Gering shoots to defend winning season
     2014-12-18      By Kay Grote    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - Members of the 2014-2015 Gering boys basketball team are, front row from left, Brent Barge, Joses Palomo, Kraiger Ebbers, Esai Hernandez and Austin Hoffman. Second row, Deion Contreras, Alex Duncan, Dylan Radzymski, Dalton Scott, Trey Winkler, Javier Campos and Sonny Salazar. Back row, Cody Snelling, Dan Marshall, Tanner Wengler, Keaton Ebbers, Christian Rogers, Stephen Murphy and Tyler Pszanka. 
The Gering boys’ basketball team has a lot to defend this season. Coming off of a memorable 2013-2014 season that saw the Bulldogs amass a 19-6 record culminated in a Western Conference season championship, head coach Randy Plummer knows the bar has been set high. But eyeing the talent and drive that is showing in this 19-member roster, Plummer is confident in some key wins and a strong conference presence.

“We will be young and inexperienced to start the season,” Plummer acknowledged. “We will improve as the season goes on. Our goal is to become the best team we can with the talent we have.”

That talent pool includes several key returning varsity starters including noted three-point specialist 5-9 senior Joses Palomo, inside strong men 6-2 senior Esai Hernandez and 6-5 senior Kraiger Ebbers, perimeter specialist 6-3 junior Austin Hoffman and sharp ball handler 5-8 junior Brent Barge. With this core, Plummer is confident with the Bulldog’s offense, saying this year he expect to execute less set plays and more motion offense.

Plummer said the team, however, will need to improve in every aspect of their defense.

Plummer likes what he sees so far in the early season for developing a stronger defensive game out of a quick and sharp group of underclassmen. Promising newcomers that could fill some key spots on the varsity court include 6-1 junior Sonny Salazar, 5-8 sophomore Trey Winkler, 6-1 sophomore Christian Rogers, 5-11 sophomore Alex Duncan, and 6-4 freshman Tyler Pszanka.

In the conference, Plummer knows Scottsbluff will be the team to play up for.

“Scottsbluff is, hands down, the best team in the Panhandle, maybe in the state in Class B,” Plummer said. “But every game is important in its own respect. We are looking forward to an enjoyable and competitive year.”

Plummer, now in his ninth year as Gering’s head boys’ coach, is getting support from assistants Steve Land, Armand Castaneda and Zach Boness.

The Bulldogs earned early season wins last week against Mitchell and Alliance. The Bulldogs will have one more home-court match up Saturday night, Dec. 19 with Bridgeport before traveling to Chadron on Dec. 20, rounding out their pre-holiday season. Returning from the break, the Bulldogs will run the gamet of the Sidney Holiday Tournament Jan. 2-3 before hosting Sidney on Friday. Jan. 9.

Gering boys' basketball schedule

Friday, Dec. 19 Bridgeport, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 20 at Chadron, 7 p.m.
Jan. 2-3 at Sidney Holiday Tournament, TBA
Friday, Jan. 9 Sidney, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 17 Kelly Walsh, 5 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 23 Chadron, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 24 Scottsbluff, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 27 Torrington, Wyo., 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 30 at Alliance, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 31 Burns, Wyo., 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 3 at Ogallala, 6:45 p.m.
Friday. Feb. 6 at Sidney, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 12 at McCook, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 13 at North Platte, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14 at Lexington, 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 20 at Scottsbluff, 7 p.m.
Feb. 31, Mar. 2-3 Districts, TBA
March 12-14 State Tournament, Lincoln

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