Bulldogs suffer close losses in Sidney
     2013-02-07      By Philip Eckerberg - Special to the Citizen   
Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Gering senior Zac Bibb (No. 23) goes airborne during Friday’s contest in Sidney against the Red Raiders. It was a disappointing loss, with a controversial last call that put the final score at 60-58 in favor of Sidney. 
SIDNEY — The Gering Bulldogs boys’ and girls’ teams suffered heartbreaking losses to the Sidney Red Raiders on Friday. The boys lost 60-58 in what was a controversial ending to the game. The girls lost 31-27.

The Lady Bulldogs’ game was highly defensive and relatively low scoring. The first quarter ended up with Sidney having a slight edge over Gering 8-7. Gering slid further behind in the second quarter being outscored by Sidney 8-5. The Dawgs went into the locker room facing a four-point deficit with Sidney leading 16-12.
Gering took charge in the third quarter holding the Red Raiders to just 2 points compared to the Bulldogs 7.

Gering had a 1-point lead going into the final quarter. Sidney regained control of the game in the fourth quarter and outscored Gering 13-8 to give Sidney the win 31-27.

Gering coach Adam Freeburg said the girls played hard as usual. “They fought their tails off. There were 27 turnovers and Gering only got beat by 4 points,” he said. “That is very, very positive. Those are things that are in their control and can be fixed.”

Sidney missed a lot of layups. Coach Freeburg credited the girls for executing their defensive game plan “almost perfectly” he said “We will probably see them again at the district tournament and I like our chances.”

The 27 turnovers were not the only problem plaguing Gering Friday night. Gering only made 8 out of 22 free throw attempts against Sidney’s 7 out of 16. “Bump the free throw percentage up a little and you win the game,” said Freeburg.

Gering girls have a 3-game home stretch this week as part of the East West Shootout which begins on Thursday against North Platte at 7 p.m. The girls play Lexington on Friday at 7 p.m., and McCook on Saturday at 2 p.m. Coach Freeburg said the three games are winnable. Gering girls are now 9-9 on the season.

Gering individual scores: Megan Upp 6, Jessica Rogers 6, Santanna Mitchell 5, Ashlyn Schultz 3, Allie Vacha 2, Dakota Gellner 2, Katie O’Boyle 2, and Alexa Anderson 1.
Sidney individual scores: Sarah Mahr 12, Abbi Porter 6, Jeni Heeren 5, Kerissa Segelke 4, Madi Malzahn 2, and Morgan Linneman 2.
The boys’ game marked the fourth meeting this season with the Red Raiders. This game was just the opposite of the girls,’ being highly offensive with a score of 60-58 in the Red Raiders favor.

Gering started the first quarter strong with a total of three 3-pointers by Zac Bibb and two more buckets by Christian Groskopf and Taylor Nelson gave Gering a 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.

At one time Gering enjoyed an 11 point lead; however, Gering stumbled in the second quarter only scoring 8 points to Sidney’s 18, at one point trailing by 11 points. Gering went into the locker room at the half down 8 points with the Red Raiders leading 31-23.
The third quarter saw the Dawgs and Raiders matching each other at 12 points each, ending the third with Sidney still enjoying an 8-point lead 43-35.

The Bulldogs came back in the final quarter but were still trailing 54-60 when Joses Palomo was fouled. A Sidney player protested too much and was called for a technical. This gave Palomo four free throws. Palomo hit all four on the technical foul. Gering maintained possession of the ball.

The score was now 60-58 and the Bulldogs had about 15 seconds left. Palomo grabbed the ball and fired off a 2-point shot just before the buzzer. The bucket was good and Gering fans thought they had tied and were ready to go into overtime but referees waived the shot off.

There was no signal as to why but the referee had called a travel. Gering fans were severely unhappy with the call.
Gering Assistant Coach Steve Land said after the game that he was proud of the kids. “They fought back, and never gave up,” said Land. “We were down 8 to 10 points with a couple of minutes left and our kids stayed focused, we executed, we hit free throws and it was an unfortunate loss.

It was an unfortunate play at the end of the game and it was a little controversial what was called,” he said. “The score table told us it was a travel but we never saw a signal from any of the three (refs).”

The Gering Bulldogs are now 11-7 for the season. Against Sidney they are 2-2. The Bulldogs are likely to see Sidney again in the district tournament. Next up for the Gering boys is a three-day road trip for the East West Shootout facing North Platte on Thursday at 7 p.m., Lexington on Friday at 7 p.m., and McCook on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Individual scores for Gering boys: Christian Groskopf 18, Joses Palomo 12, Grant Olsson 12, Zac Bibb 10, Austin Ferguson 4, and Taylor Nelson 2.
Individual scores for Sidney boys: Paxton Ehler 18, Casey Mabey 12, Sam Arterburn 9, Logan Lewis 8, Lucas Rosenbaum 6, Lane Harvey 5, and Tyler Winholtz 2.

In other action last week on Tuesday Gering boys and girls traveled to Ogallala to face the Indian basketball teams. The Gering girls notched a win 35-24. The Bulldog boys earned an impressive win at 64-39.

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