The Scottsbluff boys basketball team put three players in double figures to advance to the semifinals of the Western Conference Tournament with a win over Sidney Thursday, Dec. 5.
The Bearcats will face two-time defending champions Sterling, Colorado, in the second day of the Western Conference Tournament on Friday, Dec. 6.
Scottsbluff received 14 points from Chance Parker to earn an easy 69-28 win over Sidney. Sterling moved into the semis with a 73-45 win over Gering.
The other semifinal will pit Alliance against North Platte. Alliance was a 53-37 winner over Chadron, while North Platte bounced Mitchell 72-62. Alliance and North Platte will play at 6:30 p.m. at Western Nebraska Community College followed by Scottsbluff and Sterling at 8 p.m.
The consolation bracket Scottsbluff High School will pit Chadron against Mitchell at 6:30 p.m. and Gering and Sidney at 8 p.m.
Scottsbluff coach Scott Gullion said his team played like they were on a rollercoaster despite the win.
“I thought we were a little sloppy on the offensive end early, but I really liked our defensive effort and energy. That created some turnovers and got us some easy baskets,” he said. “I thought at different times it was hit or miss. It was a rollercoaster offensively in running our stuff the way we want to run it or getting a little out of control and sloppy. There definitely are things to clean up. I am really happy with the effort and energy and enthusiasm these guys have played with the first couple nights that we played.”
Sidney led twice early. The Red Raiders led 1-0 even before the game started on a technical shot and then led 3-2 on a bucket by Skylar Heineman, who finished with 22 of the team’s 28 points. After that the Bearcats opened up the offense, going on a 14-0 run to lead 16-3 and led 16-5 after one quarter.
The second quarter saw the Bearcats outscore Sidney 24-7, but the Bearcats offense went stagnant for a while. It was the play of senior Parker that ignited the offense with 10 points in a 2-minute run. Gullion said Parker helped the team in the second quarter.
“We were a little bit stagnant there in the second quarter and Chance gave us a really big boost there,” Gullion said. “I felt like we were getting the ball to him and he was scoring or he was going and getting rebounds for us offensively. He kind of spearheaded our second-quarter run a little bit.”
Scottsbluff led 40-12 at halftime.
Sidney started the third quarter with back-to-back buckets to close to within 40-16, but Scottsbluff went on a 13-0 run to lead 53-16 behind eight points from Jasiya DeOllos. The Bearcats led 61-20 after three.
Sidney and Scottsbluff each scored eight points in the fourth period with a running clock going the entire eight minutes.
Parker led the way with 14 points followed by Dawson Mohr and DeOllos each with 11 points.
Scottsbluff will play Sterling, a team that has beaten the Bearcats in the championship the past two years.
Gering, under first-year coach Kyle Cotton, stayed with Sterling in the first quarter, trailing 20-13. It was the second quarter that saw the Tigers start to take control, outscoring the Bulldogs 16-9 to take a 36-22 lead at halftime.
Sterling pushed the lead to 57-35 after three periods.
Bryce Sherrell led the Bulldogs with 12 points followed by nine points from Kolton Ebbers. Brett Pszanka and Jack Franklin each finished with seven points.
Gering 13 9 13 10 – 45
Sterling 20 16 21 16 – 73
Kaleb Gonzales 3, Bryce Sherrrell 12, Andrew Schuller 3, Kolton Ebbers 9, Brett Pszanka 7, Jack Franklin 7, Noah Longoria 2, Turner Ray 2.
Sidney 5 7 8 8 – 28
Scottsbluff 16 24 21 8 – 69
Sawyer Dickman 2, Zack Burke 1, Skylar Heineman 22, Dylan Gunkel 3.
Quenton Scott 4, Sabastian Harsh 6, Jackson Ostdiek 3, Trevor Schwartz 3, Jasiya DeOllos 11, James Bruner 1, Jack Darnel 1, Izaiah Mendoza 6, Dawson Mohr 11, Trace Travnicek 2, Sam Clarkson 6.