Defending WTC tourney champion Mitchell girls earn top seed
     2015-02-05      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Mitchell senior Aspen Reifschneider looks for an opening amid Gering defenders during a Dec. 11 match up at Gering. Teammate Kady Lower (No. 00) is in the ready position while Gering’s Kaylee Bohnsack guards and Kaylee Spreier and Ashlyn Schultz prep for a turnover. The Mitchell girls are the top seed in the Western Trails Conference Tournament that begins tonight at various home sites and continues Friday and Saturday at WNCC’s Cougar Palace. 
The Mitchell girls’ basketball team is the two-time defending champion in the girls’ bracket of the annual Western Trails Conference Tournament, which begins today (Thursday) at home sites and continues Friday through Saturday at Western Nebraska Community College’s Cougar Palace.

Mitchell is 13-4 on the season and is coming off a tough home loss Friday to Gordon-Rushville, 40-36. Seedings were set on Jan. 27, although the Tigers and No. 2 seed Hemingford (14-2 entering Tuesday’s home game against Minatare) would still be the top-two seeds regardless of last week’s other action.

Mitchell, which had won 10 straight games and 12 of 13 before its loss to Gordon-Rushville, has a first-round bye. The Tigers will play in Friday’s 2 p.m. semifinal game at Cougar Palace against the winner of today’s 6 p.m. contest at No. 4 seed Kimball (9-9) vs. No. 5 Bridgeport (9-8).

The bottom bracket has Hemingford playing host to No. 7 Bayard (7-11) today at 6 p.m., with No. 3 Gordon-Rushville (10-6) entertaining Morrill (9-9) today at 5:30 p.m.

Those games’ winners will play in Friday’s semifinal game at 3:45 p.m. at WNCC. Semifinal losers will play for third place Saturday at 2 p.m., with the girls’ championship game set for 5:30 p.m.

In the boys’ bracket, Hemingford (14-1 entering Tuesday’s home game against undefeated Minatare) is the No. 1 seed and will play in Friday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal. The Bobcats will take on the winner of today’s 6 p.m. game that has No. 4 seed Mitchell (7-9) playing host to No. 5 and eight-time defending champion Kimball (5-11).

The boys’ bottom bracket has Bridgeport (14-4) as the No. 2 seed and playing host to Gordon-Rushville (3-12) today at 5:30 p.m. Bayard (11-6) is the No. 3 seed and entertains Morrill (7-10) at 6 p.m. today in first-round play.
Those winners will play in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal game at Cougar Palace. The semifinal losers will play for third place Saturday at 3:45 p.m., and the boys’ championship game has a 7:30 p.m. starting time.

Gordon-Rushville girls topple Mitchell; Tigers earn split

In its 40-36 win over the Mitchell girls Friday, Gordon-Rushville (10-6) overcame a 34-28 deficit after three quarters. The Mustangs then held the Tigers without a field goal in the final frame, outscoring Mitchell 12-2 in finishing off the victory.
Josie Perez scored a game-high 18 points for Gordon-Rushville.

Mitchell senior Aspen Reifschneider led the Tigers with 11 points. Sophomore Celeste Cardona added 10 points. The Tigers led 9-5 at the end of the first quarter before taking a 23-19 advantage into halftime.
In the boys’ game, Mitchell rolled to a 67-35 win over Gordon-Rushville.
Mitchell opened up a 16-7 lead in the first quarter and then stretched its advantage to 37-20 at halftime.

Senior Antonio Barrios led the Tigers with a game-high 26 points. Junior Colby Eberspecher also hit double figures in scoring for Mitchell with 12 points and had 12 rebounds for a double-double. Senior Joe Pieper had 10 rebounds.
Mitchell, which has won six of its last eight games, improved to 7-9 overall. Gordon-Rushville fell to 3-12 with the loss.

Minatare boys win pair, improve to 14-0

Minatare junior Yovan Perez scored a career-high 34 points Friday, helping the Minatare boys stay undefeated on the season with a 54-42 win over Leyton in Dalton.
Perez hit 20 of 24 free-throw attempts. Seniors Javier Guerrero and Chance McAllister each added nine points for Minatare.

Leyton, which dropped to 8-7, was led in scoring by Drew Brenner with 14 points. Cody McKay had 13.
In the girls’ game, Leyton downed Minatare, 53-11.

On Saturday, the Minatare boys improved to 14-0 with a 64-38 win at home over Potter-Dix.

Guerrero paced the Indians with 16 points, while Perez followed with 12, senior Juan Garfio added 11, junior Dominic Longoria netted 10 and McAllister scored nine.
The Coyote girls, meanwhile, rolled a 62-14 victory over Minatare (0-12).
Audrey Juelfs sparked Potter-Dix (13-3) with 18 points, four assists, and two steals.
Statistics for either Minatare girls’ game were unavailable.
Minatare was to play Tuesday at Hemingford before the Indians play host to Sioux County on Friday.

Morrill’s Lara helps crown Crawford in overtime

Morrill senior Jorge Lara was crowned Winter Royalty king at halftime Friday night and then scored a career-high 30 points, leading the Morrill boys to a come-from-behind, 64-63 overtime win over Crawford.

Junior Ryan Aratani had the biggest two shots of the night for the Lions though. First, he got a steal with 26 seconds left in regulation and scored to knot the score at 55-all to force overtime.

Aratani then took a long 3-pointer with 17 seconds left in overtime, giving the Lions their first lead of the game since the first quarter.
Aratani followed Lara’s 30-point effort with 11 points, and junior Ryan McMackin added 10.

Crawford (7-11) was led by Colton Micheel with 22 points while Austin Kennedy had 11.
In the girls’ game, Crawford senior Jessee Underwood poured in 15 points Friday, leading the 14-3 Rams to a 56-48 victory over Morrill.
Morrill raced to a 15-8 first-quarter lead at one point before settling for a 17-16 lead after the opening eight minutes. Sophomore Jessica Harvey had 11 of the team’s 17 first-quarter points.

Morrill led the entire first half until Crawford finally tied the game at 30-30 on two free throws by Underwood. Morrill grabbed a 35-30 lead after halftime on a

Crawford had two players in double figures, led by Underwood with 15 points and Lacie Lietka with 12.
Morrill was led by Harvey with 20 points followed by sophomore Kaitlyn Margheim with eight.

Lions split with Wildcats

On Saturday, the Morrill girls earned a 51-31 win over Banner County at Harrisburg, while the host Wildcats rode Tyson Dahlgrin’s huge outing to down the Lions 67-51.
Dahlgrin erupted for 35 points, 21 rebounds, two steals and two assists in leading the Banner County boys (3-10) to victory. Fellow senior Bryce Olsen added 12 points, 15 rebounds and two assists for Banner County, and Kadan Huber had eight points, eight rebounds. and three assists. Michael McKown added eight points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Morrill (7-10) got 25 points from Lara, with McMackin scoring eight rebounds with 11 rebounds.

For the Morrill girls (9-9), Harvey paced the Lions with 25 points and sophomore Shayln Lackey added 12 points.

For Banner County (2-12), freshman MaKenna Dahlgrin recorded 19 rebounds and seven points, and senior Ashlynne Hanan had 10 points, three rebounds and three steals. Junior Shaylee White had seven rebounds and two steals.
The Wildcats will entertain South Platte on Friday before they travel to Sioux County on Saturday.

Bayard sweeps South Platte

In Minuteman Activities Conference action Friday at Big Springs, the Bayard girls rode junior Miah Vera’s 19 points to a 54-33 win over South Platte, while the Tiger boys rolled past the host Knights, 65-18.
Vera was one of three Tiger girls who scored in double figures. Senior Chellani Parriott added 11 points and junior Kaylie Fiscus finished with 10.

The Bayard boys also had a trio scoring in double figures. Senior Tyler Fiscus led the way with 20 points, shooting 10 of 13 from the field. Senior Bryce Hargens followed with 12 points and classmate Justin Baird finished with 10, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Fiscus led Bayard in rebounds with eight. Baird had a team-high three assists and led the Tigers defensively with four steals. Fiscus, Hargens and Chandler Cox all blocked two shots each.

Bridgeport sweeps Bayard

The visiting Bridgeport Bulldogs swept Bayard out of its own gym Saturday night, with the Bulldog girls scoring a 42-33 win over the Tigers and the Bridgeport boys toppling Bayard 55-29.

In the girls’ game, Bayard (7-11) had led 14-8 after the first quarter, but Bridgeport outscored the Tigers 17-5 over the next two quarters to take 25-19 lead.
Parriott led Bayard with 13 points and Vera added 11, while Bridgeport (9-8) got 15 points from Megan Dudden and 12 points from Ashley Weborg.
In the boys’ game, Bridgeport (14-4) led 26-18 at halftime and outscored the Tigers 29-11 in the second half.

Ethan Marx fueled the Bulldogs’ win with 14 points, including two 3-pointers.
Bayard (11-6) got 16 points and six rebounds from Baird.



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