Bulldog boys sweep East/West shootout
     2014-02-22      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Gering senior Christian Groskopf (No. 12) takes his shot amidst heavy defensive action from North Platte opponenets. Gering secured an exciting win Saturday against North Platte during the East/West Shootout. 
The Gering Bulldog basketball teams participated in the East/West shootout as schools from Gering, Scottsbluff, and Alliance played North Platte, McCook, and Lexington. The girls were on the road and the boys enjoyed a home court advantage. The boys won all three games Lexington 76-43, McCook 65-39, and North Platte 48-45. The girls lost to Lexington 49-38, beat McCook 47-45 and lost to North Platte 56-23.

The boys started the shootout last Thursday as the Gering Bulldogs challenged the Lexington Minutemen in the dome of Gering High School. The Dawgs cruised through the game as they outscored the Minutemen in every quarter: first 17-11, second 23-11, third 20-13, and the fourth 16-8. The final score was 76-43.

Coach Randy Plummer was pleased with his team. “The defense that they ran is a 1-3-1, we haven’t played against it all year so I was really worried about it,” he said. “It’s a defense that causes a lot of turnovers if you are not ready for it. I thought our guys executed really well. We put 40 points up in the first half and that kind of put them away. We ran a lot; we pressed and got a lot of baskets the fastest.”

Individual scores for Gering: Austin Hoffman 24, Christian Groskopf 18, Grant Olsson 11, Joses Palomo 7, Isaiah Wilson 4, Esai Hernandez 4, Bret Barge 2, Riley Haug 2, Justin Brester 2, Kreiger Ebbers 2,

Individual scores for Lexington: Lewis Lewis 12, Trevor McKeone 11, Arliss Alvarez 9, Ted Berke 4, Marco Muniz 3, Tyson Block 2, Brody Lauby 1, Willie Mendoza 1.

The girls did not come out so well on the road in Lexington as they lost to the Minutemaids 49-38. Gering girls led in the first quarter 10-9. Lexington came back in the second frame 15-8. Gering faced a halftime deficit of six points at 24-18. Gering came close in the third frame falling one point short 13-12. In the final quarter, Gering dropped further behind at 12-8 for a final score of 49-38.

Individual scores for Gering: Kaylee Spreier 12, Savannah Walker 11, Katie O’Boyle 8, Ashlyn Schultz 6, Danyele Ysac 1.

Individual scores for Lexington: Hannah Ostrom 17, Mackenzie McKeone 13, Odaliz Santoyo 8, Kaelyn Pack 7, Aly Leger 3, MaKenzie Hammond 1.

On Friday the Bulldog teams faced the McCook Bison. The Bulldog boys handily defeated the Bison 65-39. Gering took charge in the first frame and outscored McCook 24-10. The Bison charged back at the Dawgs and poured on the defense holding Gering to a single bucket in the second frame as McCook outscored Gering 7-2. Gering hit the locker room with a solid 9 point lead at 26-17 but with no momentum at all.

The locker room pep talk must have worked as the Bulldogs came back hot in the third period, outpacing the Bison 16-7. Gering turned up the heat even further in the fourth as Riley Haug led the way with three 3 point shots in a row to outscore McCook 23-15 for a final score of 65-39.

Riley Haug spoke after the game about his three 3-point shots “All season the coach has encouraged me to take shots when I get the opportunity,” he said. “We had some guys that weren’t having as good a game as they usually do, he gave me the opportunity and I made the best of it. As a team we came out fast and in the second quarter the defense really stepped up and kind of slowed us down. The third quarter we came out and started playing like we usually do. We needed to because McCook is never really out of the game. It was big to get that momentum going.”

Individual scores for Gering: Grant Olsson 18, Christian Groskopf 16, Riley Haug 9, Austin Hoffman 9, Joses Palomo 5, Brent Barge 2, Isaiah Wilson 2, Kraiger Ebbers 2, Esai Hernandez 2.

Individual scores for McCook: Mack Alspaugh 24, Peyton Stagemeyer 4, Bret Baumbach 3, Chase Midkiff 3, Wes Berkert 2, Jacob Vogel 2, Traivs Wallen 1.

The Lady Bulldogs put a game in the win column as well taking out the McCook Bison on the road 47-45. Gering started slow as McCook outscored the Lady Bulldogs 9-7 in the first frame. The Lady Dawgs fought back in the second, not losing any ground but not gaining any either. Gering and McCook matched each other at 11 and Gering went into the halftime break two points behind at 20-18.

Gering nudged their way back as both teams saw a huge offensive surge in the third frame but Gering outscored McCook by two points at 21-19 to tie the game at 39. The final frame saw a lot of defense but Gering outscored McCook by two at 8-6 for the two point 47-45 win.

Individual scores for Gering: Kaylee Spreier 19, Savannah Walker 14, Katie O’Boyle 4, Danyele Ysac 4, Ashlyn Schultz 3, Allie Vacha 3.

Individual scores for McCook: Molly Sughroue 22, Brenleigh Daum 9, Tiara Schmidt 6, Morgan Felker 5, Alaini Priebe 3.

Saturday was the battle of the Bulldogs as the Gering teams took on the blue and gold North Platte Bulldogs. The boys nudged out a 48-45 win and the girls lost 56-23. The G-Town boys started strong in the first quarter and jumped ahead to a 7-0 lead. North Platte had plenty of fight in them and shot back with one second left in the first frame the score was 13-10 Gering. Joses Palomo had the ball but was beyond the half court line and with one second left threw a long shot that swished through the basket to end the first period Gering leading 16-10. North Platte shut down Gering’s offense and turned on their own in the second frame to lead Gering 12-6 for a tied halftime score at 22.

There was still 16 minutes to play in what was shaping up to be a game with a lot of defense. Gering outpaced North Platte 13-10 in the third and set the stage for an exciting conclusion. Gering lost the lead late in the fourth quarter after two buckets by North Platte’s Drew Callaghan 45-43. Palomo had an answer for that and sank a 3-pointer to take the lead 46-45. Christian Groskopf got fouled and with one-and-one sank both to make it 48-45. Just a couple of seconds left North Platte threw in under full pressure to Kade Erickson who attempted a 3-pointer for the tie as time expired. The shot missed but Groskopf was called for a foul and Erickson got a second chance to tie the game with three free throws. Kade missed the first shot and with no way to win, the game was over with Gering earning the toughest win of the week 48-45.

“Tough game obviously,” Coach Plummer said. “We figured out how to win this one. Big shots. Joe hit a big three and Christian made two free throws. We won it with our tenacious defense the whole game and they were a little bit stymied. We played two three really well and it carried us today. Thank goodness they did not make any of those free throws because I really did not want to go to overtime.”

Individual scores for Gering: Grant Olsson 15, Christian Groskopf 12, Joses Palomo 9, Riley Haug 6, Isaiah Wilson 4, Austin Hoffman 2.

Individual scores for North Platte: Shane Manch 11, Drew Callaghan 10, Kade Erickson 10, Bradey Anderson 9, Brady Mason 5.

The girls were not so fortunate as they started the first quarter in the hole 13-4. They came back in the second quarter but still fell short being outscored 12-11 and facing a 10 point 25-15 deficit at half time. North Platte poured on the offense and defense in the second half as they outscored Gering 15-6 in the third and held Gering to just two points in the fourth 16-2 for a final of 56-23.

Individual scores for Gering: Kaylee Spreier 6, Ashlyn Schultz 5, Savannah Walker 5, Katie O’Boyle 4, Toni Rosado 2, Danyele Ysac 1.

Individual Scores for North Platte: Kaitlynn Harvey 17, Madalynn Doughty 8, Allison Sawyer 6, Taylor Johnson 6, Sally Hengen 5, Jessy Hunt 4, Marisa Martinez 4, Rachel Kosmacek 4, Hanna Wilke 2.

“I thought that over all for the weekend our effort was good,” Coach Adam Freeburg said in summarizing the weekend. “I thought that the girls played really hard. We played in three really difficult places to play. We got our one win against a district opponent in McCook, which was the biggest game for us on the weekend. That was a confidence game for us going into the district tournament. The way things are looking that will probably be our first opponent at districts. I think we will take that McCook win and be happy with the weekend.”

Gering boys are now 17-5 and are No. 5 in the NSAA power points rankings. Gering girls are 12-11 on the season. Both teams will next see action on Friday night against Scottsbluff at home in the Gering High School dome. The doors will open at 4:30 p.m. as the girls game starts at 5:30 and the boys game starts at 7. Be early, as once full capacity is reached, the doors will be closed.

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