Gering Boys earn runner up in Western Conference Tournament
     2013-12-12      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo - Gering senior Taylor Nelson (22) puts up a shot over the watchful eyes of Bulldog teammate Austin Hoffman (40) and Omaha Skutt Catholic defenders Ryan Bouda (45) and Nick Bouda (55) during Saturday night's boys' championship game of the Western Conference Invitational Tournament at Western Nebraska Community College's Cougar Palace in Scottsbluff. 
The High School basketball season got under way last week and what better way to start the season than a game between one of the biggest rivalries in the area, a Gering/Scottsbluff game. The Gering girls won 49-39 and the Gering boys won 67-44.

A game between Gering and Scottsbluff promises a lot of passion and intensity and these games did not disappoint. First up the girls game Gering opened up strong scoring 15 points in the first quarter including two field goals by Allie Vacha compared to seven points for Scottsbluff. Second frame scoring the Bulldogs led the Bearcats 10-7.

The third period the Lady Bulldogs continued to lead outscoring Scottsbluff 6-4. Scottsbluff got their game on in the final quarter outscoring Gering 21-18 but it was too late to overcome the deficit and Gering won the contest 49-39.

Gering girls coach Adam Freeburg said “I thought it was good to see our girls in game atmosphere. I thought it was good to open up against them. It’s a good rivalry and a fun game, and I thought our girls came out and performed well tonight. The defense was our key to the win tonight.”

Gering girl’s individual scores: Allie Vacha16, Katie O’Boyle 10, Kaylee Spreier 8, Savannah Walker 7, Ashlyn Shultz 5, Dakota Wademan 3.

Individual scores for Scottsbluff: Chloey Reifschneider 5, Kelli Wentz 3, Aubree Ford 6, Zoe Holscher 4, Aly Camacho 4, Chesney Walker 12, Shaylee Roseberry 2, Kyra Willats 1.

The boy’s game was up next and it would not disappoint fans looking for two teams anxious to play each other. Scottsbluff started out playing with a full court press but it did not affect Gering as the Bulldogs outscored the Bearcats 14-12 in the first quarter. The Cats continued to press the Dawgs in the second period but Gering was not fazed as they outscored Scottsbluff 16-13 and went into the locker rooms with the Bulldogs enjoying a 5-point lead 30-25. Gering continued to lead Scottsbluff in the third period outscoring Scottsbluff 16-9. Scottsbluff appeared to be getting tired after pressing for most of the game and Gering dominated the fourth quarter 21-10 more than a 2-1 margin. Final scored 67-44.

Coach Randy Plummer said “It was a fun game and a fun atmosphere. We had several guys with varsity experience and we used them. We settled into a zone and started getting turnovers and a lot of rebounds.”

Individual scores for Gering: Christian Groskopf 17, Joses Palomo 5, Brent Barge 4, Isaiah Wilson 5, Austin Hoffman 6, Esai Hernandez 2, Taylor Nelson 3, Grant Olsson 21, Justin Brester 4.

Individual scores for Scottsbluff were Dru Kuxhausen 9, Jackson Hinze 2, Matthew Mickey 3, Trent Harris 13, Dillon Hernandez 7, Beau Lofink 1, Austin Clarkson 8, Jonah Wright 1.

The results of other Thursday night action in the Boys Division was: Omaha Skutt 67 Sidney 38, Chadron 60 Alliance 67, and Mitchell 58 Torrington 44. In the Girls Division: Omaha Skutt 51 Sidney 41, Chadron 80 Alliance 25, and Torrington 73 Mitchell 51.

Friday night the Gering Bulldog boys faced the Mitchell Tigers beating them 69-66 in double overtime. A new rivalry? Perhaps as Mitchell beat Gering last year and the Gering players were just as determined to keep it from happening again as the Tigers were to notch a second win against the Dawgs. The game was the most exciting of the weekend.

The Bulldogs started with a lead in the first frame 19-14 over the Tigers. Mitchell led by Bo McVay did not slack off and outscored Gering in the second quarter 17-14. The half time break saw Gering with a slight two point lead 33-31.

The third period got tense as Mitchel outscored Gering 20-12. Gering recovered in the fourth and had a two point lead in the final seconds but Bo McVay was fouled on a last ditch 3-point shot. Bo was given three free throws and sank two of them tying the game at 61.

The first overtime period began and ended with each team scoring just two points with a tie at 63. The game continued into the second overtime with Gering scoring six points to Mitchell’s three. Gering won the game 69-66 and earned a place in the tournament championship game.

Coach Plummer said “Last night we were on the side trying to prove ourselves to Scottsbluff. Tonight Mitchell was on the side trying to prove themselves and to us that they deserved to be considered one of the better teams. We were a passive team that was afraid to shoot and they weren’t afraid to. Our guys never loosened up. One mistake led to another and it made for a tight game and a long night. We were fortunate to win.”

Individual scores for Gering Joses Palomo 3, Brett Barge 6, Christian Groskopf 15 Riley Haug 5, Isiah Wilson 2, Austin Hoffman 9, Taylor Nelson 2, and Grant Olson 24.

Individual Scores for Mitchell were Antonio Barrios 12, Adam Schlotthauer 12, Nacho Rocha 5, Bo McVay16, Jamie Fegler 14, Alex Morales 2, and Zach Pieper 4.

The Gering girls fell to Torrington on Friday night 53-48. Gering fell behind in the first quarter, being outscored 18-14. The slide continued in the second period as Torrington led Gering 16-6. Hope began to rise as Gering gained ground in the third period and outscored Torrington 13-5. Gering led in the fourth 15-14, but it was not enough to make up for the first half.

Coach Freeburg said “I thought the girls showed a lot of heart making the comeback after being down by 14 at halftime. The could have easily said lets go home. The girls got over the hump and led briefly and I thought they showed a lot of courage tonight.”

Other Friday night action for the boys, Skutt beat Chadron, Sidney beat Alliance and Bluffs beat Torrington. In girls’ action, Skutt beat Chadron, Bluffs beat Mitchell, and Sidney beat Alliance.

Saturday night Gering faced Omaha Skutt in the championship game and lost 65-49. Skutt was the heavy favorite, but it wasn’t an easy win. Skutt led 13-10 after the first period. Skutt only outscored Gering in the second quarter by a point at 21-20. Christian Groskopf thrilled the crowd at the end of the half with a buzzer beating long range 3-point basket to make the half time score 34-30.

In the third period, Gering came out strong and lead briefly at the 6:33 mark 35-34, but Skutt poured it on and outscored Gering in the third period 19-11. Gering slowed in the fourth and fell to Skutt 67-49.

Individual scores for Gering: Palomo 6, Groskopf 13, Brester 2, Wilson 5, Hoffman 11, Hernandez 2, Nelson 4, Olson 6.

The Gering girls fell to Chadron on Saturday 65-42 and earned 4th place. Other boys games Chadron took 3rd over Mitchell, Bluffs took 5th over Sidney and Alliance took 7th over Torrington. In other girls games, Skutt won the championship over Torrington, Sidney won 5th over Bluffs, and Mitchell took 7th over Alliance.

Gering boys are 2-1 and girls are 1-2. Scottsbluff boys are 2-1 and girls 1-2. Here’s looking for a good season.

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