Gering boys avenge loss with win at Sidney
     2011-02-10      By Terry Gaston   
Zach Smith glides in for the score. 
Ever since the Gering boys' basketball team began 2011 with a 10-point loss to Sidney, the Bulldogs have responded with six wins in seven games.

And the Bulldogs avenged that Jan. 7 loss to the Red Raiders with a 54-47 win Friday at Sidney.

That victory followed a 62-42 victory at Ogallala last Tuesday.

Gering (12-5) began Friday's triumph at Sidney with a 13-0 run on its way to avenging a 68-58 home loss on Jan. 7.

“That was probably the best start we've had all year in the first five minutes,” Gering coach Randy Plummer said. “They had beaten us at home and going down there we knew they would be tough. We took good shots and puts the ball inside and got some great looks at shots.”

Plummer also credited junior Danny O'Boyle's defensive effort, especially against Sidney junior Tyler Schoening.

“Schoening had 17 here and Friday he had zero,” Plummer said. “Danny just shut him down. We just defended better. We worked on not letting them catch the ball inside. We just wanted to deny them easy baskets like they got against us here. Sidney (12-6 after Saturday's loss to Scottsbluff) had 22 turnovers and they just got tired of our press.”

Junior Zach Smith led Gering's offense with 17 points, while junior Nate Marquez added 11. O'Boyle had 10 points and team highs of six rebounds and five steals. Senior Gunnar Britsch added five rebounds and four steals, and junior Tyler Wallace added six points.

Smith also had 17 points in leading the Bulldogs' victory at Ogallala, which watched its 14-11 first-quarter evaporate in a pool of 32 turnovers.

Gering took a 26-24 lead into halftime and came out with a 20-10 third-quarter run to take command.

“In the second half our press wore them out,” Plummer said. “We got on a huge run, got up by 15 and them put them away. In the first half nothing went our way defensively. In the second half we played our game of run and press and got a lot of layups.”

Plummer looked to the 20 combined points by Marquez (11) and senior Lee Salas (9) as key for the Bulldogs.

“It was good to see those guys getting baskets in the post,” said Plummer, who also had Britsch following Smith with 12 points.

And after having won three straight away games, maybe Gering can't wait to get on the road again.

The Bulldogs will head down Interstate 80 for action in the East-West Shoot-Out, beginning Thursday with a stop in Lexington (4-16) before they turn south Friday to play at McCook (12-6). Gering then stops in North Platte (12-5) for a Saturday afternoon game.

“It's kind of an unusual situation,” Plummer said of the three games in three days so late in the season. “It's designed to simulate a state tournament situation. It's kind of a tough thing to do this time of season.

“But we're doing fine on the road, and we go down and just do what we've been doing and hope it works.”

Gering finishes the regular season against Scottsbluff on Feb. 18 at Western Nebraska Community College before the Bulldogs begin Class B district playoff action on Feb. 26.

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