3 Gering players make All-Conference first team
     2016-04-22      By Staff Report    editor@geringcitizen.com
Austin Hoffman 
Gering’s Trey Winkler, Austin Hoffman, and Mariah Conn were named first-team selections to their respective All-Western Conference boys and girls basketball teams, announced this past week.
Gering Bulldogs’ Sonny Salazar, Brent Barge, Allie Boggs and Victoria Schwartz earned honorable mention status.

Gering’s Hoffman will be attending Nebraska Wesleyan and playing for the Prairie Wolfs next season. “Making the all-conference team means a lot, especially with it being my senior year,” said Hoffman, who averaged 16 points a game this past season, and was close to scoring a 1,000 points over his high school career.
“Being able to go out with that privilege is an honor. It shows the dedication I have to the game.”

Conn, a power forward for Gering, said being recognized “is definitely an honor. I’ve dreamed of getting awards like this for as long as I can remember. ... Ever since third or fourth grade, I’ve wanted to play basketball. I would like to continue my basketball career for as long as I possibly can.”

Conn also credited the support from Gering’s staff and players. “I grew as a player and as a person this year,” she said. “My coach (Adam Freeburg) and my teammates helped me out with this a ton. I couldn’t have done what I did this past season without the help from them.”

Winkler, as a junior, put up 11.7 points per game and a total of 277 shots. Deadly accurate, he shot 41 percent from beyond the three-point arc, and 45 percent for deuces. A small guard, the 17-year-old Winkler has played since he was 7 or 8, and is not afraid to toot his own horn. “It means a lot, starting to show hard work,” he said. “It shows all I have put into the game.
There’s more out there to go get.”

Going into his senior year, Winkler plans to fuel his team with the kind of energy Gering had against rival Alliance on Jan. 29 in a game that went into double overtime. The Bulldogs were about 10 points down in regulation, and battled back. “We just never gave up; we trusted each other,” he said. “Next year, I want to try to get us to state. I grew up watching it, now want to play in it, work toward achieve more.”

Rounding the area’s top selections, Dillon Hernandez, Dru Kuxhausen and Landon Walker represented Scottsbluff Bearcats representatives for the first team, while Austin Clarkson and Jonah Wright earned honorable mention. Bearcat girls’ first-team representatives included Zoe Holscher and Aly, while Chloey Reifschneider earned honorable mention.

Other Panhandle first-team representatives:

Mitchell boys: Colby Eberspecher. Honorable mention: Joe Pieper and Cleveland Burnett.

Mitchell girls: Celeste Cardona and Jori Peters. Honorable mention: Keyana Wilfred and Madison Watson.

Sidney boys: Cutter O’Connell, Brady Radcliffe and Tyler Wintholz.

Sidney girls: Kelsey Knight, Annalise Lecher and Emily Mahr.

Alliance boys: Austin Lueger and Brody Brennan.

Alliance girls: Madison Reiber.

Chadron boys: Jayden Stack.

Chadron girls: Jadyn McCartney, Chandler Hageman and Jayden Garrett.

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