Bulldogs watch state fate decided: On to Lincoln, thanks to Bearcats
     2012-03-01      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo
The Gering Bulldogs qualified for state via the wildcard earning the No. 5 seed in the state tournament
 
SCOTTSBLUFF — Members of the Gering boys’ basketball team were assembled at Western Nebraska Community College not only to watch the District B-6 championship game but to also learn the Bulldogs’ fate as far as their earning a wild-card berth in the Class B state tournament next week in Lincoln.

The Bulldogs (17-6) entered the night of the six district championship games across Nebraska with the No. 5 power ranking on MaxPreps.com. In that scenario, Gering needed to have at least three of the four teams ahead of it to win their respective district titles.

Before the tipoff of Scottsbluff’s 52-34 win over Sidney at Cougar Palace, one key result was already in the books: No. 1 rated Beatrice had been beaten by 12-11 Crete, 66-59. Thus Beatrice had one of the wild-card spots claimed.

With no margin for error left on Gering’s side, No. 2 South Sioux City took care of Elkhorn South and No. 4 Omaha Gross Catholic escaped with an overtime win over Gretna. All results were known by halftime of the Scottsbluff-Sidney game, in which the Bearcats were clinging to a 22-21 lead at intermission.

So there were the Gering players, finding themselves rooting for Scottsbluff in the second half – albeit not aloud, and more so in their guts than their hearts – with their own fate of making the state tournament at stake.

After the Bulldogs watched the arch-rival Bearcats squander all but one point of a 10-point first-half lead, they saw Scottsbluff ignite in the third quarter for a 45-24 advantage.

A dream became closer to reality: Gering, which watched two teams battle that were responsible for four of the Bulldogs’ losses, three to Scottsbluff – the other two coming to Wyoming teams – were going to state for the first time since 2006.

All that remained was the release of the Nebraska School Activities Association’s brackets for next week’s boys’ state tournament. The result came in Wednesday morning, and the Bulldogs were seeded No. 5 for the school’s 27th state tournament appearance and first since 2006.

Gering will play Gross Catholic (19-4) in first-round action next Thursday at 9:45 a.m. Mountain Time in the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
“Coach (Randy) Plummer and the kids had a great season, and it’s nice to see the wild-card system reward a great team,” said Gering Activities Director Dave Pauli, who coached the Bulldogs the last time they won a state game, when they finished as runners-up to Chadron in the 1996-97 Class B tournament. Gering also made state the season before.

“With such a great district as we have out here, they deserved to make state as well.”

Any problem with rooting for your arch-rival to help you earn a state tournament berth as well?

“I think they would root for whomever it takes to get in,” Pauli added.

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Afternoon friend!
Recently Read Sports
711Bulldogs watch state fate decided: On to Lincoln, thanks to Bearcats
843Bearcat boys redeemed with win on the road
682Mitchell golfers win Bayard title
1702Bulldogs rally twice to sweep Bearcats
740Scottsbluff girls overwhelm Gering
660Mitchell boys, girls sweep Bayard
1187Cougars name softball coach
1328Gering’s Broussard ready to instruct Camps
672Gering Soccer vs Newcastle, Grand Island CC and Norfolk Lutheran/Catholic
744Bayard, Scottsbluff wrestlers finish year at first state dual tourney
1060 Gering falls in straight sets to Ogallala Bulldogs get a break before Nov. 3 district tourney
817Bearcats’ Klein, Maag lead B-8 football team; four Bulldogs on 1st team
1112Area schools tune up with Early Bird track meet
696Gering girls shake off early rust, roll past Scottsbluff
1146Three events, one week – local golfers get in their strokes
1982Indians field young track and field team
1030Gering opens against a tough G.I. Northwest
1195Gering Wrestling results
896Scottsbluff ends season with state championship loss
804Zephyrs ride 4-game streak into Gering game
Most Read Sports 2012
3921Mitchell track off to a strong start
3797Morrill baseball back in business
3203Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2993Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2907Gering wrestling builds on experience
2807Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2640Raising the bar high
2596Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2580Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2570Gering resident lives his dream
2547All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2460All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2404Doing the heavy lifting
2342Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2308Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2294Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2243Beam to golf at Midland
2217Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2131Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2071Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
Most Read Sports 2011
3921Mitchell track off to a strong start
3797Morrill baseball back in business
3203Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2993Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2907Gering wrestling builds on experience
2807Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2640Raising the bar high
2596Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2580Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2570Gering resident lives his dream
2547All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2460All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2404Doing the heavy lifting
2342Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2308Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2294Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2243Beam to golf at Midland
2217Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2131Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2071Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
American Legacy
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on