GERING, Neb. — The Gering girls basketball team scored the first nine points and led from start to finish in picking up a 53-42 win over Scottsbluff Tuesday night at Gering High School.
The win proved emotional for the Gering players, especially the seniors, who lost a classmate over the weekend. Senior Alexa Anderson said they were playing for Mikie Orozco.
“We played this game for Mikie. She was in our class and we all knew her really well,” Anderson said. “That is why we did what we did on the court. We worked as hard as we could and we did it for her.”
Before the game even started, there was a moment of silence for Orozco.
Gering held a slim 43-40 lead in the fourth quarter with four minutes to play. It was the last four minutes that was the turning point for the Bulldogs, outscoring the Bearcats 10-2, including four points from Katie O’Boyle.
Jessica Rogers, who led Gering in scoring with 10 points, said the defense was huge for the Bulldogs on the night.
“When our defense plays well, it helps our offense out a lot,” she said. “We have good shooters and good posts down low It is good to know that we have a lot of people that can score because if you are having an off game, you know that someone else can put up points for you. This win should help us keep the momentum going the rest of the season.”
Rogers scored eight of her team-high 10 points in the first half, netting four in the first and second quarter. After Rogers, though, the Bulldogs had balanced scoring. Santanna Mitchell finished with eight points, while Megan Upp and Katie O’Boyle each had seven points. Then Ashlyn Schultz and Anderson each had six points followed by senior Dakota Gellner with five points.
Scottsbluff also had plenty of players that scored on the night. But it was the play of junior Toni Rosado that was on fire, scoring a game-high 16 points. After that the Bearcats had a plethora of players with five and four points. Chesney Walker finished with five points, while Liz Cunningham, Alexus Pinedo, Aysia Ensrud, and Zoe Holscher each had four points.
Scottsbluff coach Mike Burda said it is nice to see scoring from a wide range of players.
“We are doing a lot better job of scoring,” Burda said. “I think we will have to have a lot of people score five or six points for us to be successful. That is how we are approaching it. I was proud of that.”
The slow start, or Gering’s hot start was the difference in the game, according to Burda.
“We have been coming out kind of flat and we have been doing that quite often,” he said. “As a coaching staff we will take full credit for that. We have to find a way for the girls to come out a little sharper. It was a Scottsbluff/Gering game and I knew they were would be jitters and it was very evident that we had girls out there that didn’t have experience in a game like that.”
Gering held a 16-9 lead after one period and the two squads were battling tooth and nails int eh second as Gering took a 22-15 lead at halftime.
The second half was an evenly played contest as Gering outscored Scottsbluff 31-27. The third period was evenly played with each team scoring 15 points. Scottsbluff sliced the lead to four points, 30-26 on a Rosado bucket, but Schultz canned her second 3-pointer to change the momentum as Gering led 37-30 after three periods.
Free throw shooting was the best by either team in the contest. Scottsbluff won that battle, making 10 of 20 compared to Gering’s 9 of 24.
Gering, 8-6, is at Cheyenne East on Thursday. Scottsbluff, 1-10, travels to Cheyenne Central on Friday before hosting Cheyenne East on Saturday.
Scottsbluff (1-9)........9 6 15 12 — 42
Gering (7-6)...........16 6 15 16 — 53
Liz Cunningham 4, Lauren Miller 2, Alexus Pinedo 4, Aysia Ensrud 4, ZOe Holscher 4, Kiley Guerue 1, Chesney Walker 5, Shalee Roseberry 2, Toni Rosado 16.
Ashlyn Schultz 6, Megan Upp 7, Jessica Rogers 10, Alexa Anderson 6, Santanna Mitchell 8, Dakota Gellner 5, Kayhlee Spreier 2, Katie O’Boyle 7, Danyele Ysac 2.