Third time’s a charm.
The Sidney boys basketball team sizzled from the field, including draining six pivotal 3-pointers, to earn its first win over Gering, 60-55, in three tries this season.
The win improved Sidney’s record to 6-4, while Gering fell to 7-5.
Gering won the first two meetings between the schools by a total of six points. Gering upended the Red Raiders 53-50 in overtime at WNCC’s Cougar Palace in the Western Conference Tournament on Dec. 1, and then escaped 52-49 at the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout on Dec. 29 in Sidney.
“We haven’t been making shots from the perimeter in really any game this year, and our shots finally fell, especially in that first half, and that got our guys’ confident,” Sidney coach Erik Kohl said. “Offensively, we had one of our better games of the year. Defensively, [Gering] scored quite a bit of points, but we made them work for their shots. They didn’t get any easy shots, and we had really good defensive intensity.”
Sidney’s Lane Harvey, who finished with 14 points, put the Red Raiders up in the opening quarter when the sophomore canned back-to-back 3-pointers to start the contest, anchoring a 10-2 run. Paxton Ehler raised the bar late in the first frame, drilling a buzzer beater from half court to give Sidney a 17-11 lead.
Ehler kept the flame lit to start the second, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to extend the lead to 23-11 at the 6:07 mark.
Gering found some rhythm with just under six minutes to play in the half, going on a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to two points, 25-23. However, Ehler hit his fourth trey of the half at the 1:31 mark to start a 10-0 run. The spree was aided by a pair of buckets by Casey Mabey and a 3-pointer by Hunter Vowers as Sidney went up 37-25 at the break.
“In the first half, they got every loose ball, and they got every rebound,” Gering coach Randy Plummer said. “They took it to us and for whatever reason, we weren’t ready to play.”
Both teams jousted in the third period, each scoring just nine points. The Bulldogs, though, came alive in the final 8 minutes, going on an 8-2 run to pull to within five points, 50-45.
Joses Palomo and Christian Groskopf both hit 3-pointers down the stretch for the Bulldogs, but Harvey and Sam Arterburn combined for six free throws in the closing seconds to secure the win for Sidney.
Sidney connected on 50 percent of its free throws, going 9 of 18 from the line. Gering was near the halfway mark, hitting 6 of 13.
Sidney was paced by Ehler, who finished with 15 points and four 3-pointers. Harvey chipped in 14 points and went 4 of 6 from the stripe. Mabey added 12 points.
Gering was led by Zac Bibb, who poured in 16 points. Groskopf finished with 13 points, while Palomo had eight.
Sidney (6-4)..............................17 20 9 14 — 60
Gering (7-5)...........................11 14 9 21 — 55
Casey Mabey 12, Lane Harvey 14, Hunter Vowers 5, Paxton Ehler 15, Logan Lewis 4, Sam Arterburn 6, Luke Rosenbaum 4.
Joses Palomo 8, Christian Groskopf 13, Zac Bibb 16, Austin Ferguson 6, Grant Olsson 5, Taylor Nelson 7.