District B-6 action off, running for Bulldogs, Bearcats
     2015-02-26      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
District B-6 basketball tournament action is under way for the girls, while the boys will kick off their bracket Saturday.
The host site is McCook Community College, with action at the Peter and Dolores Graff Event Center.

However, if McCook is eliminated from its respective bracket, the next round will be played with the highest remaining seed as host.
Such a case might evolve quickly with the boys’ bracket, which starts with No. 4 Alliance (8-13) playing No. 5 McCook (6-18 on Saturday at 3 p.m. Central time.

The winner of that game will take on No. 1 seed Sidney (20-3) on Monday at 5 p.m. Central Time. An Alliance win would move Monday’s semifinals to Sidney and the Cabela’s Athletic Facility, while a McCook win would keep the semifinals in the Bison’s backyard.
Regardless of location, No. 2 seed Scottsbluff (19-4) will face No. 3 Gering (12-10) in the second semifinal game Monday. That tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST.

The Bearcats and Bulldogs will be playing for the second time in 10 days, after Scottsbluff defeated Gering in its home finale Friday, 61-48.

“We’re going to continue to do what we’ve been doing,” said Scottsbluff boys’ coach Tony Siske, whose team completed the regular season Saturday with a 63-44 victory at Rapid City Central.
“We’ll concentrate on us and try to get better. We’ll keep a few things and we’ll add a few things for districts and do some game planning as well.”

While Scottsbluff also has a 66-50 road win over Gering, Siske is still concerned with the Bulldogs.

“What concerns me is that they play a variety of defenses and you have to be prepared for a lot of different things,” Siske said. “Their guard play is pretty good and I think that is the strength of their team right now.”

Gering boys’ coach Randy Plummer said after Friday’s loss that defending against the Bearcats is a multitasking chore.
“They’re a great team, and without going into any detail, we have to play them again in 10 days, so we’ll have to figure out another way,” Plummer said. “What we did tonight worked pretty well, but they’ll be onto it next time so we’ll have to try something different.”
Tuesday’s boys’ championship game time is set for 6:30 p.m. CST, but with the site possibly moving, so could the starting time for the finale.

The winner, and possibly the runner-up, will advance to the Class B Boys’ State Tournament on March 12-14 in Lincoln.

Sidney enters district play ranked No. 3 in Class B power points, while Scottsbluff is No. 5. The two teams split their home games, and the Bearcats won the Western Conference Invitational final over the Red Raiders at Western Nebraska Community College, 67-54 on Dec. 6.

In the girls’ District B-6 bracket, No. 4 seed Gering opened play Monday with a 37-35 first-round edging of No. 5 Alliance (3-18), a game the Bulldogs got to play at home because of the distance factor.
“It’s now whether you survive and advance, or you don’t,” said Gering girls’ coach Adam Freeburg, whose team now travels to McCook today (Thursday) to take on No. 1 seed Sidney (16-7) at 5 p.m. CST.

The Scottsbluff girls (8-12) enter today’s District B-6 semifinal game at 6:30 p.m. CST as the No. 2 seed and will play No. 3 seed McCook (6-17). A win by the Bearcats would shift Friday’s final to the highest remaining seed, either Sidney or Scottsbluff High School.
Second-year Scottsbluff girls’ coach Rachel Larson, whose team improved from 2-20 last winter, owns a 55-25 home win over McCook from Feb. 14, does not expect as easy a time with the Bison with the season on the line.

“It will be different anyway, because it’s at a different place, and I’m pretty sure they’ll have all their players back,” Larson said. “They know what they want to try to accomplish, so I’m not really worried about them overlooking McCook because that’s where the road starts. Otherwise, our season is going to be over Thursday night.”

The championship game is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. CST. The district winner will advance to the Class B Girls’ State Tournament in Lincoln on March 5-7.

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