Tip off, win, repeat. Alliance notched a second win over Gering this month as the AHS varsity boys basketball won 59-49 on the road Friday.
Unlike the 54-36 win Dec. 1 for third place in the Western Conference Tournament, Gering played the visitors closer at home. Alliance led 31-23 at the half in the second contest. Gering came out of the locker room and put together their best effort of the game, outscoring AHS 18-13 in the third. Alliance protected a one-possession lead heading into the fourth holding Gering to eight points while scoring 15.
Alliance 20 11 13 15 – 59
Gering 14 9 18 8 – 49
The added intensity of a rematch was no surprise for AHS Head Coach Michael Baker. “A hard fought win against an opponent looking for revenge on its home court,” he said.
Like the previous meeting, the opening period set the pace. Alliance lit up the scoreboard with just over a third of their points in the first. Seven Alliance players made the scoring column as the as the A-Dogs put up 20 in the first.
“Our players took control of the game early,” Baker said. “We led from start to finish. Gering cut the lead to one early in the fourth quarter and had the ball twice with an opportunity to take the lead but we stopped them. We converted on numerous trips to the foul line to extend the lead in the final three minutes of the game.”
Despite their effort to close the gap, Gering had no answer for Alliance’s top scorers. Mason Hiemstra poured in 30 while Brayden Palmer also kept the defense on its toes with 14 points. “Mason Hiemstra made many clutch shots when we needed them most in the third quarter when our offense was struggling,” Baker said.
When shots did not fall Alliance was in position. Palmer led the team in rebounds snagging 11 boards, Hiesmtra had 9 and Collin Schrawyer 7. Favoring a transition game, when possible, Hiemstra and Corbin Stark helped with three assists apiece.
Baker said the game was a, “total team win. (I am) pleased with how our team kept their poise in a hostile atmosphere. All players made key plays contributing to the win.”
Alliance’s record improves to 3-1. They play Rapid City St. Thomas More Friday at 6:30 p.m. at home. The Class C1 South Dakota school opened its season Dec. 8 with a win over Chamberlain, S.D.
Alliance — DuBray 3, Stark 6, Baker 1, Kindred 3, Hiemstra 30, Schrawyer 2, Palmer 14
Gering — Horst 12, Pszanka 5, Alvarez 4, Ebbers 12, Ferguson 7, Ganos 1, Schil 8