Despite a sluggish first quarter by both teams, the No. 2 (Omaha World Herald) Chadron girls basketball team used an 11-0 run to start the second period and never looked back, rolling to a 49-29 win over Gering on Friday night at Gering.
The win improves the Cardinals to 13-1 on the season, while Gering falls to 7-8.
“The previous time we played [Gering] they were intense, and they were just as intense or more so tonight,” Chadron coach Curt Holmquist said. “They did a good job of shutting us down after a semi-quick start and then in the second quarter, things got rolling for us and that’s what we hope for and look for. We looked for it sooner, but Gering delayed it and we couldn’t get going until the second quarter.”
Chadron had four points on the board inside of the first minute and looked as if it may get into a groove early. However, a bucket by Gering’s Katie O’Boyle and a pair of free throws by Megan Upp tied the contest at 4-4 after a hard-fought first frame by both teams.
The Cardinals, however, found their rhythm in the second after racing out to a 15-4 lead midway through the stanza. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to six at the 3:53 mark with a 3-pointer by Allie Vacha, but Chadron’s Peyton Hinn answered 13 seconds later with a trey to preserve an 18-9 lead. Chadron finished off the half on a 7-4 run to take a 25-13 lead into the break.
Chadron dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-4 to take a 38-17 advantage into the final frame. Although the Bulldogs had their best offensive output of the contest in the final period, outscoring the Cardinals 12-11, the deficit was too large to overcome.
Gering coach Adam Freeburg was pleased with his team’s ability to keep pace with a powerful Chadron team, but added that teams can’t allow them to gain momentum after a solid defensive stand.
“We battled just like we always do,” Freeburg said. “We played a really nice first quarter. We boxed out well and handled the pressure pretty well. That’s the thing with Chadron is you have to limit their runs and that 11-0 run really hurt.”
Despite the final score, though, Freeburg praised his team’s tenacity against a good Chadron team and lauded the Bulldogs’ overall effort. Gering won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding the Cardinals 34-30 in the contest.
“We out-rebounded them, which was one of our huge goals,” Freeburg said. “I’m just proud of the effort. These girls just fight. This is a great Chadron team and I thought for the most part we fought them tooth and nail.”
The Cardinals had a stellar night at the free throw line, hitting 8 of 12 from the stripe. Gering finished 2 of 8.
Chadron was led in the contest by Peyton Hinn, who finished the contest with 15 points and canned 4 of 5 from the stripe. Junior Ashlea Kerr added 13 points, while Ashlyn Eitemiller chipped in seven.
Upp led the Bulldogs offensively, collecting nine points and going 2-for-4 from the stripe. Vacha finished with six points on two 3-pointers, while O’Boyle and Santanna Mitchell tallied four points apiece.
Chadron will next be in action on Tuesday at Gordon-Rushville. Gering travels to Alliance on Friday.
Chadron (13-1)............................4 21 13 11 — 49
Gering (7-8)...........................4 9 4 12 — 29
Peyton Hinn 15, Briley Hannaford 4, Ashlyn Eitemiller 7, Ashlea Kerr 13, Bailea Kerr 2, Alia Brennan 4, Carly Churchill 4.
Allie Vacha 6, Megan Upp 9, Alexa Anderson 2, Nicole Michael 2, Santanna Mitchell 4, Kaylee Spreier 2, Katie O’Boyle 4.