Gering girls rebound from rivalry
     2011-01-27      By Terry Gaston   
If the Gering girls' basketball team finishes the season the way the Bulldogs rallied to a pair of victories last week, then coach Adam Freeburg's young squad could be a contender in the Class B district playoffs .

After having lost four straight games and seven of eight, the Bulldogs (6-9) scored home victories over Torrington, 59-50 on Tuesday, and a dramatic 46-42 comeback win Friday night over Chadron.

“Hopefully we're still turning the corner,” Freeburg said. “We played two teams that we haven't beaten before, and to beat these teams and show improvement is huge for us.”

While Tuesday's victory proved a test of Gering's ability to finish what the Bulldogs started, Friday's win reflected their grit and determination to overcome adversity.

Gering, which was a mere 10-for-28 from the free-throw line, watched Chadron turn a 9-all deadlock after one quarter into a 22-11 lead the Cardinals began with seven unanswered points.

The Bulldogs clawed back to within a point in the third quarter with a 6-0 run that included two baskets by junior leading scorer Morgan Greene. However, Chadron (9-4) led 36-29 with 46 seconds left in the period.

Greene's 3-point basket with 3:35 remaining gave the Bulldogs their first lead since the first quarter, and second trey 61 seconds later put Gering ahead 43-39.

Chadron got as close as 44-42 in the final seconds, but Greene's free throws with 5.7 seconds left sealed the Bulldogs' comeback victory.

Greene finished with 12 points as Gering's lone double-digit scorer. Junior Kerissa Mitchell led the Bulldogs' 53-36 advantage in rebounds with 13 boards, while Greene and senior Jordan Plummer had six rebounds each.

“We've done a good job of rebounding and we did that again (Friday night), and that was a big key to our success,” Freeburg said. “We kept fighting and finally got over the hump. Once we got over the hump, we just kept going. We didn't play our best, but we still found a way to win.”

Chadron freshman Ashlea Kerr led the Cardinals with 11 points and junior Jaycee Housh added 10.

In the Bulldogs' win over Torrington, Gering bolted to a 22-10 lead after one quarter but watched the visiting Trailblazers score 22 of their own in the second quarter to cut the Bulldogs' halftime lead to just 33-32.

Gering led 47-42 after three quarters and fended off Torrington for the nine-point win.

“We had a really good first quarter, which is huge for us,” Freeburg said. “We shot the ball well. Torrington fought back, but the girls had the confidence when it got close and were able to finish the win.”

Greene and junior Bryana Larsen led the Bulldogs in scoring with 14 points apiece, and Larsen forged a double-double with 13 rebounds that led Gering's 54-30 rebounding advantage.

Junior Morgan Broussard added 12 rebounds and eight points and led the Bulldogs' with five assists. Mitchell added eight rebounds.

Gering travels to Alliance on Friday and to Ogallala on Tuesday.

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