Gering Basketball teams participate in East/West Shootout
     2013-02-14      By Philip Eckerberg - Special to the Citizen   
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo - Gering senior Alexa Anderson (No. 22) is airborn with a prep for two points while teammate senior Santanna Mitchell (No. 30) and a North Platte opponent eye the play during Thursday's contest at home. The Lady Bulldogs were defeated 59-39. 
The East/West shootout is a three night basketball round robin pitting Gering, Scottsbluff, and Alliance against North Platte, Lexington, and McCook. This year the boys made the trip east and the girls got to stay home. The shootout began on Thursday night and ended Saturday afternoon. Here is the roundup of the Gering action.

Thursday Night: Gering took on North Platte. The Bulldog boys lost 67-46 and the girls lost 59-39. The Gering and North Platte teams have some commonality, they share the same Bulldog mascot and same blue and gold colors. North Platte is a Class A school; however, and Gering tests its mettle in Class B.

The girls' game started out with North Platte racing ahead to a 7-0 lead. Gering finally answered with a trey by Nicole Michael. North Platte continued to lead and the first quarter ended with them enjoying a 12-8 lead. Gering began to come back in the second quarter and was able to reach 19-19 tie with 1:44 left before the half. That would prove to be the closest Gering would come to North Platte.

The North Platte Bulldogs outscored Gering 21-6 in the third period and 16-12 in the final quarter to win the game 59-39. North Platte girls' coach Mark Woodhead gave Gering credit for hanging with them in the first half. “Our girls were playing overly aggressive in the first half and committed eight fouls which Gering converted to six points at the free throw line,” the coach said. “Gering had a hard time guarding Ashten Hernandez.”

Gering coach Adam Freeburg said that Gering started with a lack of energy in the first quarter and then had the same lack of energy in the third quarter. Freeburg said that by the time the forth quarter came around Gering was “in a hole too big to dig out of.” “Gering relies on defensive play to keep up in games and we just did not get it done tonight,” Freeburg said.

Individual scores for Gering: Santanna Mitchell 11, Nicole Michael 10, Dakota Gellner 7, Megan Upp 6, Ashlyn Schultz 2, Brooke Satur 2, Alexa Anderson 1.

Individual scores for North Platte: Kaitlynn Harvey 19, Allison Sawyer 17, Ashten Hernandez 16, Sally Hengen 3, Madalynn Doughty 2, Marisa Martinez 2.

The Gering boys also struggled Thursday night in North Platte. Gering fell behind 24-12 in the first quarter and never caught up. They were outscored 12-7 in the second, 11-9 in the third, and 20-18 in the fourth. The final score was North Platte 67, Gering 46.
Individual scores for Gering: Christian Groskopf 11, Austin Hoffman 11, Grant Olsson 6, Joses Palomo 5, Zac Bibb 3, Austin Ferguson 3, Taylor Nelson 3, and Gage Winkler 2.

Individual scores for North Platte: Drew Callaghan 28, Kade Erickson 19, Shand Mauch 9, Jack Kenney 5, Darian Allberry 4, Nick Wilkinson 2, and Kolbey Foote 1.

Friday Night Gering takes on Lexington: Gering proved to be better on Friday night with both teams beating Lexington. The boys won 61-45 and the girls won 36-26.

Strong defense is the Gering girls’ team specialty and they worked it on Friday night holding Lexington to just 26 points. Gering outscored Lexington in the first quarter 9-4 and tied them 9-9 in the second frame. Gering topped Lexington 14-7 in the third period, and while Lexington bested Gering 6-4 in the final quarter it was too little too late.

Lexington girls head coach Brent Frauen said he was disappointed that his Minutemaids lost, but added “We did much better tonight. Yesterday they came out flat and lethargic and they came out with a lot more energy both offensively and defensively.” Frauen said, “We were playing right where we needed to be and staying in there until the third quarter. We were coming back in the forth but could not make up for the third.”

Gering girls coach Freeburg said, “We played much better on the defensive end…it felt good to get that taste out of our mouths from last night. The girls had more energy tonight than we did last night, especially in the third quarter. We got some big defensive stops and some big baskets in the game and it was over all a good win for us.”

Gering player Katie O’Boyle said, “It was a good game and Lexington is a good team and we can’t let anything down. Coach Freeburg told us that when we have a home game we need to defend our court and show every team that when they walk out they know who we are.”

Individual scores for Gering: Jessica Rogers 12, Dakota Gellner 7, Santana Mitchell 5, Allia Vacha 3, Alexa Anderson 3, Megan Upp 2, Katie O’Boyle 2, and Danielle Ysac 2.

Individual scores for Lexington: Mackenzie McKeone 7, Molly Woockman 6, MaKenzie Hammond 5, Katelin Schultze 4, Hannah Ostrom 2, and Kaelyn Pack 2.

The boys’ team also fared well on Friday night playing in Lexington and beating them 61-45. Gering simply dominated the entire game outscoring Lexington in every quarter. The first quarter Gering led 14-7, in the second 19-17; third frame Gering led 13-11, and the final period Gering led 15-10.

Individual scores for Gering: Austin Ferguson 14, Christian Groskopf 12, Grant Olsson 10, Joses Palomo 9, Zac Bibb 7, Austin Hoffman 6, Walker Britsch 3.

Individual scores were not available for Lexington boys.

Saturday saw split results for the Gering teams vs. McCook. The girls’ team suffered a loss of 42-33 at home. The boys pulled off a stunning upset over number three ranked McCook winning 64-57.
McCook is rated the number three ranked class B team according to the Omaha World Herald poll.

McCook had just suffered a 60-57 double overtime loss the night before to number two ranked Scottsbluff. It was the Bison’s first home loss. Whether this had an effect on team morale or not, Gering's performance was red hot!

The Dawgs Zac Bibb led the way with a single game career high 26 points in the match against McCook. Gering took the lead early in the first quarter 18-8, and never let McCook catch up. McCook staged a small comeback in the second frame outscoring Gering 15-13, but the Dawgs held the Bison off in the third 12-9. The closest McCook would come was three points late in the forth quarter where they actually outscored Gering 23-21 but the Bulldogs held them off and finished with a seven point win.

Gering coach Steve Land said, “This was a lot of fun. We had a nine or ten point lead and we knew that would not hold up. We knew that they would make a furious charge at us and they did. We had a couple of turnovers due to the pressure and we did not execute our press break good enough. McCook is a good team and they hit us with some big shots but we did too after we broke the press.”

Individual scores for Gering: Zac Bibb 26, Christian Groskopf 11, Joses Palomo 10, Grant Olsson 9, Austin Ferguson 5, Austin Hoffman 2, Walker Britsch 1.

Individual scores not available for McCook.

The Gering girls did not fare so well in their game against McCook losing 42-33. The contest turned out to be a foul festival as there were a total of 43 fouls and 61 free throw attempts in the game. The Lady Dawgs were outscored in every quarter except the last as the made an 11-4 attempt to catch up but it was not enough to get out of the hole and ultimately they fell.

Individual scores for Gering: Jessica Rogers 7, Santanna Mitchell 6, Alexa Anderson 6, Dakota Gellner 4, Nicole Michael 3, Megan Upp 3, Katie O’Boyle 2, Danyele Ysac 1, and Allie Vacha 1.

Individual scores for McCook: Brooklyn Trew 15, Molly Sughroue 10, Megan Ruppert 6, Kassidy Gillen 4, Rachal Goltl 3, Madison Chitwood 2,and Brenleigh Daum 2.

Gering boys are now 13-8 on the season while the girls are 10-11. Next action is the regular season finale for both boys and girls at Scottsbluff High School on Friday the 15TH. The girls play at 5:30 PM and the boys at 7:00 PM. If you want to watch in person plan to arrive early.

According to an e-mail received from Scottsbluff AD David Pauli the gates will open at 4:30 PM and will close when the gym reaches capacity. If you leave you cannot get back in. There will be closed circuit TV coverage in the cafeteria for those that can’t get into the gym. Given Gering’s ability to be a spoiler this year, it will be an interesting game.

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