Mitchell makes C1-12 sub-district finals after win over Valentine
     2014-02-20      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Banner County’s Paige Cross (No. 40) works her way toward the basket past Minatare’s Jazmin Martinez during first round action Monday night in Gering. The Lady Wildcats secured a 44-18 victory. 
Sub-district basketball playoffs got under way Monday night, with Banner County and Bayard posting first-round victories and advancing to Tuesday's semifinals.

Banner County scored its third win of the season, all coming against Minatare, with a 40-18 victory Monday night in first-round play of the Sub-District D2-11 tourney at the Gering High School gymnasium.

Bayard, the No. 4 seed in Sub-District C2-12, scored a 54-35 win Monday over Perkins County in Sidney.

In Tuesday's semifinals, however, both Banner County and Bayard saw their seasons ended in decisive losses, while action got going in two other area-based sub-districts.

Only Mitchell, a 40-35 winner over Valentine in C1-12 play at Alliance, advanced to the sub-district finals tonight (Thursday). Morrill lost to Creek Valley 60-56 in D1-12 play at Mitchell High School.

D2-11 at Gering

On Monday, Banner County got a 10-point, eight-rebound effort from sophomore Taylor Evans in its win over Minatare, in which the Wildcats led 19-5 at halftime after a 15-3 run in the second quarter. Sophomore Paige Cross added nine points and six rebounds for the Wildcats.

"We used that as a spring board for intensity, because we were slower staring out (Monday) night," Banner County coach Brittany Cooper said.

Minatare (0-18) got a game-high 13 points from junior Angelica Longoria.

Banner County (3-18) advanced to Tuesday's semifinal game against top-seeded Leyton, and the Warriors (11-9) eliminated the Wildcats with a 44-18 victory.

Despite the loss, Cooper praised the Wildcats' effort against Leyton, which had beaten BCHS 50-17 at Dalton on Dec. 20.

"We were able to play with them man-to-man the whole game and we didn't have to go to a zone, which was good," Cooper said. "We were moving our feet better (Tuesday) and moving our feet better. Just the tempo was quicker."

Cross led the Wildcats with eight points and also had four rebounds and one steal, while senior Dalle Rutledge had a team-high 11 rebounds and shared the team steal lead with junior Ashlynne Hanan with three thefts apiece.

"I was proud of them for all of the improvement we saw throughout the season," Cooper said. "They played their hearts out."

The other semifinal had No. 2 Garden County (9-10) scoring a 40-22 win over No. 3 South Platte (5-11). Leyton and Garden County will meet tonight at 7 for the sub-district title at Gering High School.

Sub-District C2-12 at Sidney

Bayard, the No. 4 seed in Sub-District C2-12, scored a 54-35 win Monday over Perkins County in Sidney.
Sophomore Kaylie Fiscus led all scorers with 11 points and three Tigers in double figures. Senior Megan Stuart and junior Chellani Parriott followed with 10 points apiece.

Bayard (6-15) advanced to Tuesday's semifinal game against No. 1 seed Dundy County-Stratton (21-3), which eliminated the Tigers 51-21. No other information on the game was available at press time.

Dundy County-Stratton will play No. 2 seed Kimball in tonight's sub-district final. Kimball (13-10) advanced with a 33-21 win over No. 3 Bridgeport (2-18).

Sub-District D1-12 at Mitchell

The No. 3 seed Morrill Lions (11-11) had a 50-41 lead on No. 2 Creek Valley (13-5) in their Sub-District D1-12 semifinal game with 4:13 remaining before the Storm finished with a 19-6 run that included three 3-pointers by senior Jerelyn Straber and six other points by senior Summer Mueller.

Straber hit five treys on her way to scoring 19 points, while Mueller was 6-for-8 on free throws in her 25-point effort.

Morrill senior Kylee Guerue led all scorers with 31 points, including 11 in a first quarter the Lions led 18-11. While Morrill outscored Creek Valley 15-9 at the free-throw line, the Lions missed 16 attempts while the Storm missed just five charity shots.

"You could tell they wanted to win and they played hard," said Morrill coach Josh Guerue, who took over a team that went 5-13 last season. "It's disappointing, but I couldn't be more proud of our girls. They played at a level where they had not played before, and they played their hearts out."

The other semifinal had No. 1 seed Hemingford (19-3) scoring a 65-23 win over No. 4 Potter-Dix (10-10). Hemingford and Creek Valley will play for the sub-district title tonight at 6:30 in Mitchell.

Sub-District C1-12 at Alliance

The No. 2 seed Mitchell Tigers (18-5) overcame an early 10-6, first-quarter deficit to forge a 20-all tie at halftime and broke through No. 3 Valentine's tough defense in the second half to score the Sub-District C1-12 semifinal victory.

"They come right at you, they're physical and they cause teams havoc," said Mitchell coach Brock Ehler said of the Badgers (10-11), who forced 10 Tiger turnovers in the first quarter. "We adjusted and did some different things, and before you know it we were tied at 20 at halftime."

Mitchell outscored Valentine 6-4 in the third quarter and 14-11 in the final period to clinch the victory.

"The confidence of both teams really switched," Ehler said. "We started getting the ball down the floor, and they were having a hard time adjusting to how our kids were starting to get open and to the picks we were setting."

Junior Kady Lower had 11 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in leading the Tigers, while freshman Celeste Cardona added eight points. Senior Taylor Peters had six points and five assists, junior Felina Blanco six points and Continued from page B3

six rebounds and junior McKenna Zulkoski had five points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

The win set up a second meeting this season between the Tigers and Chadron, with the sub-district title on the line tonight at 6:30. The top-seeded Cardinals (18-4) scored a 60-29 semifinal win over No. 4 Gordon-Rushville (9-13) and defeated the Tigers at Mitchell 68-53 on Jan. 11 in Mitchell.

"We look forward to it," Ehler said. "The girls want to play this game, and whether it goes down to the wire or they jump up 20 or 25 on us, I think we have a pretty good plan for this game and we're going to see what happens."

Boys' sub-district brackets released

Sub-district schedules for boys' teams were released Tuesday, and play begins Monday with a pair of first-round games in Sub-Districts C2-12 at Sidney and D2-11 at Gering.

In the D2-11 sub-district, Banner County (7-11) is the No. 4 seed and plays No. 5 South Platte (0-15) on Monday at 7 p.m. in Gering.

The winner advances to Tuesday's 5:30 p.m. semifinal against No. 1 seed Leyton (14-5), while the 7 p.m. semifinal pits No. 2 seed Minatare (11-6) against No. 3 Garden County (10-7). The semifinal winners will play next Thursday at 7 p.m. for the sub-district title.

In Sub-District C2-12, Bayard (7-13) is the No. 4 seed and plays No. 5 Perkins County (3-17) on Monday at 7 p.m. in Sidney.

The winner advances to Tuesday's 5:30 p.m. semifinal against No. 1 seed Kimball (18-3), with the 7 p.m. semifinal matching No. 2 Bridgeport (16-4) against Dundy County-Stratton (14-8). Tuesday's winners will play next Thursday at 7 p.m. for the sub-district championship.

In Sub-District C1-12 at Alliance, Mitchell (10-11) is the No. 2 seed and plays Valentine (10-9) in Tuesday's first semifinal at 5 p.m. Chadron (13-7) is the No. 1 seed and plays No. 4 Gordon-Rushville (5-13) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday's winners will play next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. for the sub-district title.

In Sub-District D1-12 at Mitchell, Morrill is the No. 4 seed and plays top-seeded Hemingford (15-6) in Tuesday's first semifinal at 5 p.m. The 6:30 p.m. semifinal has No. 2 Potter-Dix (8-11) against No. 3 Creek Valley (5-11). Tuesday's winners will play next Thursday at 6:30 p..m. for the sub-district championship.

Last week's results

After winning five straight games, the Banner County boys were stopped Friday night at Lingle-Fort Laramie, Wyo., 55-49 in double overtime.

Three Wildcats scored in double figures despite the loss. Senior Ben Hostetler had 17 points, junior Mike McKown followed with 12 points and junior Tyson Dahlgrin had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Banner County plays at Bayard on Friday.

The Banner County girls lost to Lingle-Fort Laramie 69-18. Evans had nine points, four blocked shots and three steals to lead the Wildcats. Hanan had a team-high nine rebounds, and senior Amanda Harrison made two steals.

In other action last week, the Minatare boys got 29 points from senior Dominic Longoria and 14 from junior Javier Guerrero in the Indians' 75-44 home victory Saturday over Hyannis.

The Indians complete the regular season Saturday with a home game against Potter-Dix.

The Minatare girls fell to Hyannis, 68-18, in their regular-season finale.

The Mitchell girls split their final two regular-season games, defeating Ogallala 58-31 in the Tigers' home finale before falling 48-42 Saturday at Sidney.

Zulkoski powered Mitchell's win over Ogallala with 26 points, four assists and three steals. Lower added 10 points and six rebounds. Cardona had eight points and a team-leading seven rebounds, while junior Aspen Reifschneider had a team-high six assists and five steals.

In the Tigers' loss to Sidney, Lower led Mitchell (17-5) with 18 points and Zulkoski added 11 points. For Sidney (14-7), Katelin Cole scored a game-high points.

After the Mitchell boys defeated Ogallala 63-44 on Friday, the Tigers suffered a 54-36 loss at Sidney on Saturday. Statistics from Friday's win were unavailable, while senior Jamie Fegler led Mitchell with 10 points against Sidney. The Red Raiders (15-6) got a game-high 11 points from senior Paxton Ehler.

The Tiger boys finish regular-season play Friday at Kimball.

The Morrill girls defeated Bridgeport 53-32 behind 28 points from Kylie Guerue, who also had eight rebounds and four steals. Senior Megan Fish and freshman Jessica Harvey added eight points apiece for the Lions.

The Bridgeport boys earned the split with a 78-30 win over Morrill. Quentin Baxter led the Bulldogs with 18 points and Kaleb DeCora added 17.

On Saturday, the Gordon-Rushville boys downed Morrill 55-30 and the Mustang girls edged Morrill 51-48. Guerue led the Lion girls with 18 points and Harvey added 10, and each had four steals. Senior Dylainee Peacock had 13 rebounds and six points.

The Morrill boys complete their regular-season schedule Friday at Hyannis.

Last Tuesday, Bayard's Stuart had 25 points and 16 rebounds in leading the visiting Tigers to a 42-31 win over Leyton in Dalton. Stuart was 11-for-14 at the free-throw line, while senior Haley Sauer had seven rebounds and Parriott added six points.

Bayard lost to Chase County at home Friday, 31-22. The Bayard boys fell to Leyton 48-41 on Tuesday and 56-44 at home Friday to Chase County.

The Tiger boys got 14 points each from senior David Schuler and junior Justin Baird against Chase County. Stuart led the Bayard girls against the Longhorns with nine points.

The Bayard boys complete the regular season Friday when they play host to Banner County.


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