OGALLALA — A pair of strong defensive performances lifted the Gering girls and boys basketball teams to solid road wins over Ogallala on Tuesday night in Ogallala.
The wins also extended both teams’ respective winning streaks.
The Gering girls held Ogallala to just 24 points in posting a 35-24 win, while the Gering boys limited the Indians to just 12 second-half points in recording a 64-39 victory.
Gering girls coach Adam Freeburg praised his squad’s defensive effort throughout the contest. His Bulldogs held Ogallala to single-digit scoring in all four quarters.
“We did a really nice job of playing man-to-man defense,” Freeburg said. “By doing that we were able to stop their dribble penetration, and keep their girls out of the paint. And, as always, we did a good job on the boards.”
The win was the second straight for the Gering girls. The Bulldogs notched a come-from-behind win over Alliance on Friday night. Gering is now over the .500 mark at 9-8 on the season.
“It was a big win for us,” Freeburg said. “This is only the second time this season that Ogallala has lost at home. So, it was a big win for us on their home court. Building off the Alliance win, it’s two big wins for us in a row.”
Gering managed to overcome a slow start that saw the Bulldogs fall behind 7-3 after the opening quarter. However, Gering outscored Ogallala 11-4 in the second quarter to grab a 14-11 advantage at halftime. The Bulldogs never trailed again.
“We had a slow start in the first quarter, but we just stuck with the game plan,” Freeburg said. “We didn’t panic or change anything, we just concentrated on our defense and we did a nice job of that.”
Ashlyn Schultz led Gering in scoring with eight points. Schultz drained a pair of 3-pointers. Santanna Mitchell added seven points, while Megan Upp and Alexa Anderson each finished with five. Anderson had one 3-pointer.
The Bulldogs shot 6 of 12 at the free-throw line.
Ogallala was led in scoring by Jessica Paloucek with 10 points.
In the boys contest, Gering also shrugged off a slow start to finish strongly. With the score tied at 12-12 following the opening quarter, the Bulldogs took control by outscoring the Indians 24-15 in the second eight minutes to take a 36-27 halftime advantage.
The second half belonged all to Gering as the Bulldogs outscored Ogallala 28-12. The Indians managed just three points in the third quarter.
“We started off slowly, but we upped our intensity in the second half,” Gering assistant coach Steve Land said. “We jumped the passing lanes hard and had quite a few steals in the half court.”
In addition to getting a dominating defensive effort, Gering also shined offensively as four different players scored in double figures. Land said that offensive balance was good to see.
“We executed really well against their zone defense,” Land said. “We moved the ball a lot better than we have all year.”
Joses Palomo, Christian Groskopf, and Grant Olsson all led Gering in scoring with 12 points each. Austin Ferguson joined the trio in the double-figure scoring column with 10 points.
Gering shot 5 of 7 at the free-throw line.
Ty Neill led Ogallala in scoring with 15 points.
The win was the Bulldogs’ fourth in a row, which improved Gering’s season record to 11-6.
“We are playing better, but we realize there’s a tough road ahead,” Land said. “It’s not going to be easy since the rest of our games are all on the road. We’ll just take it one game at a time.”
Both Gering teams will return to action on Friday at Sidney. The Sidney girls won the only previous meeting, while the Gering boys are 2-1 against the Red Raiders. All three match ups were played within five points, including one overtime contest.
Gering (9-8) 3 11 12 9 — 35
Ogallala (5-10) 7 4 6 7 — 24
Ashlyn Schultz 8, Allie Vacha 2, Megan Upp 5, Jessica Rogers 4, Alexa Anderson 5, Santanna Mitchell 7, Dakota Gellner 1, Kaylee Spreier 2, Katie O’Boyle 2.
Gering (11-6) 12 24 10 18 — 64
Ogallala (2-13) 12 15 3 9 — 39
Joses Palomo 12, Walker Britsch 7, Christian Groskopf 12, Isaiah Wilson 5, Zac Bibb 2, Austin Ferguson 10, Grant Olsson 12, Taylor Nelson 4.