WHS Lady ‘Dawgs continue winning streak in Gering

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GERING – It was a battle of the Bulldogs on Thursday night as Wheatland traveled to meet Nebraska rival Gering just one step ahead of the arctic chill that followed.

The Lady Bulldogs came into the contest after a three-game winning streak the weekend before, dominating three 4A Wyoming teams. They brought with them a good level of confidence, even without head coach Michelle Coplen and the injured Ella Keil, who played lights-out in the final game of the Cheyenne invitational last week.

The Gering girls had already seen some tough competition of their own on the east end of the state. The Gering Bulldogs also have some six-footers on their roster; and even with their less-than-stellar record of 2-9, they couldn’t be discounted right away.
Nebraska schools utilize a shot clock, and the WHS girls had to adjust to this restriction, but it did not prove to be an impediment.

Gering put a lot of defensive pressure on Wheatland in the first minutes of the game and were the first to get on the scoreboard. Due to the physicality of the game, Wheatland was able to attract quite a few fouls and went to the free throw line several times early on. Kacey Otero finally scored from the field followed by a drive and layup by Lily Nichols, and the Wheatland Bulldogs pulled out front for the first time in the game, 10-8.

It appeared that the Nebraska team was prepared to guard Lily Anderson as the first half proved to be tough on Anderson shooting from the field; however, Otero amped up the energy scoring a big three, followed by another trés by Laynie Goertz. The WHS Bulldogs began to step it up and led Gering 16-8 at this point, in spite of the taller team coming down with more rebounds.
Coach Douglas made good use of Wheatland’s deep bench and saw scoring and assists from Camryn Mickelsen and Lola Philo early in the second quarter, putting the Wheatland Lady ‘Dawgs ahead 21-10. Gering was not impressed and scored twice, unanswered.
The refs seemed to be a bit whistle-happy, and Gering came away with 20 turnovers and quite a few physical fouls, with WHS earning 17 turnovers.
The third quarter found Gering scoring within three seconds but Karly Jones answered with her own bucket, keeping WHS ahead 28-21. Both teams traded fouls and turnovers throughout the second half, although Wheatland was able to hold on to their lead.

With key scoring from Lily Nichols the end of the third period scoreboard displayed 32-24, Wheatland.
The fourth quarter transpired much like the three previous; lots of physicality and loose balls. Gering came out a bit stronger as they were the first to score once again. Otero was not to be deterred and answered right away, followed by Nichols, expanding the WHS lead. At this point, the Bulldogs battled for baskets, sharing scoring, but Gering could not quite close the gap.
In the final minutes, Anderson scored on a power play; scoring only the second bucket of the game, which is out-of-character for the freshman. As the clock ticked down, Gering gave a big effort to come ahead, but the Wheatland Bulldogs never looked back and held on to their lead until the buzzer, winning 41-31. With another victory under their belt the Wheatland Bulldogs come away with a 10-2 overall record.
Due to weather restrictions, the game against Cheyenne South was canceled over the weekend. This Friday the Bulldogs travel to meet conference rival Torrington, and play Rawlins at home on Saturday.