Bulldogs rise to top of game with double crowns
     2014-01-09      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Gering junior Ashlyn Schultz (No. 4) drives to the basket while Scottsbluff sophomore Chesney Walker (No. 24) blocks during a Western Conference match against the Bearcats. 
The Gering Basketball teams traveled to Sidney last week to compete in the Cabela’s Holiday tournament and both boys and girls returned as tournament champions. The girls defeated Gothenburg, Cheyenne South and Laramie. The boys defeated Gothenburg, Chase County and Laramie.

On Thursday both Bulldog teams faced the Gothenburg Swedes. The girls struggled from the start as they ended the first frame 1 point down 6-5. Gothenburg stepped it up in the second quarter as Gering was outscored 11-7 and went into the locker room down by 5 points 17-12. In the third period, Gering still lost ground, although not as much as in the second, being outscored 10-9.

The Lady Bulldogs started the fourth quarter facing a six-point deficit with a tall order ahead to try and salvage the night. The Dawgs answered the call with a vengeance as they outscored the Swedes 16-10. Gering briefly took the lead twice in the fourth only to see it fall. A last second shot by Kayla Todd who came off the bench bought Gering a tie and sent the game into overtime. The overtime period was close and again in the last few seconds a three-point play by Kayla Todd put Gering ahead as they outscored Gothenburg 11-8 to win the game at 48-45.

Coach Adam Freeburg said it was a tough game. “Back and forth both ways, it was almost a mirror image of the game we played against them last year. We would get out and they would fight back, they would get ahead and we would fight back, it was fun for us to come through in the end.”

Freeburg praised Kayla Todd saying it was a big night for her. “Some games she has not played at all but she always has a team first attitude, she keeps coming to practice every day, and has a positive attitude. We were in foul trouble and she (Todd) came in the game and made the shot that got us into overtime. Todd had the game winning shot at the end of overtime and then made a free throw to put us ahead by three and win the game. I am so proud of her she really put the team before herself and it paid off for her last night.”

Individual scores for Gering: Allie Vacha 17, Savannah Walker 11, Kaylee Spreier 6, Katie O’Boyle 6, Kayla Todd 5, Sam Rahmig 2, Danyele Ysac 1.

Individual scores for Gothenburg: Emily Franzen 12, Regan Geiken 10, Aryn Meisinger 9, Makaela Franzen 6, Mady Vogel 4, Taylor Mroczek 2, Kyndal Holmes 2.

The Bulldog boys took the court and got off to a slow start as the Swedes jumped ahead to a 6-0 lead. Gering seemed to just be playing with Gothenburg as the Dawgs started finding the basket. By the end of the first quarter Gering enjoyed a 17-12 lead. Gering led the scoring in the second quarter 13-12, and took the half time break leading 30-24. The third period Gering led 15-13, and the Bulldogs finished off the Swedes in the final frame 19-12 to claiming a 64-49 victory.

Coach Randy Plummer said it was a pretty tough game. “Gothenburg had a kid that was six foot nine and made it tough on us. He did a lot of inside basket shooting and scored 30 points. We played pretty well and did not turn it over a lot and forced them into a lot of turnovers. We ended up winning by 14 down the stretch. It was a pretty good win for the first game after Christmas.”

Individual scores for Gering: Christian Groskopf 14, Austin Hoffman 14, Grant Olsson 14, Joses Palomo 7, Riley Haug 6, Isaiah Wilson 5, Justin Brester 2, Taylor Nelson 2.

Individual scores for Gothenburg: Tanner Borchardt 30, Collin Hahn 5, Blake Ristine 5, Nathan Graham 4, Roy Slack 2, Dawson Graham 2, Adam Speck 1.

Other Thursday night action in the girls division was Central City defeated Sidney 35-27, Laramie defeated Hershey 40-30, Cheyenne South defeated Chase County 43-31. In the Boys division Sidney beat Central City 68-53, Laramie beat Hershey 70-35, Chase County beat Cheyenne South 44-36.

On Friday the Lady Bulldogs played Cheyenne South and came up with a 46-39 win. The girls started strong in the first quarter, outscoring Cheyenne 13-9. Gering stumbled in the second frame being outscored 11-5 and were behind by two points going into halftime 20-18. Gering came back strong in the third quarter, outscoring Cheyenne 15-5. Cheyenne had a slight advantage in the final period 14-13 but it was not enough to overcome the Bulldogs third quarter rally and Gering won 46-39 earning the right to compete against Laramie in the championship game on Saturday.

Coach Freeburg said it was a game where they came out hot in the first quarter and then in the second quarter they fought back. “We were down 2 at halftime and came out in the third quarter and held them to 5 points and that really was the difference in the game. They made some runs at us in the fourth quarter but we held them down the stretch. So far this year we do our best free-throws in the fourth quarter and we did that again and it was a big win for us.”

Individual scores for Gering: Kaylee Spreier 13, Katie O’Boyle 10, Allie Vacha 6, Savannah Walker 6, Kayla Todd 4, Danyele Ysac 3, Dakota Wademan 2, Sam Rahmig 2.

Individual scores for Cheyenne: Dani Noble 21, Lexie Apodaca 5, Ana Schanez 4, Kara Clarke 4, Jasmin Waters 4, Erin Kendall 1.

The Bulldog boys faced Chase County on Friday. Gering outscored Chase County 16-10 in the first frame and 10-9 in the second, enjoying a 26-22 lead going into the locker room. Chase County shot back in the third period, outscoring the Dawgs 13-11. The Bulldogs came roaring back in the final quarter outscoring Chase County 18-15 to win the game 55-50.

Coach Plummer said, “We had 27 rebounds to their 21. Grant Olsson had 13 and Isaiah Wilson had 5. We did not shoot all that well except from the line 18 for 25. It was a physical game and we won it by making free throws in the 4th quarter.”

Individual scores for Gering: Christian Groskopf 17, Grant Olsson 13, Joses Palomo 9, Austin Hoffman 6, Isaiah Wilson 5, Riley Haug 2, Justin Brester 2, Taylor Nelson 1.

Friday saw both Bulldog teams facing the Laramie Plainsmen for the championship. Gering started the game outscoring Laramie 13-11 in the first and was outscored 9-8 in the second. Gering dominated the third 12-1 and Laramie shot back in the fourth 20-6 forcing an overtime. The overtime was all Gering as Gering outscored Laramie 11-2.

Coach Freeburg said it was a game where they got up early but the baskets were coming too easy. “Laramie wasn’t hitting a lot of shots so it was a matter of us getting a big lead. In the fourth quarter Laramie gave us a lot of problems with a full court press. We turned the ball over some there late and we managed to get the game into overtime. The key in overtime was our hitting free throws. We hit 9 of 10 total and we hit our last 8 in a row. We stepped up big. Laramie had all the momentum going into overtime. I told the girls going into overtime that we were going to be challenged and we were going to see what kind of heart they had and what kind of guts they had. The girls decided that this was their game to win and we did a good job of putting our foot down and getting a win.”

Indiviual scores for Gering: Kaylee Spriere 15, Allie Vacha 8, Danyele Ysac 8, Katie O’Boyle 8, Savannah Walker 5, Dakota Wademan 4, Sam Rahmig 2, Kayla Todd 2.

The Bulldog boys took charge of the game against Laramie in the first quarter and never gave it up, outscoring the Plainsmen 14-10 in the first, 18-7 in the second, 20-13 in the third, and 15-8 in the fourth. The Dawgs won the game 67-38.

Coach Plummer said “Against Laramie we shot 27-47 from the field. Austin Hoffman was 11-14 and scored 25 points. Grant had 11 rebounds and we out-rebounded them, 28-18. We forced them into 18 turnovers and 14-43 shooting from the field for Laramie. It was one of our better games of the year.”

Individual scores for Gering: Austin Hoffman 25, Grant Olsson 19, Joses Palomo 7, Christian Groskopf 6, Isaiah Wilson 5, Justin Brester 2, Riley Haug 2, Sonny Salazar 1

The Gering boys are now 9-2 on the season and are ranked #5 in Class B by the Omaha World-Herald. The girls are now 7-4 on the year. The teams will see action in Sidney on Friday night playing the Red Raiders.

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