“It was the same song and dance as it has been all season long,” says head coach Gary Holmseth. “We have yet to shoot the ball as well as we can.”
Sam Lee’s free throw for the game’s first point was the only Buc lead of the night. For the remainder of the contest, BEA was forced to play catch-up.
“We battled from behind the entire night,” says Holmseth. “There was no pivotal spot that really decided the game.”
Midway through the first half, the Bluejays capitalized off turnovers and translated the Buc mistakes into baskets to establish a 21-11 lead. BEA clawed back after the mini-run by Waseca and closed the gap to 27-23 at halftime.
“Our defense tightened up and we took care of the ball during our run at the end of the first half,” Holmseth says.
Opening the second half, Waseca scored on their first two possessions extending their lead to 31-23.
“Our team does not have a lot of wiggle room right now,” Holmseth says. “If we get behind it’s tough to come back.”
Jacob Sass fueled the Bluejay offense in the second half on his way to a game-high 19 points. The 6-foot-6 inside presence capitalized off of second chance scoring opportunities.
Waseca snatched 12 offensive rebounds to provide high percentage shots for the frontline of Sass and teammate Zach Hiller, especially in the second half.
Slowly building momentum, the Bluejay lead ballooned to 58-43 with one minute and 48 seconds remaining. BEA was able to take advantage of some late free throw opportunities to close the gap to 60-49 for the game’s final.
The Bucs performance from the line was a bright spot. BEA connected on 12-14 chances.
“That’s something we worked on during practice this week,” Holmseth says. “I am glad to see it paid off.”
Brady Anderson led a balanced Blue Earth Area scoring attack with 13 points. Backcourt teammate, Dallas Barslou was next in line with 10.
Isaac Darrington rounded out BEA’s leading scorers with eight, despite seeing limited action while being sidelined with foul trouble for the majority of the game.
With the loss, BEA falls to 0-4 on the season and 0-1 in the conference. The schedule doesn’t get any easier from here, however, as the Bucs welcome the No. 3 ranked St. Peter Saints Thursday. Tipoff will be at 7:30 p.m.
“The kids are working hard and doing the right things, the right way in practice,” Holmseth says. “We are headed in the right direction, we just haven’t achieved it in the win column yet.”