Gering's Trey Winkler has big following in his return home

Rainy River’s Trey Winkler, of Gering, drives against Eastern Wyoming College on Friday, Nov. 29 at Cougar Palace.

Gering’s Trey Winkler had a good cheering section when he returned home with his Rainy River Community College basketball team to play three games at Western Nebraska Community College.

Winkler’s stay in the Panhandle wasn’t a good one for his Rainy River team as they lost three times in four days, but the team grew a lot, playing three Division I junior college teams.

Rainy River is a NJCAA Division III program from International Falls, Minnesota, which is located on the Canadian border.

Winkler had his best showing in a 69-54 loss to Eastern Wyoming College on Wednesday. Winkler finished with eight points in the contest. He scored eight straight to bring his Voyageurs back to within eight points with about four minutes to play.

After that, Rainy River battled WNCC in the first half, trailing 50-43 before falling 101-87. In that contest, Winkler scored eight points including going 4 of 4 from the charity stripe.

Winkler’s team wrapped up the Thanksgiving Classic with a contest against Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday. Rainy River stayed with Trinidad early before falling to the Trojans 88-54.

Winkler finished with six points in that contest with two 3-pointers. He also dished out two assists.

In seven games for Rainy River this season, Winkler is averaging 11 points a game with seven treys. He is also making 90.9% of his free throws (20 of 22). Winkler sits at No. 9 in free throw percentage in the NJCAA Division III national stats.

Rainy River, 2-5, will be back in action Friday when they travel to Riverland Community College in Austin, Minnesota. Riverland received votes in the Division II poll on Monday. After that, Rainy River will travel to Anoka-Ramsey in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

Winkler’s fan support was great in the three games at Cougar Palace despite the snowy weather and blizzard conditions as many of his high school teammates and coaches came out to watch him play.

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