GERING — With a 6-4 record under their belt Thursday night, head coach Mick Cochran and his Bulldogs headed to Gering, Nebraska to face Bulldogs on the other side of the state line. Gering came into the contest with a 3-7 record.
Seniors Bryce Stenson and Brock Peasley came out hot and scored back-to-back buckets at the start of play, giving the Wheatland ‘Dawgs an immediate four-point advantage.
It wasn’t long before Gering scored, and the Bulldogs traded point-for-point after that.
While Gering played with intensity, neither team was able to maintain good possession and continued to rally for points as the half was winding down. Tate Nichols hit a couple of important three-pointers and in spite of fouls galore and members of both teams playing with three personal fouls, Peasley scored to tie the game. After foul shots taken by Nolan Schaffner, Wheatland finally led by one, 21-20. During the last seconds of the half, Stenson grabbed a steal, dished to Peasley and were able to maintain their lead at the buzzer 24-22.
The second half opened with Peasley playing with three personal fouls, and Gering scored within the first 10 seconds, tying up the score. Nichols didn’t wait long and handed over an assist to Jacob Hyche, as he scored his first bucket of the game. Both Bulldog teams were operating under foul trouble.
Gering scored once again on a steal, but Peasley was not to be deterred and hit a critical basket from beyond three-point-land. This ignited the Wheatland ‘Dawgs and they pestered Gering with defensive rebounds.
At the close of the third quarter, the Gering Bulldogs were on top, despite Schaffner hitting a big three that brought WHS within one point. By the buzzer Gering was up again 36-34.
Peasley once again was the first to score for Wheatland within seconds of the start of the last period, and regardless of his foul trouble, he had racked up 12 points; Peasley had previously had a nine-points-per-game average. Gering answered Peasley with points of their own but Stenson decided to beat the shot clock and scored his second basket of the game. By this time, Peasley had garnered four personal fouls, but went in for an aggressive steal and scored yet again. While both Bulldog teams hustled coast-to-coast, Hyche earned his fifth personal foul and had to take the bench; WHS was trailing with two of their starters on the bench as Kenny Raser came in after Peasley was also forced to take a seat. But they weren’t alone: Gering’s Brunner also fouled out with one minute left. Nichols attempted a three, but it bounced out. On the next play, Raser drew a foul on his missed three-point shot, and made good on the three freebies, putting his Bulldogs within two. Gering then got fouled and went to the line with two good shots as the clock ran out, it was Gering over Wheatland 48-44.
Lee Raser was the top scorer for the Wheatland ‘Dawgs, putting 15 on the board, followed by Peasley with 14, Nichols with six, Schaffner with five, Stenson with four, Hyche with two, and Goertz with one. Even though Wheatland struggled from the three-point arc, they shot well from the free throw line, hitting 69 percent of their shots.
Friday, the Bulldogs will travel to take on conference foes, Torrington, and will face Rawlins at home on Saturday.