Santanna Mitchell poured in 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in helping the Gering girls basketball team to a 48-33 win over Scottsbluff in the consolation round of the Western Conference Invitational Tournament on Friday at Scottsbluff High School.
The Bulldogs (1-1) also received 11 points from Alexa Anderson in capturing their first win of the season.
“It was a big effort from our girls tonight and a huge win for us,” Gering coach Adam Freeburg said. “I thought the two things that we could improve on, we did. We handled the pressure wonderfully, much better than we did [Thursday] and our rebounding was better. That is what won the game for us. We held them off the offensive glass and held them to one shot per possession. That was the difference tonight.”
Gering will now face Omaha Skutt Catholic in the fifth-place game today at 10 a.m. at Western Nebraska Community College. Scottsbluff will play in the seventh-place game against Mitchell at 10 a.m. at Scottsbluff High School. Omaha Skutt downed Mitchell 53-32 on Friday.
In the win over the Bearcats, Freeburg was especially pleased with his team’s rebounding. Mitchell’s muscle in the middle was a big reason for that, but she had plenty of help. The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Bearcats 44-17. Megan Upp also pulled down eight rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Jessica Rogers and Katie O’Boyle each had six boards followed by Dakota Gellner with four.
“Mitchell is a senior leader who has played well for us the first two nights. She really knows how to use her body. She gets leverage down low and she takes advantage of that,” Freeburg said. “Alexa Anderson is also another senior leader that really stepped up her game on the second day of the tournament. I am proud of her for handling the pressure.
“We also have different girls that are willing to contribute in different ways. If the girls don’t score, they find a way to contribute and they rebound. If they don’t hit shots, they come in and play defense. We have girls figuring out what their roles are and they don’t have to score to contribute.”
After leading 8-4 after the first quarter, Gering outscored Scottsbluff 27-14 in the next two quarters to build a 35-18 advantage. The Bulldogs ended the first half on an 8-0 run to lead 27-11 at intermission.
Scottsbluff managed to close within 11 in the final quarter on buckets from Toni Rosado, but that was as close as the Bearcats would get.
Upp added eight points for Gering in the game, while O’Boyle and Rogers each had five.
Kiley Guerue led Scottsbluff in scoring with 10 points. Rosado added eight and Alexus Pinedo had eight.
Scottsbluff (0-2)..........................4 7 7 15 – 33
Gering (1-1)...................................8 19 8 13 – 48
Liz Cunningham 3, Alexus Pinado 6, Zoe Holscher 2, Brayden Auer 4, Kiley Guerue 10, Toni Rosado 8.
Ashlyn Schultz 2, Megan Upp 8, Jessica Rogers 5, Alexa Anderson 11, Santanna Mitchell 11, Kaylee Spreier 4, Katie O’Boyle 5, Danyele Ysac 2.
Mitchell (0-2)..........................11 8 6 7 – 32
Omaha Skutt (1-1).....................12 13 12 16 – 53
Chalsey Grentz 5, Brianne Hessler 2, Aspen Reifschneider 4, Havannah Newens 4, McKenna Zulkoski 5, Taylor Peters 6, Mikaela Karpen 2, Feilma Blanco 4.
Alex Banker 10, Sierra Adams 6, Brooke Denton 7, Lauren Hoody 2, Savannah Adams 3, Jessica Holovy 2, Anna Bellinghiens 5, Miranda Kasler 4, Liz Schumacher 2, Mackenzie Harry 4.