Gering gets decisive win over Scottsbluff
     2013-01-25      By Philip Eckerberg Special to the Citizen   
Photo by Ken Kurtz - Spectrum Photography 
The Gering Bulldog’s boys ran ahead to get a 55-33 win over #2 ranked and archrival Scottsbluff Bearcats. When the twin city high school sports teams meet you are guaranteed an extra intense contest and the Scottsbluff-Gering basketball game on Saturday night did not disappoint as both teams ramped up the effort.

Why is this matchup always so special? Well of course there is the proximity of the 2 schools, just 4 miles apart, and most of the other teams we play are much further away from us. Then there is the intertwining of the two communities.

Many of the fans and players are friends; they work together, play together, and go to church together. In some cases they are even family, I saw one family in which the grandmother wore red and sat with Scottsbluff fans, while the grandfather wore blue and sat with Gering fans. We even cheer for the Huskers and Broncos together, but when our two town’s High Schools face off we are as opposite as north and south.

The stands were packed and there was a lot of energy in the air at tip off. Scottsbluff started strong taking a 4-0 lead and it looked like a long night might be in store for the Bulldogs. The Gering boys did not wave the white flag and kept up with the Bearcats ending the first period with the Bearcats leading the Bulldogs 19-16.

Ultimately the first period would be Scottsbluff’s best as they scored more than half of their points at this time. Gering’s defense stepped up and shut down the Scottsbluff offense in the second quarter holding the Cats to just 4 points while the Dawgs scored 15. The first half ended with Gering leading 31 to 23 and Scottsbluff hitting the locker room being in a position that they are not used to: behind.

Gering continued to excel in the third frame as they outscored Scottsbluff 14-8 and had a 45-31 lead. Gering fans could taste victory; however, they have seen big leads eroded in the final quarter before and they intensified the cheering trying to be the sixth man on the court.

It worked. Gering stepped up the defense and held Scottsbluff to just 2 points in the last frame while Gering scored 10. Gering outrebounded and outshot Scottsbluff throughout the end of the game. Scottsbluff tried to turn the tide with their famous 3 point shooting but they did not hit a single 3 pointer in the fourth and only hit six in the whole game.

Gering meanwhile continued to hammer away through the end. Joses Palomo held the ball at the end of the game as the final buzzer sounded with a final score of Gering 55 and Scottsbluff 33. Gering fans apparently felt this was a big win for them as they rushed the court to celebrate.

Gering Coach Randy Plummer was just as excited as the students as he jumped in celebration himself. Plummer said that this is a big win for Gering. Plummer mentioned three factors for Gering getting the win. Plummer said that Gering “caught Scottsbluff on a night when their threepoint shooting was cold.” Plummer also praised the Gering defense for the many rebounds and turnovers. The last item was “a mistake free game” as Gering made few errors and only had 10 team fouls all night. Gering hit 6 of 9 free throws compared to Scottsbluff’s 3 of 5.

Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske said “all credit goes to Gering, they played extremely well, they contested our shots well, they made shots, they outrebounded us.” Siske noted “that Gering made 51% of their shots and Scottsbluff only made 23%”. Siske said “Gering beat us and beat us bad.”

I talked to the three Gering Seniors Zac Bibb, Walker Britsch, and Austin Ferguson. Bibb said that this is the first time Gering has beat Scottsbluff at a basketball game “since we were little”. Bibb didn’t know how long ago that was but he has never defeated Scottsbluff in High School. Bibb said that they “started out behind but made some changes on offense and were able to get ahead and stay ahead.”

Britsch was “happy that they won the last home game of their senior year, especially since it was against Scottsbluff.” Britsch felt that this was a “big boost in confidence” for the Bulldogs. Ferguson said that “they played really good together”. Ferguson added “I have never beat Scottsbluff before.” Fergsuon is “looking forward to Alliance next week and then the east/west shootout will be tough.” Ferguson “thought this game would be a buzzer beater but it was not.” Ferguson is right, it was a decisive win for Gering against a formidable opponent.

This was the last home game for the Gering boys. Gering now begins a seven game road stretch that ends on February 15 against no other than Scottsbluff. This will again be another intense game as Scottsbluff looks to redeem themselves from the tonight’s loss against Gering. Gering boys now 9-6 will next see action on Friday January 25 in Alliance. Scottsbluff is now 12-3.

Individual scores for Gering: Joses Palomo 18, Grant Olsson 14, Austin Ferguson 11, Walker Britsch 3, Christian Groskopf 3, Zac Bibb 3, Taylor Nelson 3.

Individual scores for Scottsbluff: Eric Moreno 11, Michael Hadden 10, Tyler Mickey 6, Taylor Winkler 4, Matt Klein 2.
In other action last week both Gering boys and girls faced the Chadron Cardinals at home on Friday night. The Gering girls lost against Chadron 49-29.

The Lady Bulldogs matched the Cardinals in the first period ending with 4 points each. Chadron picked up the pace and outscored Gering 21-9 in the second frame and ended the half with a twelve point lead 25-13. Gering struggled against the Cardinals from the beginning. Gering continued to slide in the third being outscored 13-4. Gering rallied in the fourth frame outscoring Chadron 12-11 but it was too little too late and Gering girls fell 49-29. Gering is now 7-8 on the season.

Gering Girls individual scores: Megan Upp 9, Allie Vacha 6, Santana Mitchell 4, Katie O’Boyle 4, Alexa Anderson 2, Nicole Michael 2, and Kaylee Sprier 2.
Chadron Girls individual scores: Peyton Hinn 15, Ashkea Kerr 13, Ashlyn Eitemiller 7, Briley Hannaford 4, Alia Brennan 4, Carly Churchill 4, and Bailea Kerr 2.

The Gering vs. Chadron boys game was an exciting, edge of your seat, break out the heart medicine thriller as the Dawgs escaped with a 56-55 win over the Cardinals. The lead seesawed as Chadron was ahead at the end of the first frame 16-8. Gering roared back in the second quarter outscoring Charon 28-9 and Gering went into the locker room at half time with a comfortable 36-25 lead.

Chadron did not give up and outscored Gering in the third frame 18-9 cutting the lead to 2 points 45-43. Chadron outscored Gering in the fourth 12-11 but it was just not quite enough to earn the win as Joses Palomo shot the winning bucket with just a few seconds left and Chadron did not have time to answer. Gering wins 56-55.
Individual scores for Gering: Grant Olsson 12, Austin Ferguson 9, Walker Britsch 8, Zac Bibb 8, Joses Palomo 7, Taylor Nelson 3, Christian Groskopf 2, and Isaiah Wilson 2.

Individaul scores for Chadron: Spencer Eliason 25, Von Sayaloune 13, Bo Westlake 5, Jackson Dickerson 5, TD Stein 3, Matt Lordino 2, and Cy Rayhill 2.




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