With 7.3 seconds remaining, Brandyn Olsen drove the length of the court and missed a layup.
Teammate Sam Lee followed with two put backs rimming out of the hoop. Luke Monson cleaned up the mess, tipping in the winning basket with the ball hanging on the rim as the buzzer sounded.
“Luke made a memory tonight,” Holmseth says. “That’s what a lot of sports are about.”
Four attempts needed to put in the last shot was a fitting ending for a game where baskets were hard to come by for both teams.
“I thought our defense was solid the whole night,” Holmseth says. “On offense we struggled getting in a rhythm.”
The Bucs mixed in a man-to-man defense and 2-3 zone to hold the Panthers to 38 percent shooting on the evening. NRHEG heated up, however, at the right time.
With three minutes remaining in the game, the Panthers’ Matt Carlson was able to cut a 6-point Buc lead to one on two consecutive possessions.
BEA’s Lee responded with a rebound and a conventional 3-point play to extend the lead to 39-35 with two minutes to play.
Carlson countered with another five-point burst, hitting a lay up and a 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Panthers a 40-39 lead with 1:38 left.
Dallas Barslou remained aggressive on BEA’s next possession, driving the lane and drawing enough contact for the foul. He made both free throws, giving the Bucs a 41-40 lead.
Carlson wasted little time in shifting the one-point advantage back to the Panthers. The 6-foot senior made a devastating back cut and elevated on the baseline to put in a layup, making the score 42-41 NRHEG.
With 48 seconds to go, Barslou earned another trip to the foul line, sinking both tries in a pressure packed situation. “Dallas Barslou’s free throws were huge,” Holmseth says.
After a missed 3-point attempt by the Panthers, Steven Plocker secured the rebound and made one of two free throws to give BEA a 44-42 lead with 22 seconds remaining.
Just when things looked to be going in the Bucs’ favor, Carlson delivered another strike from the perimeter. At the top of the key, the game’s leading scorer stepped back and sunk a go-ahead three with seven seconds left.
After Monson tipped in the winning basket, the final lead change belonged to the Bucs. In total, there were six lead changes in the last minute and 38 seconds of the game.
“Give credit to them for hitting big shots,” Holmseth says.
Holmseth admitted that his team’s offense was slowed down by injuries to two starters. Isaac Darrington didn’t play and is recovering from a knee injury. Point guard Brady Anderson played, but is nursing a sore ankle.
Barslou led the short-handed Bucs with 11 points, Plocker scored nine and Lee chipped in eight.
NRHEG’s Carlson led all scorers with 22.
The win boosted the Bucs’ overall record to 5-7.
BEA played Fairmont Friday after the Register’s deadline.
This week, they will host Waseca on Thursday. The B game will begin at 6 p.m.
Hayfield 69, BEA 46
The absence of two regular starters in the Blue Earth Area boys basketball lineup posed a major challenge against the 13-4 Hayfield Vikings.
Hayfield capitalized off injuries to Brady Anderson and Isaac Darrington and cruised to a 69-46 victory Jan. 14.
The Vikings established a double-digit lead early and kept their foot on the gas pedal the entire night. Heading into halftime, Hayfield led 34-20.
The Vikings continued to extend their lead in the second half, outscoring BEA by nine points.
Brandyn Olsen led the Bucs with 14 points. The 6-foot-1 guard made five field goals and one 3-pointer to lead the charge.
Luke Monson was the only other BEA player cracking double figures with 10.
Other leading scorers for the Bucs were Sam Lee with seven, Steven Plocker six and Dallas Barslou five.
Hayfield was powered by Brady Kramer who put in 20 points. Cole Kruger followed close behind chipping in 19.
BEA made 16 field goals on the evening and two 3-point baskets. From the free throw line, the Bucs were a meager eight of 16.