class B-6 district include Sidney, Alliance, McCook and Scottsbluff. Gering plays in the Western Conference along with Mitchell, Sidney, Chadron, Alliance and Scottsbluff.
Freeburg said both the district and the Western Conference are very competitive where teams have the ability and talent to beat any other team on any given night.

“Most of the teams return plenty of varsity experience,” he said. The overall strength of our district has risen over the last couple of years and continues on an upward trend. All the teams are very well coached.”
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