Austin Hoffman scored a game-high 26 points to help lead the Gering boys basketball team to a 69-43 win over Ogallala on Monday night at Gering High School.
Gering head coach Randy Plummer wasn’t sure what to expect from his team in a rare Monday game, especially coming off a heartbreaking loss to Sidney on Friday.
“I was a little worried about Ogallala. They knocked off McCook by like 10 or 12 points and that is not an easy task,” Plummer said. “I was worried about them, especially coming off of Friday night’s game where we lost a heartbreaker and I was wondering how our kids would respond. I thought we came out with some energy and kind of put them away early. I think our quickness bothered them on offense and defense.”
Ten different players scored in the contest for Gering. Christian Rogers joined Hoffman in the double-figure scoring column with 10 points. Tyler Pszanka added nine points.
Hoffman scored 13 of his 26 points in the first quarter, which helped the Bulldogs start quickly.
“Austin had a good night. He has been a heck of a player for as long as I can remember,” Plummer said. “He came in as a freshman when he started playing. He is calm and relaxed now. He did a good job tonight. He started to struggle a little bit and then took it to the hole a few times. He is a really good player and I am glad he is having a good season.”
Plummer was also happy to see several different players score, especially in the second quarter when the Bulldogs expanded a 19-8 first-quarter lead to 39-16 at halftime. In the second quarter, six different Bulldogs scored points. Pszanka scored six points, while Rogers nailed a 3-pointer.
“It is good to have guys score because then they come to practice ready to practice tomorrow,” Plummer said. “They feel like they contributed. We have a big week ahead of us Thursday, Friday and Saturday with North Platte, Lexington and McCook. I guess this is a good start to the week and everyone is healthy.”
The win snapped a two-game losing skid for the Bulldogs. In addition to falling on a last-second shot to Sidney, Gering also dropped a tough 82-77 setback to Alliance in double overtime. Plummer was pleased with his team’s response to those losses.
“Our guys responded really well,” he said. “Now we will move on to our next game.”
Ogallala outscored Gering 15-12 in the third quarter to get within 20, but the Bulldogs opened things back up in the fourth by outscoring the Indians 17-12 in the final eight minutes.
Gering finished the game with four 3-pointers, one each from Winkler, Hoffman, Barge and Rogers. Gering shot 11 of 15 at the free-throw line, while Ogallala was 10 of 21.
Gering, which improved to 11-7, will host North Platte on Thursday to start the East-West Shootout.
Ogallala (10-11) 8 8 15 12 – 43
Gering (11-7) 19 20 12 17 – 69
Jordan Cogdill 11, Dillon Higgins 5, Kolby Gardner 3, Bryce Borer 6, Colby Rezec 3, Brittan Hoppens 5, Easton Tuttle 7, Ethan Schilz 3.
Trey Winkler 6, Brent Barge 5, Tanner Wengler 4, Javier Campos 2, Christian Rogers 10, Austin Hoffman 26, Sonny Salazar 1, Dylan Radzymski 4, Dan Marshall 2, Tyler Pszanka 9.