Bryce Sherrell poured in 17 points and the Gering boys basketball team used two big runs to topple McCook 52-42 Thursday, Feb. 11 at Gering High School.
Gering head coach Rick Winkler credited the play of Sherrell and his squad in the second quarter especially as the big catalysts in the win.
“We didn’t start out well and then we picked it up in the second quarter. We picked up our defense and that led to offense,” Winkler said. “I was proud of Bryce Sherrell in the way he played offensively. I think defensively, as a whole group, we picked it up in the second and fourth quarters for sure.”
Sherrell kept the Bulldogs in the game in the first quarter by scoring all 10 of Gering’s points. McCook, however, led 19-10 after one period.
It was in the second quarter that Gering really turned things around. McCook bolted to a 24-14 lead and was on the verge of blowing things open even more. However, Gering’s defense stepped up to hold the Bison scoreless the final three-plus minutes while the Bulldogs went on a 12-0 run to take a 26-24 lead into halftime.
Gering kept playing tough in the early stages of the third quarter, holding a 32-29 lead. That was when McCook went on a 6-0 run behind points from DJ Gross to hold a 35-32 lead after three quarters.
The fourth quarter turned out to be Gering’s eight minutes. The Bulldogs opened the fourth on a 6-0 run and took the lead at 36-35 on a Brett Pszanka bucket.
Gering would finish the run at 14-2 to hold a 46-37 lead. A big lift in the run was the play of Riley Schilz on the inside, where he scored seven points and Gering never looked back.
Gering had two players score in double figures. Sherrell led the way with 17 points followed by 10 from Pszanka. Schilz and Henry Alvarez each had nine points.
Gering couldn’t keep the momentum going on Friday night in a 65-49 setback to North Platte.
While the Bulldogs came up short in the end, Winkler liked the way his team started. Winkler said he challenged the team to play strong from the start.
“We really started out on fire. What we did in the locker room before the game is we showed them what we’ve done in the first quarter defensively and we usually give up in the 20s,” he said. “I challenged them to start out strong and get the lead and see what we could do from there.”
Gering had two players score in double digits. Sherrell led the way with 14 points, while Schilz had 10. Pszanka tallied nine.
Gering will wrap up its regular-season schedule on Friday at Scottsbluff High School.
The B-8 sub-district tournament will begin on Monday in Alliance.