Gering girls, boys fall to SB
     2016-02-26      By Roger Holsinger    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Roger Holsinger Photography Scottsbluff’s Zoe Holscher keeps control of the ball while Gering’s Kaylee Bohnsack applies the pressure during action last week in Gering. 
The Gering High School boys’ and girls’ basketball team played hard at home against arch rival Scottsbluff Feb. 19, but it wasn’t enough to add a win in the record book.

The Lady Bulldogs fell to the Bearcats, 38-35, while the boys lost, 84-69.

The two teams have just a couple of days to analyze each other as the girls faced Scottsbluff on Tuesday during the first round of the Class B-6 District Tournament in Ogallala. Next week the boys could also see a familiar foe in Scottsbluff if that’s how the brackets fall together.

In the girls’ game last week, Head Coach Adam Freeburg said he was proud of the way his players competed and their determination.

“Our kids had a phenomenal game in our halfcourt defense. They are good at three-pointers and we held them to one, which was an awesome job on our part. We out rebounded them but we did have more turnovers,” sad Freeburg.

He said what’s nice about the district Gering is in is that each year, it truly is anyone’s tournament to win.

“Sidney’s record is a lot better than anyone else’s, but when you look at the games played across the district, everyone has played each other close … I think if we can hit our stride, we could have a fun week next week,” Freeburg said.

While Scottsbluff jumped out to an early 13-7 first quarter lead, Gering came back outscoring the Bearcats 9-6 due in part to the playing of Kaylee Bohnsack and Paige Lopez. At the half, Scottsbluff had just a 19-16 advantage.

Neither team was hot from the charity stripe in the first half.
Scottsbluff made 4-of-7 attempts, while Gering was 6-for-11.

The game went back and forth for most of the third quarter, but Gering cut the Scottsbluff lead to one point after Allie Boggs broke free underneath. Gering then took a one-point lead after Bohnsack scored at the top of the key. Scottsbluff’s Aly Camacho appeared unstoppable underneath and Scottsbluff took a three-point lead after three quarters.

Gering came out strong in the final quarter as Victoria Schwartz stole a Scottsbluff pass and took it to the hoop. Courtney Conn scored, giving Gering a three-point lead.

Camacho fired back for the Bearcats with a three-point play after Mariah Conn was whistled for her fourth personal foul and the Bearcats regained the lead.

After Lopez hit the jumper with 1:57 left to play, Gering trailed by two and Freeburg called a short timeout to set up the next play. Chloey Reifschneider then sunk two free-throws, but Lopez hit another jumper and it was a three-point ball game.

Trailing by three points with 2.4 seconds remaining, Gering had one last shot, but the shot sailed off the mark and Scottsbluff prevailed, 38-35.

Scottsbluff Head Coach Rachel Larson said a win is a win.

“I think one of the biggest differences came in the first and fourth quarters when we had our veteran players in there and that provided us with the opportunity to play the way we wan that provided us with the opportunity to play the way we wanted to play,” she said. “That said, I want to note that those who came in the second quarter and who have seen a lot of varsity time really played well in a tough situation.”

Regarding the district tournament, Larson said she might see Sidney as a favorite, “but at this point in the season, teams are playing well and anyone could win.

“When it’s a tournament it doesn’t matter who’s the favorite but who comes out and plays better that day. It truly is anybody’s tournament.

In the boys’ matchup, the difference came in the first quarter as Scottsbluff jumped out to an early 28-15 lead behind the scoring of Dillon Hernandez, Austin Clarkson, Dru Kuxhausen and Evan Hughes.

Gering rallied back in the second quarter and trailed by nine at the half.

It resembled an NBA All-Star Three-Pointer contest in the third quarter as everyone from both teams were tossing up shots from beyond the arc.
Jonah Wright lit up the basket for Scottsbluff as did Kuxhausen and Clarkson showed that the big man could make the trey. Scottsbluff led, 64-52, at the end of the third quarter.

It was more of the same in the fourth period as Gering would make a surge and then Scottsbluff would answer.

Scottsbluff went on to pick up the, 84-69 win.

Scottsbluff Head Coach Tony Siske said he never overlooks Gering and that arena isn’t an easy place to win.

“This is not an easy place to play or and easy team to play against,” Siske said regarding Gering. “They have been playing really well lately and been shooting the ball well lately and again tonight. They made 14-of-23 threes. You could tell it was senior night, as they didn’t want to go out on a loss.”

Speaking about his team, Siske said they came out hard the first quarter, but Gering kept making shots, “and we had a nice little run to end the quarter, but then they made another run in the second quarter to draw within six.”

Siske said their inside game was strong with Clarkson, Landon Walker and Blake Wilberger.

“We are going to have to defend them better if we play them again,” he said.

Regarding the district tournament, which will be played in Ogallala, Siske said they have to be ready to play as Sidney and Alliance. Both have strong squads, and he never counts out Gering or McCook.

“Offensively, I thought we played well (Friday). We need to continue to move the ball, but defensively, we have to get better.”

The boys’ B-6 District Tourney in Ogallala starts Feb. 27 with the championship game played on Feb. 29.

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