Bulldog boys grab 2 wins, while girls suffer losses
     2015-12-18      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Sue Wengler/Special to the Gering Citizen Courtney Conn dribbles past an Alliance defender while teammate and sister Mariah Conn sets a vicious pick. 
Gering’s basketball teams faced the Mitchell Tigers on Dec. 10 at home. While the boys ran away with a victory, the girls walked away with yet another loss in the young season.

The Mitchell girls started the night with a pressuring defense to take a 51-29 win. Gering’s Assistant Coach Shawna Quevedo was on the bench with the team, as Head Coach Adam Freeburg and his wife were welcoming a new daughter.

After watching the video, Freeburg said they played a very good Mitchell team. “They got out to a quick start on us,” he said. “Once you get behind a team like Mitchell, it’s hard to come back.”

Missed opportunities also hurt Gering as the team shot at 27 percent from the field, compared with Mitchell’s 46 percent. Mitchell also sank four 3-pointers while Gering had zero.

“After watching the video, I thought we did pretty well against the press and rebounded well,” Freeburg said. “We just didn’t finish on our baskets down low.”

Kaylee Bohnsack and Katie Martindale led the Bulldogs in scoring with 7 apiece. Mariah Conn each chipped in 6 and Allie Boggs had 5. Courtney Conn and Makenzie Dunekl each contributed 2.

Mitchell’s Keyana Wilfred led the Tigers with 12 points and six rebounds as part of a balanced attack. Celeste Cardona put 10 points on the board and freshman Annabelle Gillen added 9. Madison Watson had 7 points, Kenzey Kanno and Jori Peters had 6 apiece and Kaitlyn Hessler added 1.

The Gering boys fared better. Although Mitchell led after the first quarter, the Bulldogs picked up the pace and got into a rhythm. At the final buzzer, Gering came away with a 53-32 win over Mitchell to improve its early-season record to 3-1.

“Mitchell is taller than us so we needed to use our quickness to our advantage,” Coach Randy Plummer said. “As the game wore on we got some easy baskets off the press and opened the game up.”

Mitchell was 16-14 at the end of the first quarter, but Gering outscored them the next two quarters 29-4.

Gering reeled off 21 unanswered points in the third quarter as their momentum continued to roll. “Everyone got to play which is nice,” Plummer said. “We have 13 guys that suit up and nine of them scored.”

Trey Winkler led all Gering scorers with 16, Sonny Salazar added 10 and Austin Hoffman had 9. Brent Barge chipped in 7 points, Tanner Wengler and Christian Rogers both had 4, with Dalton Scott and Dylan Radzymski adding 1 apiece.

Mitchell’s leading scorers were Cleveland Burnett with 16 and Colby Eberspecher with 14. Chase Watson, Joe Pieper and Jaden Snyder each added 2 points.

The next night, Friday, Dec. 11, the Bulldogs were on the road to face Alliance. The Alliance girls had already beaten Gering, 47-43, in the Western Conference Invitational Tournament.

The girls’ game was a nail biter as Alliance came away with a 34-33 win on two free throws in final seconds by sophomore Kaylee McDonald.

Gering was leading for most of the game and held a 17-10 advantage at the half. “A lot of the girls stepped up and played well,” Coach Freeburg said. “We out-rebounded Alliance and had a season low of 14 turnovers. It was the last 1.4 seconds that gave them the win.”
Victoria Schwartz led Gering with 11 points and Mariah Conn added 9. Kaylee Bohnsack and Paige Lopez both added 3. Scoring 2 each were Katie Martindale, Courtney Conn and Makenzie Dunekl. Allie Boggs has 1 point.

High scorers for Alliance were Kaylee McDonald and Madison Reiber, who each added 10.

It took overtime for the Gering boys to dispatch Alliance 52-49. Gering was leading 27-15 at the half, bolstered by a strong defense.

“We let up and let them back in the game in the third quarter when Alliance outscored us 16-12,” Coach Plummer said. “We turned the ball over too many times and they tied the score by the end of the game.”

In the overtime period, Gering came on strong, outscoring Alliance 5-2 to win the game. “Alliance is a good team and it’s a tough place to play,” Plummer said.

Gering’s Tuesday against Bridgeport was postponed due to snow and has been rescheduled for Monday, Dec. 21. Next up is a road trip to Chadron on Saturday, Dec. 19 to play the Cardinals.

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