Gering girls take fifth win in seven games, face Scottsbluff on Friday
     2011-02-17      By Terry Gaston   
As the Gering girls' basketball season nears its end with just one regular-season game remaining, Bulldogs coach Adam Freeburg is seeing his junior-laden and single-senior squad turn in competitive efforts every game even if they don't always result in victories.

Such was the case for the Bulldogs last week in the East-West Shoot-Out, in which Gering played host to three teams in as many nights and won just one, but Freeburg was not left disappointed overall.

Gering opened the Shoot-Out with a tough 53-35 loss Thursday to a hot-shooting Lexington squad before the Bulldogs snagged their fifth win in seven outings Friday with a 50-43 victory over McCook.

Gering then had an eight-point lead Saturday against North Platte before the visiting Bulldogs outscored GHS 15-7 in the final quarter to force overtime, where North Platte went on a 13-4 run to take th 53-44 win.

“We're going to work hard in practice and we're looking hard to peak at this time of year,” said Freeburg, whose team is 9-12 overall heading into Friday's regular-season finale against Scottsbluff at Western Nebraska Community College's Cougar Palace.

In the win over McCook, Gering outrebounded the Bison 51-34 and had a 46-33 lead with about three minutes remaining. McCook followed with seven unanswered points to close within five at 48-43 in the final minute but could not get past the Bulldogs.

That was a big game for us, as far as district seeding goes,” Freeburg said. “McCook has improved a lot since last year.”

Senior Jordan Plummer had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Gering attack, while junior Morgan Greene had 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Junior Morgan Broussard was 7-for-10 from the free-throw line for all her points to go with seven rebounds, and junior Kenzie Duncan was scoreless but had a team high four assists to go with six rebounds.

Gering had a 35-33 rebounding edge over Lexington but had no answer for the Minutemaids' pair of sharpshooting seniors as Sydney Seberger led all scorers with 15 points and Hailey Mandelko bagged four 3-pointers on her way to 14 points.

“We really played them pretty tough,” Freeburg said, especially in containing Mandelko and her 20-point average. “At times you have to pick your poison, and I thought we did a good job of containing her. I thought Morgan Broussard did a phenomenal job of limiting her points.

“I thought the girls battled all the way to the end against a really good basketball team.”

Gering was balanced with Plummer getting eight points and eight rebounds, while Greene had eight points and three steals and junior Bryana Larsen scored seven points with three blocked shots.

Gering had a 20-16 halftime lead against North Platte and led 33-25 after three quarters before the visiting Bulldogs (9-11) began their comeback to force overtime. We were cruising along and got into some foul trouble and just couldn't finish it off,” Freeburg said.

Broussard had a team-high 11 points and six assists, while Greene followed with 10 points and team highs of nine rebounds and six steals.

When the Bulldogs make the short trip to WNCC on Friday, they will be looking to avenge a 52-36 loss to Scottsbluff at home on Jan. 11. The Bearcats (18-4) had won 12 straight before losing to Lexington by the same 18-point margin as did Gering.

The Bulldogs’ District B-6 action begins in next Thursday’s semifinals as the No. 3 seed. Gering will play No. 2 seed Sidney (14-6) at Cougar Palace beginning at 7:30 p.m.

“I feel good where we're at,” Freeburg said. The girls continue to work hard in practice. We'll be ready for these big games coming up.”

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