Alliance slips past Gering in a double OT thriller
     2016-02-05      By Roger Holsinger    editor@geringcitizen.com
Roger Holsinger Photography It was a pajama party last Friday night at the Gering-Alliance game. Members of the Gering High School student body donned their favorite sleepwear. Even Superman showed up to cheer the Bulldogs. 
Friday night’s price for admission was well worth the cost as fans were treated to a thrilling double-overtime game that could only be described as a dog fight.

The Bulldogs of Gering and Alliance battled, but in the end Alliance was the victor with the 82-77 win at Gering High School auditorium.

With just 1:55 remaining in the game, Gering was down by six after Trey Winkler sunk the backend of a two-shot free-throw to make it 49-55, Alliance.

Alliance missed its next shot and Gering came down to add two more points as Sonny Salazar scored from underneath. Alliance answered back as Brendan Brehmer scored two. Then Winkler hit the three to make it a five-point game again. Winkler added another trey and with 16.8 second left, Gering trailed, 57-62.

Some fans began to leave the gym, but the game was far from over.

After a quick foul, Brody Brennan hit one of two shots and then Austin Hoffman scored with the three-pointer to make it 60-63 Alliance with 5.9 seconds remaining. The Alliance inbound pass was off it’s mark, stolen and passed to Hoffman who canned the three to tie the game at 63 at the end of regulation.

In the first overtime, Gering went ahead with Hoffman scoring the trey, but after a four possession, Alliance tied it up at the charity stripe as Kyle King hit both shots. Alliance regained its lead after two free-throws from King again and then Alliance stretched its lead to three with another free-throw Brehmer.

Brent Barge fired back for Gering with the jumper to bring Gering to within one point, then Tyler Pszanka tied the game at 69 from the stripe. A desperation heave missed its mark from Alliance and the game went into the second overtime.

Once again Alliance took the lead with Austin Luger hitting the three and then Brennan sunk two free-throws giving Alliance a five-point advantage.

Winkler scored for Gering and then tied it up with a three with 1:05 remaining.

Alliance answered back with a three-point play and then Alliance went to the stripe on a somewhat questionable call when Pszanka was called for a foul instead of a jump ball. Trevor Ridenour sunk the pair and then Gering was forced to foul and was unable to comeback as Alliance went on to win, 82-77.

Gering Head Coach Randy Plummer said he couldn’t be mad at his team as his players gave all they had for four quarters and two overtime periods.

“Basketball is a huge game of momentum and there are several shifts during a game,” said Plummer. “We tried to keep it but we couldn’t follow it through into the overtime.

“Usually when you get a knock-out punch like that, to take it to overtime, the other team lets up, and then you can catch them, because they are off-guard and you get the momentum and then you win it. But that didn’t happen as they (Alliance) went down and made free-throws and kept their composure and we just couldn’t put them away,” said Plummer.

He added that once again they faced a taller team, but they play big and have quick and solid players.

“We are just a little undersized, so we have to fight that much harder. When they start 6-7, 6-4 and six-foot four and they are big, thick guys and we counter with 6-3, but size isn’t everything and we have to compensate by doing other things, working hard and shooting the ball pretty well and we did that (Friday).”

As they went into overtime, Plummer said he told his players to keep the momentum and “I thought if we could get a four or six point lead we could force them to take bad shots but they didn’t and we didn’t put them away,” he said.

In the locker room Plummer said he told the players couldn’t be more pleased because they never gave up and his team never gave up.

The Bulldogs played host to Ogallala on Tuesday and will host Sidney Friday night.

Plummer described Sidney as a “breast” and similar to Alliance. He said his squad has already lost to Sidney and that they will have to come back because, “we’ve proved that we can play with anybody and now we have to prove we can beat them.”

Gering: Trey Winkler 30, Brent Barge 5, Tanner Wengler 3, Christian Rogers 4, Austin Hoffman 18, Sonny Salazar 8, Tyler Pszanka 9.

Alliance: Brendan Brehmer 9, Kyle King 10, Baden Shelmadine 5, Brody Brennan 15, Austin Luger 23, Michael Gomez 2, Klayton Nordeen 2, Trevor Ridenour 16.

Gering – 10 15 16 22 6 8 – 77
Alliance – 12 15 17 19 6 13 – 82

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